After four years of nail-biting matches, heart-pounding plays, and stomach-churning goals, the world is ready to turn its eyes on Qatar, host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. This November, the world’s best soccer teams will descend upon the Middle Eastern country for weeks of high-adrenaline matches.
Scroll through to discover the teams who qualified for the World Cup and everything to know ahead of kickoff (November 20, 2022).
This is the final year that 32 teams, representing 32 different countries around the world, will throw down for ultimate FIFA bragging rights. Come 2026, 48 nations will compete in the FIFA World Cup, which will be held in North America.
With that said, who will make it to the World Cup finals? Let’s take a look at the 32 qualified teams in this year’s World Cup group stage…
The 32 nations that will be competing for four years of global bragging rights are split up into groups of four to begin. The group stage includes:
- Group A – Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, The Netherlands
- Group B – England, Iran, United States, Wales
- Group C – Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
- Group D – France, Australia, Denmark, Tunisia
- Group E – Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan
- Group F – Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia
- Group G – Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
- Group H – Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea
Ukraine did not make it to the World Cup championships this year, however, the country has been in recent World Cup headlines after winning a bid to host the championships in 2030. The Ukrainian national team made it to the European regional playoffs but lost to Wales in a close match back in June.
Surprisingly, Italy, one of the world’s most successful soccer teams will not be competing in this year’s World Cup, after losing to North Macedonia in a shocking semifinal playoff upset in March.
The team has won four different World Cup titles (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006), just one fewer than the globe’s most frequent winner, Brazil. The last time that Italy didn’t qualify for a world cup was back in 1958.
Russia will not be playing in this year’s Qatar World Cup. The country was disqualified following its invasion of Ukraine in February. FIFA, under recommendation from the International Olympic Committee, suspended Russia and Russian soccer clubs from participation in qualifiers toward the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
One of the most surprising teams left out of this year’s World Cup is Italy, but several other high-ranking teams missed out on a qualifying spot for 2022.
- Colombia – Many fans were looking forward to seeing Colombia compete at the World Cup again after impressive showings in the last two tournaments. However, although they are one of South America’s most popular and successful soccer teams, Colombia failed to secure a spot in the FIFA World Cup after finishing sixth in the qualifiers this year.
- Egypt – With the Qatar World Cup being held so close to home, many fans expected Egypt to add a regional presence to the tournament. But Egypt’s team lost their qualifying game against the African Cup of Nations winner Senegal.
- Algeria – Algeria lost to Cameroon in one of the most exciting playoff matches this year. After a playoff tie, Cameroon scored in the final seconds of the game, giving the team a nail-biting entry to the World Cup.
There are a total of eight World Cup groups competing for glory at this year’s tournament. After the initial round, the top two teams from each group will move on to the second round, and so forth. The groups were determined via a complex FIFA process that ensured geographic and ranking diversity.
All 32 qualified teams will compete with heart and soul in the month-long tournament, but many fans are keeping a special eye on these World Cup Favorites:
- Brazil – Fan favorites to win the World Cup, Brazil is back with a lineup that includes stellar forward players and a nearly impenetrable backline. Brazil hasn’t won a World Cup since 2002 and the country is hoping to end a 20-year drought in Qatar.
- Argentina – With South American superstar player Lionel Messi and defensive leader Cristian Romero onboard, Argentina’s team is feeling good ahead of the World Cup. With the hope of the entire country behind them, this could be the year that Argentina brings back the cup at the World Cup final. (The last time was 1986.
- France – The reigning world champions are returning to Qatar with hopes of keeping their title. The team is currently ranked third in the league and has a good chance of staying on top.
- Spain – This 2022 World Cup will be Spain’s 12th consecutive tournament. The last time the team won was 2010, and they always make an impressive showing.
- England – England almost won the last World Cup, but lost in the final moments to France. Then in 2020, they lost the Euro Cup to Italy on penalties. England consistently ranks among the best but hasn’t won the World Cup since 1966. Perhaps that will all change in Qatar.
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