How Celtic could reap the benefits of 2022 World Cup next season

By David Walton

June 13, 2022

The World Cup in Qatar at the end of 2022 is certainly going to cause disruption next season, but Celtic could reap the benefits of it in the first half of the campaign.

Indeed, the Scottish Premiership will come to a halt after 16 rounds of action as nations compete over November and December with their countries. Celtic, meanwhile, will head to the Sydney Cup with those players who won’t be competing at the tournament.

As for who will be at the competition of a Celtic persuasion, it looks as though we could have a fair few first-team stars lining up for their respective nations.

Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

Josip Juranovic will have his sights set on staying in the Croatia starting XI. Cameron Carter-Vickers, meanwhile, has a chance of being there with the USA squad. Not to mention the likes of Daizen Maeda, Kyogo Furuhashi, Reo Hatate, and Yosuke Ideguchi will be determined to stake a claim with Japan.

Carter-Vickers is the latest to talk up his goal of reaching Qatar at the end of the year after being involved with the States over the summer [Celtic TV]. It’s a huge, huge occasion to be involved in for not only the Celtic players, but every potential participant around the world.

Having so many of our own players potentially involved can only be a good thing. Especially considering the vast majority still have points to prove in order to cement their spot in their nation’s starting XI.

World Cup gives Celtic stars huge incentive for first half of the season

Yes, of course we would all hope and expect our players to come back ready to tackle the season ahead. Having the UCL campaign ahead of us will also incentivise the players to deliver further.

However, having a World Cup midway through the season could give so many of our top stars a real motivational boost to shine both domestically and in Europe. The likes of Maeda, CCV, Kyogo, Juranovic etc will know that performing in the Champions League will do wonders for their chances of starting for their respective nations in Qatar.

It’s the kind of motivation that money can’t buy. It’s a unique situation so many Celtic players are in at international level with their spots hanging in the air either for the squad or the starting XI.

Photo by Igor Kralj/Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images

Given the number of games we’ll face during the first half of the campaign, it’s essential that we’re able to rotate with comfort. Knowing that everyone will be highly motivated to push each other to the limit. Having players whose spots at the World Cup are up for debate should see us get some extra levels from them the closer we get to Qatar 2022.

Sure, it isn’t ideal to have players go away to such a gruelling competition and then come back immediately to tackle the second half of the year. But there should be plenty of momentum generated that will stand them in good stead.

The second half of the season never needs any selling when it comes to player motivation. But when it comes to the first half? The World Cup beckoning should see so many of these Celtic players absolutely buzzing from July to November. Hopefully, that shows in their performance levels.

In other news, Celtic board already following through with key Ange transfer strategy