PSG trio set for World Cup rivalry

DOHA, Qatar (AFP) — There is a thread that connects the three leading favorites to win the World Cup starting in Qatar on Sunday.

Brazil, Argentina and holders France have been cited as the main contenders for good reason, not least because of the identity of their star players.

Lionel Messi captains an Argentina team on a 36-game unbeaten run, Neymar leads a formidable Brazil side and France’s hopes of retaining the trophy will depend to a large extent on Kylian Mbappe.

The trio of Messi, Neymar and Mbappe have been united at Paris Saint-Germain by the wealth of the French club’s Qatari owners.

Their relationship has dominated headlines in France this season, and their performances have been outstanding.

Qatar created shockwaves in December 2010 when it won the right to host this year’s World Cup. A little over six months later, Qatar Sports Investments bought PSG.

Fast forward a decade and they have been transformed from an ailing club into a major force.

Mbappe and Neymar became the two most expensive signings in football history when they moved to PSG in 2017.

Messi joined them in Paris last year following his departure from Barcelona.

They are one of the favourites to win this season’s Champions League, with Messi, Mbappe and Neymar having scored 46 goals between them in PSG’s 22 games so far.

The World Cup has been cited as a reason for their superb form, in particular in the case of Messi and Neymar.

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