Wednesday, May 25, 2022

World Cup 2022: Which Teams Have Qualified For Qatar?

Next year, for the first time ever, we will be served up a winter World Cup, with the 2022 tournament in Qatar set to kick off in November.

The competition will be the final World Cup to feature 32 teams before FIFA increase the countries involved to 48 for the 2026 tournament – which will be jointly-hosted by Canada, Mexico and the United States.

There are several qualification paths around the world for the tournament, and some nations have already secured their ticket to the Middle East. Here’s your one-stop guide to every team that has qualified for the 2022 World Cup so far, as well as a short explainer about the finer details of the competition…

Which teams have qualified for the 2022 World Cup?

1. Qatar (hosts)

This one should surprise nobody. As hosts, Qatar were the first team to ‘qualify’ for the tournament and they have invested heavily in their national side since winning the bidding process in 2010.

At the time they were awarded the World Cup they sat 112th in the FIFA rankings, below the likes of Uzbekistan, North Korea and Kuwait.

Since then they have risen into the top 50, even beating Japan in the Asian Cup final back in 2019. Qatar will be hoping to avoid embarrassment in front of their home crowd.

2. Germany

North Macedonia v Germany - 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier
Germany have won the World Cup four times / Anadolu Agency/GettyImages
Germany became the first team to actually qualify for the 2022 World Cup when a 4-0 victory over North Macedonia in November ensured that they could not be caught at the top of Group J.

Die Mannschaft will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing Euro 2020, where they were dumped out at the round of 16 stage by eventual finalists England.

Hansi Flick took over following that underwhelming display and the former Bayern Munich man has his side playing some nice stuff.

3. Denmark

Denmark have been brilliant in qualifying / LISELOTTE SABROE/GettyImages
Denmark had a truly memorable Euro 2020 campaign, losing Christian Eriksen early in the tournament before reaching the semi finals, where they lost to England.

While the Inter midfielder is yet to return, the Nordic nation steamrolled their way to World Cup qualification in his absence with eight wins in their first eight games, with their pathway sealed by a 1-0 victory over Austria.

4. Brazil

Raphinha, Neymar Jr.
Neymar and co will be in Qatar / Alexandre Schneider/GettyImages
Brazil continued their streak of being the only team to compete in every World Cup, sealing qualification with a victory over Colombia in November 2021.

In truth they made light work of the majority of their CONMEBOL rivals this time around and must be considered one of the favourites heading into the competition proper.

5. France

Les Bleus are returning to their best / FRANCK FIFE/GettyImages

World champions France became the fifth team to book their place in Qatar, with a resounding 8-0 win over Kazakhstan ensuring they will defend their title.

Didier Deschamps’ side have responded magnificently to their disappointing Euro 2020 exit to Switzerland. Les Bleus have since won the UEFA Nations League finals and have torn through the rest of their qualifying group.

6. Belgium

Christian Benteke
Christian Benteke is back, baby / BSR Agency/GettyImages
Belgium have qualified for their third-successive World Cup, and will be looking to build on their third-place finish in Russia in 2018.

Roberto Martinez has been linked with several jobs in the Premier League and La Liga, but the Red Devils have soldiered on regardless of that speculation and have topped qualifying Group E.

7. Croatia

Luka Modric
Luka Modric will be at World Cup 2022 / Pixsell/MB Media/GettyImages
Croatia sealed their place at the showpiece in Qatar with victory in a straight qualification shootout against Russia in Split.

2018’s runners-up had to win to pip the Russians to top spot in Group H and secure automatic qualification, and a scrappy, nervy contest was aptly decided by a late own goal from Fyodor Kudryashov. The 1-0 defeat consigned the visitors to a play-off place.

8. Spain

Alvaro Morata
Morata celebrates his winner against Sweden in qualifying / Soccrates Images/GettyImages
Spain qualified for the World Cup top of Group B in qualifying, despite Sweden running them close.

La Roja secured their place in Qatar with a victory over Sweden in Seville in their final qualifier, winning 1-0 courtesy of a late Alvaro Morata goal.

9. Serbia

The Serbs were jubilant at full-time / PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/GettyImages
The biggest surprise of European qualifying by some stretch.

Serbia ensured their place at the 2022 World Cup in the most dramatic fashion, with Aleksandar Mitrovic scoring a last-minute header to snatch a 2-1 victory over Portugal in a must-win game for the Serbs in Lisbon.

The visitors came into the clash level on points but with an inferior goal difference to their hosts, who had just needed to avoid defeat to secure qualification for Qatar.

10. England

Harry Kane
England secured their progression with a 1-0 win over San Marino / Danilo Di Giovanni/GettyImages
England did not experience too many problems in World Cup qualifying but their fate still technically hung in the balance on the final matchday in Group I.

The Three Lions knew they needed a point against part-timers San Marino to progress but they managed all three, courtesy of a nearly-historic 10-0 victory.

They go into the tournament as one of the favourites for sure.

11. Switzerland

Switzerland secured their place in dramatic fashion / STEFAN WERMUTH/GettyImages
Switzerland and Italy went into the final matchday level on points at the top of Group C – but it would be the lower-ranked nation who secured automatic qualification.

Xherdan Shaqiri and Co beat Bulgaria 4-0, while the Azzurri slumped to a 0-0 draw with Northern Ireland.

Switzerland will be hoping to build on their promising Euro 2020, when they knocked world champions France out on penalties.

12. Netherlands

Arnaut Danjuma, Daley Blind, Davy Klaassen, Denzel Dumfries
It was a slog but the Dutch have qualified for the 2022 World Cup / Soccrates Images/GettyImages
They made hard work of it, but the Netherlands have qualified for the 2022 World Cup after missing out in 2018.

The Dutch required two late goals behind closed doors in Rotterdam to see off Norway, who had to win themselves if they wanted to snatch automatic qualification.

Turkey’s victory over Montenegro meant the unfortunate Norwegians actually slipped all the way down to third and missed out altogether.

13. Argentina

Lionel Messi
Messi is set to play at his fifth World Cup / Marcos Brindicci/GettyImages
Argentina became the second South American team – after rivals Brazil – to ensure qualification for the World Cup in November.

They did not experience too many bumps along the way, if you ignore that time some of their players got detained by Brazilian health authorities of course.

14. Iran

Iran celebrate their qualification / ATTA KENARE/GettyImages
Iran became the first team from Asia (bar the hosts, obviously) to qualify when they beat Iraq 1-0 thanks to Medhi Taremi’s strike.

The 2022 World Cup will be the sixth occasion Iran have played at football’s global showpiece and their third straight qualification success.

15. South Korea

Paulo Bento
Paulo Bento’s side are through / Matthew Ashton – AMA/GettyImages
Shortly following Iran’s lead in advancing from Asian qualifying were South Korea, who sealed their place in Qatar with a 2-0 win against Syria on 1 February.

This year’s tournament will be the tenth in a row that the Taegeuk Warriors will have competed in.

16. Japan

Kaoru Mitoma
Japan are regulars at the World Cup / Cameron Spencer/GettyImages
Japan made it seven World Cup appearances in a row when they saw off Australia 2-0 in late March to book a top-two spot in the second Asian qualifying group

They made hard work of their victory, striking twice after the 89th minute to seal a hard-fought win, but nobody in Japan will care about that.

17. Saudi Arabia

Japan did Saudi Arabia a favour / -/GettyImages
Australia’s defeat meant the Socceroos could no longer finish in the top two, handing the final automatic qualification spot of that group to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia have played in five World Cups in total, including last time around in 2018, with 2022 to be a sixth.

18. Uruguay

Uruguay sealed their place in Qatar with a game to spare
Uruguay sealed their place in Qatar with a game to spare / RAUL MARTINEZ/GettyImages
Two-time World Cup winners Uruguay secured their place in Qatar thanks to a 1-0 win over Peru in Montevideo on the penultimate matchday of the CONMEBOL qualifying section.

The result guaranteed them a top four place, which means automatic passage to the finals next winter.

19. Ecuador

Ecuador have qualified for their fourth World Cup
Ecuador have qualified for their fourth World Cup / Christian Alvarenga/GettyImages
Ecuador were actually beaten by a Paraguay side already out of contention on the night they booked their World Cup place.

But it was Uruguay’s victory against Peru that ensured the latter, who were the only remaining country that could break into the all-important top four, would stay too far back to do it.

20. Canada

Tajon Buchanan
Canada’s long wait for qualification is over / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages
For the first time since 1986, Canada will be back at the World Cup.

A 4-0 thumping of Jamaica saw the Canadians seal a top-three spot in their CONCACAF qualifying group, meaning young stars Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David are in line for their first taste of global competition.

21. Ghana

Ghana are back / Visionhaus/GettyImages
Ghana are returning to the globe’s biggest stage after a one-tournament absence.

The Black Stars defeated fierce rivals Nigeria in the CAF play-offs, beating the Super Eagles on away goals.

22. Senegal

Senegal are through / CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/GettyImages
Senegal will play at back-to-back World Cups for the first time in their history following another nervy penalty shootout win against Egypt.

Fans of the Lions of Teranga brought the decisive play-off second leg into disrepute by shining several lasers at their Egyptian opponents, but it’s a match consigned to history now – Senegal are heading to Qatar.

23. Poland

Robert Lewandowski
Robert Lewandowski is eyeing his first ever World Cup finals goal / Adam Nurkiewicz/GettyImages
Poland eliminated Sweden in UEFA’s play-off round to book their spot at the World Cup.

Goals from Robert Lewandowski and Piotr Zielinski were enough to see off their Scandinavian opponents, and Czeslaw Michniewicz’s men can begin planning for the winter finals.

24. Portugal

Bruno Fernandes
Fernandes stepped up for Portugal / Jonathan Moscrop/GettyImages
Portugal succeeded where European champions Italy failed as they saw off North Macedonia to reach the finals.

A brace from Bruno Fernandes ensured the Iberian nation will compete at their sixth straight World Cup this winter.

25. Cameroon

Cameroon just about made it to Qatar / -/GettyImages

With a penalty shootout looming in their play-off with Algeria, Ahmed Touba struck in the 118th minute to put the Desert Warriors in front.

But the action wasn’t over just yet. With virtually the last kick of the 124 minutes that were played, Karl Toko Ekambi prodded home from Cameroon’s final attack to turn the tables and send the Indomitable Lions to the finals.

26. Morocco

Achraf Hakimi and co are heading to the finals / -/GettyImages
While there was plenty of drama to see Cameroon qualify, Morocco’s passage to Qatar was simpler.

The Atlas Lions thrashed the Democratic Republic of Congo 4-1 on home soil to seal a 5-2 aggregate win, booking a spot at their fifth World Cup as an independent nation.

27. Tunisia

Tunisia v Mali - FIFA World Cup African Qualifiers
Tunisia have qualified for back to back World Cups / Anadolu Agency/GettyImages
Taking Africa’s last spot in Qatar was taken by Tunisia, who ground out a 1-0 aggregate victory over Mali to advance to the finals.

The Eagles of Carthage have not progressed beyond the group stage in their five World Cup appearances.

28. Mexico

Raúl Jiménez, Erick Gutiérrez
Mexico are through / Hector Vivas/GettyImages
World Cup last 16 specialists Mexico will have another chance to reach a quarter-finals stage at a tournament not held on home soil after they finished second to Canada in the CONCACAF table.

29. United States

Christian Pulisic
Christian Pulisic and co are on their way / John Todd/ISI Photos/GettyImages
After humiliatingly missing out on qualification to the 2018 World Cup, the USMNT have booked their place in Qatar.

Gregg Berhalter’s side narrowly avoided dropping into the intercontinental play-off spot, with Costa Rica set to face New Zealand instead.

When is the 2022 World Cup?

The 2022 World Cup will kick off on 21 November with the curtain coming down on 18 December with the final.

Games will be played in eight stadiums across five host cities: Al-Rayyan, Al-Khor, Lusail, Al-Wakrah and the capital, Doha.

Why is the 2022 World Cup in November?

For the first time ever, the World Cup will not be held in its traditional European summer slot.

That’s because FIFA have recognised that the soaring temperatures in Qatar – which can reach upwards of 50c (122f) – coupled with the high humidity will make conditions exceptionally difficult for players and spectators.

To compromise, organisers decided that November was the most suitable time to host the tournament.

How will the 2022 World Cup affect the Premier League?

The staging of the World Cup in November is obviously a disruption to the footballing schedule as we know it, namely the Premier League.

England’s top division is one of few leagues around the world that does not usually incorporate a winter break into their calendar, but the 2022/23 season will be different.

The Premier League have agreed to pause on 12 November, allowing players just over a week to prepare with their national teams before the World Cup begins, before resuming just under six weeks later on Boxing Day.

To fit the break in, the season will start earlier than usual – on 6 August – and will finish slightly later than the traditional mid-May slot.

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