We are less than a week away from the World Cup, and likely itching to participate in a community screening event for the showpiece tournament of the year. But before you head down to the ActiveSG Sport Centre near you, read on to learn about 5 of the biggest football talking points as the global spotlight moves to Qatar.


Viva Portugal?

Cristiano Ronaldo, Photo Credits: The Athletic

Idolized by many, fans will be hoping that Cristiano Ronaldo can cement his legacy as the greatest of all time by adding the World Cup to his illustrious trophy cabinet. However, the five-time Champions League winner and all-time international top goalscorer has had a forgettable start to his club season. Detractors will be relishing to pounce on any opportunity to slate the controversial legend.

There is some saving grace for the talismanic Portuguese captain, though. The Portuguese national team is now well stocked with title winners across multiple departments, with Porto’s Diogo Costa and Pepe joining Manchester City’s Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo in the backline, Bernardo Silva orchestrating the midfield, and AC Milan’s Rafael Leao up front.

The Portuguese have shown their penchant for causing an upset by silencing the home fans as they clinched the Euro 2016 title in France, so it would be foolish to write them off before the ball has even been played. Watch them in action at our ActiveSG Sport Centre on 25th November, as they kickstart their campaign against Ghana!

Trivia: The two teams were put in the same group in 2014. While Portugal won 2-1 in that matchup, both teams failed to make it out of the group stages against USA and eventual winners Germany.


Out of the shadows?

Louis van Gaal, Screenshot. Photo Credits: OnsOranje Twitter

Despite not qualifying for the last World Cup, the Netherlands national team has been a traditional powerhouse in international football. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride sums up the Oranje, with 5 of their 10 World Cup campaigns ending with a finish in the semi-final or better.

Louis van Gaal, the mastermind of that tactical substitution masterstroke in 2014, is back at the helm. Much has changed since their third-place finish 8 years ago, however. Of the 26 players named, only Stefan de Vrij, Daley Blind, and Memphis Depay have World Cup experience under their belts.

Being grouped with African champions Senegal means that the talented Dutch squad can ill afford to slip up against a potential banana skin in Ecuador. Failing to top the group will most likely result in a tricky run in the knockout rounds, so expect their broadcasted match on 26th November to be full of action.


South America’s turn?

Having finally broken their international hoodoo with a Copa America win in 2021, many are predicting that Argentina will go one step further this year to win that elusive World Cup title, with their last going all the way back to 1986.

The La Albiceleste’s strength arguably lies in its star-studded attack, with Angel Di Maria, Lautaro Martinez and Lionel Messi leading the line. The trio is joined by new Manchester City striker Julian Alvarez, whose start to life in Manchester has seen him score 7 goals in 20 appearances.

Messi VS Lewandowski, Photo Credits: The Analyst

However, it is not all smooth sailing for the firm favourites. They are due for a showdown against a Robert Lewandowski-led Poland - the last meeting between the two teams’ talisman ended in a humiliating 8-2 defeat for the Argentinian; and Mexico, who has made it out of the group stage in every World Cup since they hosted it in 1986 (bar 1990, when they were banned due to a scandal). The odds of being matched against France in the last 16 rise exponentially if they fail to beat Mexico on 27th November and subsequently come second in the group.


Winner’s Curse?

Karim Benzema, Photo Credits: Reuters

As defending champions, the French national team is another side that many are expecting to do well in the tournament. They have a ridiculously well-stocked squad, with talent oozing from even the peripheral players.

Newcomer William Saliba has been a key contributor to Premier League high flier Arsenal’s amazing form, while fellow debutants Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga have both become mainstays in the Real Madrid midfield. Up front, the Les Bleus can boast fresh Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema; and Kylian Mbappe, the star of the last World Cup.

But then there is that ominous Winner’s Curse. The last four World Cup winners from Europe have all failed to progress past the group stage in the following World Cup, starting with none other than the French themselves when they were knocked out early in 2002. If they do not find a way to break that curse, their dead rubber match against Tunisia on 30th November may very well become an ignominious farewell.


Out for revenge

Expect the last broadcasted match between Ghana and Uruguay to be an exceptionally fiery one. Controversial Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez made himself public enemy number one when he infamously blocked what would have been the match-winner in the dying seconds of extra time with his hands, then ran off celebrating when Asamoah Gyan failed to convert the resulting penalty.

The odds could not be higher - a victory in this match could very well decide who makes it through to the knockout rounds. It doesn’t look good for the Ghanaians, though. Rodrigo Bentancur and Darwin Nunez both saw fit to score a brace in their respective final Premier League matches before the World Cup, so it is not just Suarez’s antics that they have to worry about.


Bonus: Community Screening

The football fever doesn’t stop there though. Both semi-finals and the final itself will also be screened at 5 participating ActiveSG Sport Centres. The selected sport centres and Singapore Sports Hub will be screening the following matches:


ActiveSG Sport Centre 




Toa Payoh Sport Centre

Near to Sport Hall Level 1 Main Entrance


Pasir Ris Sport Centre

Level 1 Foyer near to Table Tennis Area


Woodlands Sport Centre

Level 1 Swimming Pool Foyer beside Citrus by the Pool Café’s entrance


Hougang Sport Centre

Dance Avenue, level 1 sheltered open space


Jurong West Sport Centre

Level 2 Foyer in front of the Jurong West Swimming Complex Guest Office

21 Nov


Group match: Qatar vs Ecuador

25 Nov


Group match: Portugal vs Ghana

26 Nov


Group match: Netherlands vs Ecuador

27 Nov


Group match: Argentina vs Mexico

30 Nov


Group match: Tunisia vs France

2 Dec


Group match: Ghana vs Uruguay

14 Dec



15 Dec



18 Dec



Watch the action unfold and cheer for your favourite teams together. Perhaps you can make a new friend(s) there! For more information, stay tuned to our social media channels or check out!