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93.8% of players waiting for round of 8 run in UEFA leagues

93.8% of players waiting for round of 8 run in UEFA leagues

Posted December. 08, 2022 07:53,   

Updated December. 08, 2022 07:53


A sandblast of upsets led by underdogs in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 only ended with only Morocco advancing to the round of eight. Except for this sensational African team, the seven remaining countries are considered traditional football powerhouses from Europe - the Netherlands, England, Croatia, Portugal, and France - and South America-Brazil and Argentina.

However, technically speaking, the Moroccan team does not seem purely African, given where its members play. Indeed, seven out of 11 on the starting lineup for the round of 16, born and brought up in Europe, currently run in European leagues. Half a total of the 26 in the Moroccan team are Europe-based players. Morocco's first-choice goalkeeper Yassine Bounou was born in Canada and joined Spain's La Liga at age 21.

The Asian continent has been left more deeply frustrated since no Asian countries advanced to the round of eight. When the group stage was underway, with South Korea, No. 28 in the FIFA rankings beating up No. 9 Portugal; No. 24 Japan conquering No. 11 Germany; and No. 51 Saudi Arabia frustrating No. 3 Argentina, Asian teams gained renewed attention in Qatar. For the first time in the history of the Asian Football Confederation, as many as three teams-South Korea, Japan, and Australia-made it to the round of 16. However, all of them only left Qatar with a lesson learned that the tournament rounds are out of their league.

Out of 208 players on the eight final teams, 93.8 percent, or 195, run under UEFA-run leagues, while only 53.8 percent, or 42 players out of 78 in South Korea, Japan, and Australia, belong to this category.