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24th November 2022

Who will win the World Cup? The Mancunion Predicts

Will Ronaldo or Messi win the world’s greatest trophy in their fifth and final attempt? Or will England finally end 56 years of hurt?
Who will win the World Cup? The Mancunion Predicts
Photo: Daniel @ Flickr

The 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup kicked off this week, making it the first World Cup to be held in the winter. But who will win? Here are the Mancunion’s predictions for the World Cup.


Winner: England
Top Goalscorer: Kane
Best Player: De Bruyne
Surprise team: Serbia
Most disappointing team: France
Where will England finish: Winners

Call me deluded but I genuinely think it’s England’s year. While recent performances have been poor, England are one of the few sides to now have genuine experience in the closing stages of major tournaments. Our attacking options are world-class and although the defence is shaky, players such as Maguire and Pickford always seem to be at their best in international tournaments. I don’t think much attention has been paid to Serbia, but they are my pick for underdogs. They finished top of their qualifying group, ahead of Portugal. If Mitrovic is on form, they will make it to the quarter-finals. France will continue the reigning champions curse, becoming the fourth consecutive side holding the World Cup trophy to be eliminated in the first round.  


Winner: Brazil
Top goalscorer: Kane
Best player: Jude Bellingham
Surprise team: Senegal
Most disappointing: England probably!
Where will England finish: I’m hoping for at least a quarter-final

The World Cup is always the time for a young talent to shine, at the last competition it was Mbappe. So this could be the tournament where English young talent performs on the big stage, so I’m going to go with Jude Bellingham! Of course, a safer prediction would be to go with Messi or Ronaldo.


Winner: Belgium
Top Goalscorer: Kane
Best Player: De Bruyne
Surprise team: Mexico
Most disappointing team: Portugal
Where will England finish: To get knocked out in the Quarter finals to Argentina

Some very controversial opinions. Whilst lots seem to fancy Argentina or Brazil to win, I am selecting Belgium to collect the Jules Rimet. Key performances from Champions League winning saviour Courtois, and 2022/23 Ballon D’or hopeful De Bruyne will allow Belgium to one-up their last campaign to reach the final and go all the way. Watch out for Mexican heroics, I have them down to reach the semi-finals – outlasting England! Although I believe we have a strong enough squad to compete, we’ll ultimately be let down by our defence personnel. I’m predicting Ronaldo’s swansong to end in disappointment – I think Portugal will struggle to make it out of the group!


Winner: Argentina
Top Goalscorer: Messi
Best player: Messi
Surprise team: Denmark
Most disappointing team: France
Where will England finish: Semi-finals 

Qatar 2022 will be Lionel Messi’s tournament. His return to fine form, accompanied by a squad bursting with hunger and momentum, will give Argentina a great chance to better last year’s Copa America success and secure that all-elusive third World Cup. I fancy Denmark’s chances of reaching the quarterfinals, topping their group with France along the way, whose injury woes and cursed honour of current champions may see them fail to make it past the round of 16. England will likely top their group, but Gareth Southgate’s men will find it hard to build on recent tournament success.


Winner: Argentina
Top Goalscorer: Messi
Best Player: Valverde
Surprise team: Denmark
Most disappointing team: Germany
Where will England finish: Round of 16

It would be the perfect end to Messi’s World Cup career after years of frustration; a World Cup Victory and the Golden Boot for Argentina. After winning the Champions League and La Liga with Real Madrid, the star midfielder Valverde is a strong contender for the best player. Most surprising could be Denmark following their form at the Euros in 2021. With the return of Eriksen, I would not write them off at all. The most disappointing team would be Germany who have yet to achieve their top form in recent years. Although I hate to admit it, England will get knocked out in the round of 16. 


Winner: Portugal
Top goalscorer: Messi
Best player: Messi
Surprise team: Wales
Most disappointing team: France
Where will England finish:  Round of 16

Despite the fact that I believe Messi will dominate this World Cup, and showcase his mind-bending talents for what might be the last time; I see Ronaldo having the last laugh in Qatar, as Portugal, with their incredible squad depth, will claim the ultimate prize. Meanwhile, in his swansong, I see Gareth Bale leading Wales – in their first World Cup for 64 years – to be the dark horse of this tournament. While France, with their evergrowing injury list, will be the next team to fall victim to the champions curse. Sadly, I also see the Three Lions having a poor tournament, with a paltry group stage performance followed by an uninspiring Round of 16 exit.

Winner: Argentina
Top Goalscorer: Benzema
Best Player: Messi
Surprise Team: Ghana
Most disappointing team: Qatar
Where will England finish: Semi-finals

I think this World Cup will be very interesting, especially considering there are a few teams that could win and not one clear favourite. Aside from Argentina, I think Portugal, Brazil and France also stand a good chance. I feel like Ghana will also have something to prove considering they have Uruguay in their group, and come for revenge against Luis Suarez and his team for their unfair elimination back in 2010. Though, I do think Darwin Nuñez will have a stand-out World Cup, contrary to popular belief.

As you can see most of our writers believe the Jules Rimet Trophy will be heading back to Buenos Aires, alongside Lionel Messi’s golden ball. As for England’s chances, we wouldn’t hold our breath.

While the matches are taking place, it’d be wrong to ignore the debate over the World Cup. The run-up this year has been filled with controversy due to Qatar’s gross violations of its citizens, especially when it came to preparing for the World Cup. Read our article ‘Blood on their Chests: Holding the FIFA World Cup in Qatar to Account‘ to find out more.



Sports Editor (2022/23)

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