Banana thrown at Brazilian players in soccer friendly in Paris. Photo from Pexels. This is the second time this year that a player has been sent off in the French capital.
In Paris, France, there is one type of match that is going to see a lot of action this summer. You have the “soccer” friendly between Brazil and Portugal. You have also the match between Belgium and Brazil, which will pit the teams against each other in the 2017 World Cup Qualifier in June. And, of course, you also have the friendly between the Netherlands and Brazil.
For the entire World Cup Qualifier, there is only one team that is going to appear more than once. And that is Brazil. The squad that will likely play the most games will be the one that has participated in the competition this year, the Brazil-Portugal game. Brazil will play Portugal more than twice and Brazil and Belgium will play once.
It’s not a surprise that Brazil is in the running for more games. There is no more dominant team in all of football. Even in the Confederations Cup, there were far fewer goals scored than expected. Brazil was also the only team to win the Confederations Cup. That means there are two things Brazil is missing: goals and players. So you can certainly expect more games for the most popular team in the world.
On the other hand, there are a couple of reasons why Belgium is unlikely to appear in more than one game. Even though they are the defending champions, they are not as dominant as Brazil. In one World Cup Qualifier, the Dutch beat the hosts. In another, the Belgium team that won the tournament was beaten by Portugal. More importantly, it is the first time for Belgium since the 1990s, that they are not in the World Cup competition. However, the Netherlands have a strong tradition at the World Cup, winning 10 out of the last 11. And this will certainly mean more games for them as well.
After the Portugal and Belgium matches, there will be two matches for the Netherlands and Brazil. The first match will be the Brazil-Portugal