The swansong of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Brazilian samba stars to rock and England ready to take him home… why this World Cup is shaping up to be epic

The World Cup is just days away and excitement is building as Qatar’s premier football tournament approaches.

The 32 teams involved include the biggest names in world football and they are heading to the Middle East to compete for the biggest prize of all.

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The 2022 World Cup is fast approaching

Epic World Cup value!

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There have been many iconic moments over the years – who can forget Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’, Gordon Banks’ save against Pele and, of course, England lifting the trophy in 1966.

This tournament is unlike any other, taking place in winter and in the Middle East for the first time, and history is about to be written.

William Hill is delivering Epic Value for what promises to be an epic World Cup and we can’t wait to get it all started.

Here are five things we’re most looking forward to…

England to bring it home

England are set to bring football home for the first time in 56 years.

Yeah, yeah – we’ve heard it all before. But it really does feel like the Three Lions are set to go all the way with their tournament record improving every campaign.

Gareth Southgate’s side reached the semi-finals of the last World Cup, in Russia in 2018, before qualifying for the European Championship final in their last major competition.

Neither trip ended with a trophy, but this year could be the year they finally take it a step further.

With the energy and industry of Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham in midfield and reigning Golden Boot winner Harry Kane leading the attack, who can stop us?

Kane played for England at Euro 2020 en route to the final

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Kane played for England at Euro 2020 en route to the final

Brazilian samba stars

Brazil are the most successful nation in World Cup history and the Samba Stars will have one of the most exciting squads.

They will be the team everyone will want to watch with Neymar, Vinicius Junior, Raphinha, Gabriel Martinelli and Richarlison among their attacking ranks.

They also have a strong backbone and can afford to choose between two of the best goalkeepers in the game – Ederson and Alisson.

Tite’s incredible line-up and strength through depth make Brazil one of the favorites to go far and there’s no doubt they have the A-List talent in their ranks to deliver a first World Cup triumph since 2002.

In Neymar, they could have the star of the tournament.

He has been exceptional for Paris Saint-Germain this season and is the leader of this team – with 75 goals in 121 caps.

With the 30-year-old at the top of his game and a 15-game unbeaten streak heading into this tournament, Brazil are well placed to deliver on all of those promises.

Neymar will look to play for Brazil this winter

AFP

Neymar will look to play for Brazil this winter

The swan song of Messi and Ronaldo

This World Cup will mark the end of an era in the world of football.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the two greatest footballers of our time, scoring 1500 goals between them during their illustrious careers.

They have won a combined total of 70 trophies and won all the major honors in club football, but none of them have a World Cup in their collection.

At 35 and 37 respectively, this is definitely their last chance to lift the Jules Rimet trophy.

An Argentina vs Portugal final would be an event that brings the world to a standstill.

Can any of them do it?

Argentina are certainly in great shape – with a record 35 games unbeaten before that.

Portugal, meanwhile, was more mixed. But if anyone can get them fired, it’s a certain Mr Ronaldo, who will be even more eager to prove his worth with a Manchester United departure that looks certain after his explosive interview.

Both players will aim to win the World Cup for the first time

Both players will aim to win the World Cup for the first time

Wales return to the biggest stage

It’s not just England that carries the flag of the home nations.

For the first time since 1958, Wales will be at the World Cup – and they are in the same group as England.

Robert Page’s side qualified for the competition after beating Ukraine 1-0 in June in their play-off final.

It will be their first major tournament since Euro 2016 in France and they took everyone by surprise six years ago.

The Dragons went all the way to the semi-finals to shame England after being humiliated by Iceland.

With Gareth Bale leading in Qatar, could they once again make it a tournament to remember and eclipse England?

Wales will play in their first World Cup since 1958

AFP

Wales will play in their first World Cup since 1958

underdog stories

One of the greatest things about the World Cup is that any country can land a famous result on the biggest stage possible.

South Korea reached the semi-finals two decades ago by finishing fourth when co-hosting with Japan.

Costa Rica were placed in a so-called ‘group of death’ in 2014, alongside England, Italy and Uruguay, but went on to the quarter-finals.

In the last tournament, hosts Russia also advanced to the quarter-finals, knocking out European giants Spain.

History has shown that anything can happen and this year’s hosts Qatar have had more intense preparations than any other nation – spending six months together in a training camp – as they look to have a major impact on their World Cup debut.

Iran, Tunisia, Morocco and Saudi Arabia will also be determined to show that they are not just making up numbers.

It will truly be an epic World Cup!

William Hill understands the value of football. That’s why they bring you epic value throughout the World Cup. See the latest epic value here.

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