The group stages of the 2022 World Cup have now come to an end and Juventus’ contingent in Qatar continue to be heavily involved throughout. Even as turmoil reigns back home in Turin, let’s take a quick spin around the squads and see how the Bianconeri have performed.
Wojciech Szczesny [Poland 0-2 Argentina] - Juve’s starting goalkeeper is one of the frontrunners for the Golden Glove award after making his second penalty save of the tournament, denying Lionel Messi this time. Despite being peppered by shots and making a string of stops, he was powerless to keep out the Argentines, but the result favored the Poles who go through to the next round as the second placed team in Group C.
Alex Sandro [Cameroon 1-0 Brazil] - The fullback went in for tests on Tuesday and was diagnosed with a thigh muscle injury that kept him out of this game, with no word if he will be fit for the Round of 16 clash on Monday against South Korea.
Danilo [Cameroon 1-0 Brazil] - Having started at the right back position in the win over Serbia, the 31-year-old was unavailable due to injury that will likely keep him out for at least the rest of the group stage.
Gleison Bremer [Cameroon 1-0 Brazil] - The summer signing finally got his first chance to play in Qatar, and did well alongside Eder Militao in what was essentially a dead rubber against the African side. Bremer had a 95% success rate over 65 passes, attempted two tackles, six clearances, one block and won three aerial duels.
Filip Kostic [Serbia 2-3 Switzerland] - The Juventus wide man got the start again on the left side of a 3-4-2-1 formation, but had a less characteristic game than usual as he was kept busy on the defensive side of things by the Swiss who channeled a lot of their attacks through Xherdan Shaqiri on the right.
Adrien Rabiot [France 0-1 Tunisia] - With France’s qualification for the Round of 16 already confirmed, Juve’s player of the season came on as a second half substitute after the North African side had already scored in what would become a famous victory for them. Rabiot still managed two shots as France chased a lost game.
Weston McKennie [Iran 0-1 USA] - The USMNT representative had another strong game in the middle, and was responsible for orchestrating the winner in this game scored by Christian Pulisic. His lack of match fitness was visible here as Iran threw everything at the US to try level the game, and McKennie came off in the 65th minute.
Leandro Paredes [Poland 0-2 Argentina] - The summer signing was lucky to be given a whiff of the pitch once again after that display against Saudi Arabia. With a win virtually sealed he came on for Juve teammate Angel Di Maria in the second half to lock down the game. With Argentina happy to pass the ball around he managed a whopping 80 touches in 30 minutes as the Poles were happy to keep the score as it was to go through too.
Angel Di Maria [Poland 0-2 Argentina] - The forward managed two shots and six dribbles as he played nearly an hour before coming off for Paredes. Di Maria’s attacking ability has certainly been a feature of Argentina’s resurgence since that loss to the Saudis, and it’s something that Allegri needs to pay attention to.
Dusan Vlahovic [Serbia 2-3 Switzerland] - The Juventus striker shrugged off rumors of his romantic involvements with the spouse of a teammate with classic striker’s goal to open his World Cup account. Was it a coincidence that his first celebratory act after potting the goal was to grab his.. erm, just watch the video.
Vlahović's first ever FIFA World Cup goal is a meaningful one pic.twitter.com/Ia91DokJ1p— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) December 2, 2022
Unfortunately, his goal wasn’t enough to keep the free-scoring Serbs from crashing out of the tournament with just one point from their three games. They might be the only team in World Cup history to have scored the most goals in their group and yet finished dead last, because you know as the saying goes, defence wins championships.
Arkadiusz Milik [Poland 0-2 Argentina] - The striker remained on the bench as the Poles kept the score down to two and then watched with bated breath as Mexico were unable to get that crucial next goal against Saudi which saw the European side make it in as second in Group C.