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BeIN Sports to the challenge of a World Cup at home



It is a fiercely guarded fortress in the heart of Doha, where you have to show your credentials several times to armed guards to hope to enter. On the welcome screens, before entering one of the nine television studios and the control rooms spread over ten square kilometres, a slogan sums up the Qatari vision of the Football World Cup: “One world, one home” (one world, one house). Welcome to BeIN Media Group, a Qatari group of international media headed by the boss of PSG Nasser Al-Khelaïfi and parent company of BeIN Series, BeIN Movie, BeIN Gourmet… and therefore of BeIN Sports, where this world of excess is experienced as a real test.

“Our pride is at stake”

“We have experience, this is the third football World Cup that we have covered since our creation. But for this one, expectations are higher, recognizes Jassim al-Muftah, communications director of BeIN Group. Our pride as Qataris is at stake.”

Having become in a few years an epicenter of sports television broadcasting, BeIN broadcasts in around forty countries spread over five continents, and in seven different languages. In France alone, where it was launched in 2012, the paid package holds the exclusivity of 36 of the 64 World Cup matches. Since November 20, around a hundred French journalists and technicians out of the 300 from BeIN France have also joined the Qatari studios to broadcast from Doha. “We know that not everyone can come to Qatar to see the matches, so the pressure from the audience is enormous”adds Jassim al-Muftah, crossing one of the 800 square meter studios, changed from the colors of the Champions League to those of the World Cup in a few days.

A very political world

In Doha, the BeIN empire adjoins the other jewel of the soft-power Qatari, Al-Jazeera. The two groups are intimately linked: BeIN Médias is an offshoot of Al-Jazira Sports, created in 2003 and renamed a few months later. Despite these organic links, Al-Jazeera has little more broadcasting privileges than a traditional channel. Business is business.

Unlike its generalist elder, often accused of being the voice of Qatari power abroad, BeIN Sports wants to be apolitical. What if a player speaks out about human rights on air? “We will see on a case-by-case basis.answers Duncan Walkinshaw, director of programs for the Middle East and North Africa. “But I’ve been here for 12 years and nobody ever told me not to show this or that, assures this former Sky News. We cover football and how sport brings everyone together. »

fear of piracy

In addition to the image challenge, after the multiple criticisms suffered by Fifa and the Supreme World Organizing Committee, the channel which claims to have more than 55 million subscribers worldwide, especially fears piracy and cyberattacks during the competition. In France alone, some 4 million people watch it illegally. “The biggest threat to our industry is data theft and hacking, admits Duncan Walkinshaw. We are pioneers in the fight against attacks of this type, the group has made enormous investments to protect copyright. » The channel remembers the annoying precedent “beoutQ”, the ironic name of the Saudi pirate media which had hacked and broadcast all BeIN programs in clear, between August 2017 and August 2018, and therefore during the Football World Cup in Russia , in the midst of the Gulf crisis between Qatar and its neighbors.

Past the stress of competition – “rather a surge of adrenaline”, corrects Jassim al-Muftah – BeIN is planning for the post-World Cup. The group is eyeing new rights to acquire, which is already the largest buyer on the planet, with a portfolio valued between 10 to 15 billion dollars. After the broadcasting rights for European football championships such as the German Bundesliga until 2025, the Spanish Liga until 2024, the group is positioning itself on the broadcasting of major international competitions, particularly women’s. “We have the largest portfolio of rights in women’s sports leagues and we continue to acquire them,” slips Duncan Walkinshaw. The issue of the image is never far away for a media that hopes ” present Qatar as a model”.

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World Cup 2022: matches and results for Friday November 25



► Iran revive with 2-0 win over Wales

Iran can dream of a first round of 16 in its history after a 2-0 victory over Wales on Friday in Doha, in the second meeting of Group B of the 2022 World Cup. “Team Meli” scored the two goals at the very end of the match by Rouzbeh Cheshmi and Ramin Rezaeian, while the Welsh were reduced to 10 after the exclusion of their goalkeeper Hennessey, the first red card of this World Cup.

Iranian players, silent during their first match of the 2022 World Cup, sang their national anthem before this meeting. The choice, described as “collective” by captain Alireza Jahanbakhsh before the World Cup, not to sing during the match against England, had been seen as a sign of support for the victims of the harshly repressed demonstrations in their country.

► Qatar eliminated after losing to Senegal (3-1)

Qatar, beaten by Senegal (3-1) on Friday at the Al-Thumama stadium in Doha, was eliminated from its World Cup, five days after its defeat in the opening match against Ecuador (2-0).

With Ecuador failing to defeat the Netherlands, Qatar became the first World Cup hosts to exit the competition on matchday two of the group stage.

► The Netherlands hooked by Ecuador (1-1)

The Netherlands and Ecuador, both victorious on the first day in Group A, were neutralized (1-1) on Friday in Doha and will be in favorable tie next Tuesday when aiming for the round of 16 of the World-2022.

► England – United States

For the last match of the day, England will face the United States. The English, who started their competition very well against Iran (6-2). As for the Americans, they managed to hold Gareth Bale’s Wales in check in their first meeting (1-1).

Despite some concerns, England star Harry Kane should start the game well. A won match would allow England to qualify already for the round of 16.

► Neymar, hit in the right ankle, will be forfeited against Switzerland

Neymar, victim of a sprain Thursday against Serbia (2-0), is affected in the ligament of the right ankle and will be absent Monday against Switzerland during the second match of Brazil at the World Cup-2022, announced Friday the doctor of the Selecao.

Rodrigo Lasmar, doctor of the Brazilian federation (CBF), announced that Neymar suffered from a “lateral ligament injury” ankle, while defender Danilo also suffers from a sprain. “We won’t have these two players for our next game, but they are continuing their treatment with the aim of recovering them in time for the rest of the competition”he said in a video broadcast by the CBF.

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World Cup 2022: no boycott for the debut of the Blues, followed by 12.5 million viewers



The French team made a successful debut at the 2022 World Cup: more than 12.5 million viewers followed Tuesday from 8 p.m. on TF1 its big victory against Australia (4-1), according to figures from Médiamétrie published Wednesday, November 23.

While the World Cup in Qatar had been the subject of boycott calls before its start, this match achieved the “best audience since June 2021 for all programs and all channels combined”, welcomed TF1.

This number of viewers is comparable to that of the first match of the Blues at the 2018 World Cup, again against Australia (12.6 million), which took place on a Saturday noon.

Over 5 million viewers for the opening game

At the time, however, viewers of the entry into the running of the Blues represented a larger share of all those watching television at that time (69% audience share, against 48.1% for Tuesday’s game).

TF1 is the only channel in France to broadcast the World Cup unencrypted, also broadcast on beIN Sports for a fee. Sunday, November 20, the opening match between the host country – Qatar – and Ecuador, broadcast at 5 p.m., had attracted more than 5 million viewers.

These audience scores seem to show that the calls for a boycott of which the competition was the object did not have a notable impact. Since the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar in December 2010, the competition has sparked many controversies on subjects such as respect for human rights and the protection of the environment.

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World Cup 2022: why are six players from the South Korea team called Kim?



In France, the most common surname is Martin, borne by 235,846 people, which is equivalent to 0.35% of the population. In South Korea, 10 million people are called Kim… That is 20% of the country’s inhabitants! It is therefore not surprising that four defenders of the national team present at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar bear this surname.

The reason is to be found in the kingdom of Silla, which extended in the south-east of the Korean peninsula for almost a thousand years, between 57 BC and 935. One of the royal families of this period, which imposes and reigns during seven hundred years on Silla, decides to use the Korean word Kimwhich means “gold”, as his surname.

Fill the state coffers

If in Korea surnames have long remained the prerogative of aristocrats, it becomes advantageous to have one at the end of the Joseon period, which lasts from 1392 to 1897, because it confers economic and social advantages, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Indeed, two wars against China and Japan push the ruined Joseon dynasty to allow slaves and commoners to adopt a surname. The reform thus aims to fill the coffers of the State, since people without a surname were not taxable.

Kim, Lee or Park

The wealthy merchants of that time therefore wished to appropriate this symbol of power and could buy the right to bear the patronymic of prestigious but penniless families. The new rich fake the archives in order to be able to boast of a noble filiation.

Later, it was the Japanese who colonized the peninsula in 1905 and forced Koreans to adopt surnames. Most choose Kim, Lee or Park, three powerful clans in the region. Together, these three names make up 45% of contemporary South Korean surnames, and the surname of the current ruling dynasty in North Korea is also Kim.

This shared surname therefore does not necessarily presume a common ancestor. However, the law has long prohibited South Koreans from marrying someone with the same name as them. After three tries, the government finally succeeded in abolishing this provision in 1999.

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World Cup 2022: matches and results for Thursday November 24



► Switzerland wins against Cameroon 1 to 0 thanks to Embolo

Switzerland beat Cameroon 1-0 thanks to a goal from Breel Embolo for their entry into the World Cup-2022 on Thursday in Doha, and took the lead in group G before the Brazil-Serbia match in the evening.

Embolo remained impassive after his goal, scored after returning from the locker room. The striker, a native of Yaoundé, had announced before the match that he would try not to celebrate if he scored with the “Nati” against his native country with which he has kept very strong ties.

► Uruguay and South Korea back to back (0-0)

Uruguay and South Korea, despite the pedigree of their respective attackers, did not find the opening (0-0) after a balanced and lively match in which the defenders took the upper hand on Thursday at Doha in Group H of the 2022 World Cup.

If the former Bordeaux player Hwang Ui-jo wasted a great opportunity in the box (34th), it was Celeste who proved to be the most dangerous, Godin (34th) and Valverde (90th) touching the posts while Suarez , replaced by Cavani (64th), and Son were little in sight.

► Portugal beats Ghana 3-2, Cristiano Ronaldo historic goalscorer

Portugal beat Ghana 3-2 to enter the 2022 World Cup in Qatar (Group H), thanks in particular to a penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo, who became the first player to score at five different World Cups on Thursday. at Stadium 974, Doha.

The 37-year-old Portuguese star, without a club since breaking his contract by mutual agreement with Manchester United, made World Cup history by converting a penalty (65th). The Ghanaian Andre Ayew equalized (73rd), but Joao Felix (78th) then Rafael Leao (80th) revived the Portuguese, who however trembled at the end of the match after the goal of Osman Bukari (89th).

► Brazil – Serbia

For the last game of the day, Neymar’s Brazil will face Serbia at 8 p.m. French time. Defeated in the quarter-finals in 2018, the Brazilian “Seleção”, the most successful in the history of the World Cup, will try this year to win their sixth world title.

For that, it would be better that their entry into the running against Serbia, 21st in the Fifa ranking, is successful, at the risk of finding themselves back against the wall against Switzerland and Cameroon in the following matches.

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World Cup 2022: a boycott, really?



More than 12 million viewers watched the French team’s first match against Australia on Tuesday 22 November. Either the best audience of the year for TF1. Enough to give food for thought to the anti-boycott of the World Cup in Qatar, so criticized in terms of human rights and for its ecological nonsense.

However, the figures must be analysed. In 2018, in Russia, the first match of the Blues, again against the Australian Socceroos, had gathered 12.59 million viewers. An equivalent score in number of viewers but much more powerful in market share (69% in 2018, against 48.1% in 2022), the most convincing element of comparison given the different boxes of the two programs and the different broadcast period.

Analyze over the long term

“You have to be careful when comparing slots that are not the same”, recalls in this regard Nicolas Hourcade, sociologist specializing in supporterism. “The 2022 figures are certainly inflated because new comparators come into play, such as people watching matches in bars”, explains the specialist. The measurement of audiences away from home (secondary residence, hotels, bars, airports, train, bus, etc.) was implemented by Médiamétrie in 2020, so the comparison with previous World Cups is biased.

“People can be disgusted by the conditions in which the competition is taking place and will not follow it continuously, but reserve the important matches for themselves. » Thus, according to Nicolas Hourcade, it will be interesting to analyze the figures for the final round, with the knockout matches, to see if a quarter or a semi-final where the Blues do not play corresponds to usual audiences or not.

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World Cup 2022: Cameroon, for the image and for the president



Will he be in the locker room at the Al-Janoub stadium just before kick-off, motivating his troops with one of those fiery speeches he has made a specialty of in recent months? Or will he suddenly be discreet, contrary to his habits, he the former star player and new president of the Cameroonian Football Federation (Fecafoot) Samuel Eto’o, at a time when his Lions indomitable must roar from the decisive start of their World Cup against Switzerland, Thursday, November 24?

The question is not neutral for the national team of Cameroon, which, in Qatar, will evolve more than ever under the gaze and the pressure of the former star striker of FC Barcelona and Inter Milan, always prowling in the “den”, the nickname of the base of the Lions wherever they are. The management of the team makes no secret of this. Sent to a press conference on Monday, November 21 in place of coach Rigobert Song, his deputy Sébastien Migné defined the roadmap as follows: “Trying to give the best image possible (…) hoping to satisfy the demands of our president. »

“Bring the trophy home”

And they are high, these requirements. Nothing less than “bring the trophy home”, hammers Samuel Eto’o on all tones. Since his arrival at the head of Fecafoot in December 2021, the leader has only one idea in mind: to remake Cameroon a leading nation in world football, and to put an end to these regular poor performances where Lions with spoiled teeth bite into the void, drooling on their past glory.

Since its exciting historic quarter-final in 1990, Cameroon has certainly celebrated its ninth participation in the World Cup in Qatar, a record for a country on the African continent, but its last outings in 2010 and 2014 (the team was absent in 2018) leave a taste bitterness of chained defeats (six in total). These disillusions, Samuel Eto’o knows them for having lived them, like that of 2002 (elimination in the first round after a victory and a draw), even more acute for him because, “with an incredible team then, we were not convinced enough that we could win”, he often repeats. Hence the objective he sets today, even if it means overdoing it.

Ways of a blaster

It’s in his nature anyway. He arrived at the head of Fecafoot with the manners of a blaster. Outside the old executives, make way for new men. His. Samuel Eto’o changed all the coaches of the youth selections, and of course chose the leader of the national team, Cameroonian and not foreign as usual: the former most capped player of the Lions (137 caps ) Rigobert Song, one of his faithful supporters during the conquest of federal power.

He then applied himself to finding funds to relaunch the national championship, bloodless, prior to the essential increase in the level of local players. He focused on reviving his institution, which was in bad financial shape. “With me, no eight-month salary arrears, no more bonus problems,” he boasted at the beginning of November in an interview of more than two hours with the Cameroonian private channel Canal 2 International.

The coach in the hot seat

The Eto’o revolution? She doesn’t please everyone. His decision in August 2022 to break a contract running until the end of 2023 with the equipment manufacturer Le Coq sportif to prefer the American company One All Sports, an unknown brand in football and linked to motor racing, has raised many questions. His regular outings in the Lions locker room, always filmed by federal cameras, question Rigobert Song’s freedom in his choices.

On this chapter, the non-selection of Michael Ngadeu, decisive passer on the qualifying goal at the World Cup in Algeria in March 2022 (2-1), continues to cause ink to flow. The player had criticized certain talkative interventions by Samuel Eto’o. His place in the team had however been guaranteed by Rigobert Song.

The coach himself is also in the hot seat, as the last matches of the Lions seem worrying. In order, two defeats against Uzbekistan and South Korea, and two draws against Jamaica and Panama. In a raised group including Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia, Cameroon will have to surpass themselves to access the rest of the competition. “We are a united group and we have a lot of desire”, assures striker Éric Choupo-Moting. Certainly. The president is now waiting for something concrete.

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World Cup 2022: Canadian football in full learning



Little known to the general public, Canadian football nevertheless climbs the ranks from year to year. “With three Canadian teams present in Major League Soccer (the main professional soccer league in North America, editor’s note)we feel that the development of football is booming,” exults Jean-François Téotonio, sports journalist at the French-language daily The Press. It is driven by this positive momentum that the Canadian national team is preparing to start the second World Cup in its history, against Belgium, Wednesday November 23 at 8 p.m.

“The soccer academy has invested, and now we have a pool of interesting young players, book Jean-François Téotonio. At CF Montreal (Canadian elite club, Editor’s note)for example,they hired a sporting director who wanted to completely rethink the club’s philosophy. As a result, it’s a safe bet that we will soon have quite interesting new generations. »

A lack of “football culture”

“If the king sport remains hockeythe number of young football graduates today is higher in our country”, explains for his part Marc Cassivi, journalist and author of My world cups (1). And for good reason, hockey requires significant equipment and financial means where football remains accessible to all.

“Investments have multiplied in recent years. The gymnasiums where young people played football in the winter have given way to football stadiums with synthetic turf,” continues the enthusiast. But the latter points to a paradox: “When I go to the stadium, I see an incredible excitement, but I always come across someone explaining the rules to their neighbour. We lack what is called “football culture”. »

Alphonso Davies, left piston of Bayern Munich, Jonathan David at the forefront of the Lille attack or Atiba Hutchinson, defensive midfielder of Besiktas (one of the great teams of Istanbul), are all names that have recently shone in Europe, giving a spotlight on the Canadian breeding ground. “It contributes to growth, that’s obvious”, believes Jean-François Téotonio. “Before, our rare players who played in Europe were substitutes or luxury supports. Now there are also superstars,” abounds Marc Cassivi.

A test before 2026

What ambition for the competition in Qatar? We will call it reasonable. “With a group made up of Morocco, Belgium and Croatia, you have to be realistic: if we go to eighth, it’s a semi-miracle, having fun Jean-François Téotonio. SIf we put even one goal, it would already be great! »

But the goal goes beyond 2022. In four years, Canada will be one of the host countries, along with the United States and Mexico. “We go to Qatar to learn, observe, acquire the science of football that we lack”, explains Marc Cassivi. During an interview for the newspaper The PressCanada’s coach, Britain’s John Herdman, recalled his mission: “Be ready in 2026.”

If the development of men’s football has been visible in recent years, there is still room for improvement. In Qatar, she will be the only selection not to have a new jersey. “A lack of anticipation from the federation”, argues Jean-François Téotonio.

First emulations, first controversies

Four years is also the time left to settle a financial dispute which is hampering the good development of football. The Canadian federation (Canada Soccer) and its national men’s team were cold in June 2022 due to compensation and transparency issues. Dissatisfied with the salary conditions offered, the internationals then opted for a strike.

They were asking for fair terms with the women’s national team in terms of game-related revenue or percentage of winnings at World Cups. “The relationship has been strained for years. Canada Soccer disrespects our team and undermines our efforts to raise standards and advance soccer in Canada,” the players had thus declared, last June, in a press release.

In a country where football has long been worn by women, the men’s selection is meeting with increasingly popular success, at the same time as it experiences its first areas of turbulence. Undoubtedly proof of a mutation in progress.

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Canada-Belgium, a very unbalanced opposition

In business since 1912Canada’s team ranks 41st in the FIFA rankings. His opponent of the day, Belgium, semi-finalist of the Russian World Cup in 2018, ranks 2nd.

The Canadian “Canucks” have only encountered the Red Devils once. In 1989, Belgium won this friendly match (2-0).

It is only the second participation of Canada at a World Cup, after that of 1986. In Mexico, Canada had been eliminated in the first round, without garnering points in the group stage. The country had notably met France and lost (1-0).

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World Cup 2022: matches and results for Wednesday November 23



► Morocco holds in check the Croatian vice-world champions (0-0)

Slow beginnings. The Croatian vice-world champions and their leader Luka Modric did not shine for their entry into the running at the 2022 World Cup by conceding a sad and tasteless draw against Morocco (0-0), Wednesday at the Al-Bayt stadium.

We were entitled to expect much more from the checkered selection, four years after a Russian campaign only stopped in the final by France. Is it a lack of renewal for a team that always relies on the same framework?

Still, the formation of Zlatko Dalic appeared uninspired and without genius, unable to seriously shake up “Atlas Lions” solid, if not brilliant.

► The Japanese achieve the feat against Germany (2-1)

Germany, four-time world champion, missed its entry into the World Cup 2022 on Wednesday by losing 2-1 against a valiant team from Japan, in the first match of group E at the Khalifa Stadium in Doha. After Argentina’s defeat on Tuesday against Saudi Arabia, this is the second big surprise of the World Cup in Qatar.

Ahead of the encounter, the German players had ostensibly put their hands over their mouths in the team photo in an apparent protest at threats of sporting sanctions from Fifa to prevent the wearing of armbands ” One Love “ in Qatar.

The seven European federations, including Germany, which had planned to wear a colored armband ” One Love “ against discrimination, gave up on Monday in the face of the threat of “sporting penalties” by Fifa, which did not specify them. This threat has been widely criticized in Germany where many voices have been raised calling on Mannschaft players to defy it.

► Spain, conqueror, sweeps Costa Rica 7-0

Spain, unlike Germany surprised shortly before by Japan in Group E of the 2022 World Cup, did not tremble against Costa Rica, which they swept 7-0 with a brace from Ferran Torres, at the stadium al-Thumama in Doha.

The Spaniards, who were already leading 3-0 on the half hour, confirmed their status as a serious candidate for the supreme title. This attractive Roja, at the top of the group after her display in front of the admittedly very weak Costa Ricans, will face Germany in their next match, Sunday 27 (at 8:00 p.m.).

► Belgium – Canada

For the last match of the day, Belgium will face Canada. On the one hand, the Red Devils had reached the semi-final in 2018, losing to France, and hope to go at least as far in the competition this year. They will be led by Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Manchester City player Kevin de Bruyne.

The stakes for Canada are more modest: the current selection could make history by scoring the first goal of the “Canucks” in the World Cup. This is only the second time the North Americans have taken part in the competition. Their first attempt, in 1986, ended in a first-round elimination. The 2022 team is stronger, however, with the presence of Alphonso Davies, who plays for Bayern Munich.

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World Cup 2022: who are the top scorers in the selection?



One step away from becoming the most prolific French scorer in national team history. By scoring twice during Les Bleus’ victorious entry into the 2022 World Cup in Qatar (4-1 victory against Australia), Olivier Giroud joined Thierry Henry at the top of the ranking of the top scorers of the France team (51 goals).

If the AC Milan striker were to score an additional goal in the blue jersey, he would become the top scorer in the history of the France team. In the process, Olivier Giroud (115 caps) would take 50th place in the ranking of top scorers in the national team, all nations combined. He would then be tied with the Dane Poul Nielsen (52 goals in 38 games between 1910 and 1925), just behind the Englishman Wayne Rooney (49th with 53 goals).

Cristiano Ronaldo far ahead

In first place, the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo (37) seems untouchable for the moment. Author of 117 goals in 191 games since 2003, the striker who has just left Manchester United has a 27-goal lead over his main rival, Lionel Messi (3rd). The latter, aged 35, is playing his last World Cup with Argentina and does not seem able to catch up with him.

Three men retired for more than fifteen years complete the first five steps of the ranking: the Iranian Ali Daei (2nd, 109 goals), the Malaysian Mokhtar Dahari (4th, 85 goals) and the Hungarian player Ferenc Puskás (5th, 84 goals). The player who gave his name to the award for the most beautiful goal of the year was caught last June by Indian striker Sunil Chhetri, himself closely followed by Ali Mabkhout (United Arab Emirates, 80 goals).

The World Cup, an opportunity for several players

All these players surpass in number of achievements the Brazilian legend Pelé (8th). The most prolific striker in the history of football, author of more than 1,200 club and selection goals, has scored “only” 77 times during his international career.

He should even be overtaken by his compatriot Neymar (11th), who is only two short lengths from the Santos icon. Brazil is also the country best represented in the top 50 international scorers, with also Ronaldo (30th, 62 goals) and Romario (41st, 55 goals).

Several players also hope to take advantage of the 2022 World Cup in order to increase their counter. This is the case of the Uruguayan Edinson Cavani (34th, 58 goals) and his compatriot and teammate at the forefront of Albiceleste Luis Suárez (18th, 68 goals). The latter could overtake FC Barcelona star Robert Lewandowski (16th, 69 goals), who is also competing with Poland. Finally the Belgian Romero Lukaku (24th) should take advantage of the World Cup to bring his total goals above 65.

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