The FIFA World Cup 2022, the biggest football tournament on the planet, will be held in the beautiful nation of Qatar for the first time ever in the Northern Hemisphere. A month-long carnival in the Middle East will feature 32 teams, over a million supporters, and the host country.
Let’s take a look at the new FIFA rankings of the national teams and their prospects of winning the first-ever winter world cup in Qatar, with teams struggling to qualify for the tournament and fan excitement rising.
Latest FIFA Men’s Rankings
Take a look at the teams that currently occupy the top spots in the FIFA rankings :
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More on FIFA’s Top 15 Ranked Nations
Belgium, the world’s top-ranked team today, has a plethora of stars in its ranks and is a team capable of hurting any team in the world on any given day. The Red Devils, with top stars like Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard, will be ecstatic to compete in the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
Hoping for a repeat of Belgium’s third-place finish at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, expectations will be strong this time around as well, as this could be the last world cup for players like Eden Hazard, who will be 33 by the time FIFA 2022 kicks off.
The power and breadth of the French team, which is the reigning world champions and ranked second in the FIFA rankings, is no longer a mystery. Les Bleus will be the team to watch in Qatar, where they are 7/1 favourites to win the World Cup for the second time.
With players like Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, and Paul Pogba within their ranks, this is a team that will be adamant about winning the trophy once more. In reality, since their last FIFA World Cup victory, France has brought in a slew of highly promising young players ready to make their mark on the big stage.
Brazil is a squad in shape, currently ranked third in FIFA rankings and five-time world champions. The team is coming off a Copa America victory in 2019 and boasts a host of rising stars among its ranks.
With players like Philipe Coutinho, Alisson, Richarlison, Gabriel, Martinelli, Vinicius Jr., and Neymar, Brazil will be among the favourites to win the 2022 World Cup alongside France.
However, it has been 20 years since Brazil last won the World Cup, and the defensive system of the team has changed significantly. As a result, the effectiveness of the team can be determined by how well the defence responds to the threat.
England, another team with many stars in its ranks, is currently ranked fourth in the world according to the new FIFA rankings. The Three Lions Faithful had a heartbreaking World Cup loss in Russia when they were knocked out in the Semi-finals, only to lose third place to Belgium later.
The Qatar World Cup, on the other hand, will be a whole different storey because the team will enter as underdog challengers, which could relieve some of the pressure on the players and encourage stars like Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden, and Trent Alexander-Arnold to shine.
Recently, things have been looking up for Portuguese fans. The Selecao lifted the European Championship in 2016 and the inaugural UEFA Nations League in 2019 by beating the Netherlands in the final, after being knocked out in the round of 16 the previous time out in Russia.
The squad will be roaring to go when the FIFA World Cup kicks off in 2022, with players like Joao Felix and Trincao in their ranks. While there are doubts about Cristiano Ronaldo’s participation in the World Cup for Portugal, there are indications that a new generation of players is moving into the team.
Uruguay, the world’s sixth best team according to FIFA rankings, is a country with a long footballing history that competes in major tournaments on a regular basis. With top players in their ranks and a squad synergy that gels well, this is a team that will be among the underdogs for the upcoming FIFA World Cup and could pull off a few surprises.
Now, here’s something interesting about the new FIFA rankings: Spain is ranked below Uruguay and just above Croatia in seventh place. Spain, who had a forgettable World Cup in Russia, where they were knocked out in the round of 16, will have strong hopes this time around when they look to right the wrongs.
Spain, along with France, Brazil, and Germany, are the favourites to win the World Cup, with odds of 8/1 until the tournament begins.
Croatia, a team of a golden generation and currently ranked eighth in the world, had a historic world cup last time out when they reached the final against all odds in Russia. Despite losing in the final to France, it was undoubtedly a statement campaign from a team that will again be underdogs in Qatar.
Croatia may have another impressive campaign at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, thanks to a youthful group of players and their appetite.
Argentina, the world’s ninth-ranked team today, suffered a humiliating exit from the 2018 World Cup in the round of 16 at the hands of high-flying Croatia.
Although things are different this time for the Albiceleste. When they arrive for the World Cup as outsiders, the team will have a host of star additions in its ranks and will be looking to compete for the title. With players including Lautaro Martenez, Paulo Dybala, and Giovani Lo Celso in their starting lineup, the Albiceleste will be looking to build on their performance at the last World Cup.
Most notably, this could be Lionel Messi’s last opportunity to win a trophy for his country as a six-time Ballon d’Or winner. Argentina’s odds of winning the World Cup are 10/1.
Colombia, a nation that roared at the 2014 World Cup, is ranked in the top ten FIFA rankings and is a force to be reckoned with in major games. The team’s performance at the 2018 World Cup was disappointing, as they were eliminated in the round of 16 stage.
With a player like James Rodriguez, who was the leading goal scorer in the 2014 World Cup, this is a team that you never know what to expect on the pitch. Despite the fact that many experts believe their odds of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup are 50/50, the team will face strong demands.
11. The Netherlands
For all Dutch supporters around the world, 2016 and 2018 were the years to forget for a squad that had been playing some attractive football recently, as the side struggled to even qualify for the European Championship in 2016 and the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
Things are different this time, however. With players like Virgil van Dijk, Frenkie de Jong, Memphis Depay, and Matthijs de Ligt within their ranks, the Dutch team has recently grown into a powerful force that will be looking to threaten other teams during the upcoming tournament.
Despite losing to Portugal in the inaugural UEFA Nations League final in 2019, the team will be optimistic about their chances at the World Cup.
Italy, four-time world champions and currently ranked 12th in the FIFA rankings, will field a youth team in Qatar for the World Cup. The Azzurri have been on a recent winning streak and will be boosted by the addition of a reasonably youthful group of players who have previously delivered promising results.
However, since they miss a lot of star names from the past, they have the longest chance of the outside contenders at 20/1.
13. The USA
It might sound surprising to have the United States as an underdog, but football has grown in popularity in the United States over the years. Despite the lack of real results, the team has been turning in impressive games, and with a star like Christian Pulisic within its ranks, the team will be able to show off their footballing prowess once FIFA 2022 kicks off.
Ukraine, who arrived in Qatar as underdogs, is a team capable of producing unexpected results during the tournament. This is a country with a strong footballing tradition, and its under-20 team was crowned champions in 2019 after defeating South Korea. As a result of the positives emerging, Ukraine can well pose a threat to teams until the World Cup in Qatar begins.
Here’s the thing: few people can bet on Qatar’s prospects of challenging teams in the 2022 World Cup. There is, though, another dimension of it. Usually, host nations do well in tournaments because they have a significant home advantage in the matches. As a result, due to the fact that the World Cup will be held in Qatar, the team will enter the tournament as underdogs.
As the FIFA World Cup draws nearer, 32 countries from around the world are preparing to compete in Qatar in the winter of 2022. If the defending champions France are the favourites to win the tournament again, teams such as Germany, Spain, Brazil, Belgium, and England will be up to the task. As the finals approach, it will be interesting to see who will win the World Cup this time.