MELANIE MARGARYAN WRITES — Armenians have always rooted for their country and their people. Through several wars and devastating natural disasters, they have joined together with a passionate sense of national pride.
This year, they have yet another reason to be proud.
The Armenian national soccer team, currently in the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) World Cup Qualifiers, is hoping to qualify for the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup Qatar 2022, which begins near the end of November.
In order to earn a spot in the FIFA World Cup, a team needs to finish first in its qualifying group. Armenia is currently holding that firstplace title, so this is one of the best chances that the country has ever had for reaching such a global sports milestone. Nine matches have been played and there are seven to go, from early September through mid-November.
The last time the team made it this far was in 2013. Unfortunately, it only ranked fifth for the qualifying group, preventing it from making it into the FIFA World Cup even though it had its strongest player, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, to help reach the finish line. This time around, Mkhitaryan is absent due to an unfortunate muscle injury, but that didn’t discourage the team, which advanced further without him.
Now, some seven years later, the team instead finds itself sitting confidently in first place for the qualifying group. Armenia is undefeated for eight consecutive matches, meaning that its chances of finally achieving a position in the FIFA World Cup have never been closer.
Armenians worldwide are incredibly hopeful that history will be made for their nation. With seven games left to go, fans will have to wait patiently until November to know the fate of their team.