The FIFA World Cup is underway and although it may be full of controversy, largely because Qatar should not be the hosts, millions of fans are still tuning in to watch the action unfold – for better or worse.
We haven’t seen all 32 teams compete just yet and we won’t for a couple of days but in equal measure, there are a few sides who have been impressing in the early stages of the tournament.
It’s hard to say whether or not they’re going to go far into the knockouts, of course, but it’s always nice to see teams setting the standard for what we should all expect.
With that being said, let’s dive into the best of the best (so far).
Ecuador came into the opening game of the tournament knowing that Qatar had made serious improvements as a national team in years gone by and after having a goal wrongly disallowed for offside, it would’ve made sense for them to start doubting themselves.
Instead, though, they proceeded to ease to victory over the host nation, proving why they should be viewed as genuine contenders o reach the last 16 and potentially even go on a run beyond that.
England have been viewed as one of the favourites for this tournament alongside a handful of others for quite some time and when put up against Iran, they proved why with an utterly ruthless display.
Gareth Southgate’s men put their opponents to the sword, knocking six goals past them in a 6-2 rout. One game isn’t going to determine whether it’s coming home or not, but it’s definitely a great base on which to build.
Saudi Arabia were viewed as one of the nations that would help make up the numbers, which you could argue is what they did in Russia. Instead, though, they are now one win away from reaching the knockouts.
They went up against Argentina who previously hadn’t lost in 36 international games. It was a truly remarkable morning of action as they beat Lionel Messi’s men 2-1, offering up one of the biggest upsets in the history of the World Cup.
When Australia took an early lead against France, many felt as if it was going to serve as another example of the supposed ‘curse’ that exists for World Cup holders. Instead, Les Bleus turned on the style in a big way.
They were 2-1 up before half time with Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappe pulling the strings, and by full time, they’d registered a 4-1 success. That’s the kind of start you need if you want to defend your title.