Brazil and Serbia: an air of déjà vu for Switzerland at the 2022 World Cup

The likelihood of such a scenario occurring must have been remote. In the first round of the 2022 World Cup, the Swiss national football team will meet two of the three teams they faced in the same stadium in the previous edition, four years ago in Russia: Brazil and Serbia.

The feeling of déjà vu could have been even more intense if Group G had been completed by the eventual winner of the play-off between New Zealand and Costa Rica – the last member of Group E in 2018 – but no. Cameroon will bring a touch of novelty: Nati have never faced the African team, against which they will start their tournament on Thursday, November 24th.

Murat Yakin’s men will continue with Brazil on Monday, November 28th, and finish with Serbia on December 2nd.

These two matches will bring memories to many Swiss internationals. Against the Seleção, they made a good start to the tournament, muzzling Neymar and drawing with Steven Zuber after conceding the opening goal. Against the formation of the Balkans, it was an explosive encounter, notably marked by the famous celebrations known as Albanian eagles by Xherdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka and… Stephan Lichtsteiner. Nati finally won 2-1, a result that will be decisive to reach the round of 16, where they were ingloriously eliminated by Sweden.

Group A very open

It has to be said: the Swiss national team, which appeared in hat number 2, was not spoiled by the football legends involved in the draw. Brazil has just regained its throne at the top of the FIFA rankings and remains, generation after generation, a formidable opponent. Even without taking into account the extra-sports responsibilities, Serbia were without a doubt one of the most dangerous teams in pot number 3. As for Cameroon, they are one of the best formations on their continent. She remains eliminated in the semi-finals of the African Cup of Nations, a competition she has won five times.

“It’s a tough group,” said defender Silvan Widmer. Four years ago, Switzerland qualified for the round of 16 in a similar group. I wasn’t there at the time, so it will be a pleasure to play against all these nations. It will be three very intense matches. The goal remains to get out of the group. With our qualities, it is possible.”

Several curiosities dot the rest of the draw. In Group B, the United States will meet Iran twenty-four years after the so-called “brotherhood” match at the 1998 World Cup, between two nations with complicated relations. In group D, France will find Denmark and perhaps Peru, who were already in their group in 2018. There is not really a “group of death”, arguably superior to the others, but A will very clearly be the most open among Qatar. , Netherlands, Senegal and Ecuador.

dizzying numbers

The draw was guided by a series of restrictive rules. The same group could not host two teams from the same confederation, with the exception of UEFA, which could not be less than one or more than two.

Before the little balls revealed their verdict, a 45-minute ceremony was held in the sumptuous setting of the Doha Exhibition Centre. This was an opportunity for FIFA to reveal the mascot (a funny character named La’eeb), the ball (“the fastest in history”) and the anthem (a pop song with reggae touches) of the World Cup. It was also an opportunity for Didier Deschamps, France’s coach, to “give back” the trophy he won four years ago in Russia. And then, for Gianni Infantino, remember his conviction that this 22nd edition was going to be “the best ever”. The numbers are already dizzying: around 3 million viewers are expected on site and 5 billion behind their television sets.

the eight groups

A group: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Holland

Group B: England, Iran, USA, Scotland/Ukraine/Wales

Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland

Group D: France, Peru/United Arab Emirates/Australia, Denmark, Tunisia

Group E: Spain, New Zealand/Costa Rica, Germany, Japan

Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia

Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon

Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea

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