Ever since its first competition back in 1930, millions of spectators all over the world have anticipated what is arguably the biggest and grandest international men’s football tournament that is the FIFA World Cup. Fans will be ready to show their support for the local team no matter who they face. Countries that didn’t make the cut have their own preferences, too. And of course, there are teams that are expected to do well in the 2022 World Cup, given their track records and star players, among other factors.
After 21 tournaments, only eight nations from South America and Europe can claim victory. Even more surprisingly, Europeans account for seven of the last eight places.
As a result, only a select few teams have a realistic chance of winning the event based on past performance. Having stated that, though, perspectives evolve with the passing of time. Besides, every nation has a powerful, promising side.
With that being said, here are the top contenders expected to take home the World Cup in 2022:
The nation with the most World Cup victories seems to be in a good position to repeat its performance. Fans of the Seleção Brasileira might take heart from the fact that Vinicius is enjoying a breakthrough season at Real Madrid despite Neymar’s impressive form. World Cup players like Fabinho, Gabriel Jesus, and others like them give crucial depth. In the FIFA World Rankings, assuming such things mean anything, Brazil is now ranked first. Despite losing the Copa America Final to bitter rival Argentina, Brazil had yet to taste loss as of late April 2022.
England won the World Cup for the first time in 1966. Several subsequent attempts by the English have also been unsuccessful. After a strong showing in the UEFA Nations League, England is a team to watch in Qatar this year. The team is dangerous to other nations because of the talent they have assembled and their years of expertise. Harry Kane needs only three more goals to surpass Wayne Rooney’s record of 53 to become England’s all-time top scorer. A group of young stars like Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden, and Bukayo Saka would be eager to win a championship.
This year, France is widely regarded as one of the tournament favorites in the World Cup in Qatar. The 2018 World Cup champions won the championship game against Croatia, 4-2. However, expect to see a different French team at this World Cup, as seven of the 22 players named to the French national team made their professional debuts in the year following the 2018 World Cup. These include Adrien Truffert, Benoit Badiashile, Willaim Saliba, Wesley Fofana, Kolo Muani, Aurelian Tchouaméni, and Eduardo Camavinga. There is a wealth of youthful potential on this team, and the veterans like Hugo Lloris, Antoine Griezmann, and Paul Pogba provide invaluable experience.
Argentina was undefeated in the CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying. They are also the most recent team to defeat Brazil. For Lionel Messi, this will be his last World Cup. After 2014, Argentina never again looked like a World Cup contender. When compared to countries like France or England, Argentina doesn’t quite keep up. Though, with Lionel Messi on their side, any team may win. Argentina has a very easy group and can advance throughout the competition. But Argentina’s last hope rests on Messi’s shoulders as he competes in the world’s largest football game.