As the 2022 World Cup starts, participating teams have been rated according to their strength. 32 teams have gathered in Qatar to compete for the golden trophy.
This would be the first time the tournament would be played in the Middle East but second time in Asia where Qatar belongs.
We take a critical look at the teams according to their strength and experience.
Three former champions have been tagged as favourites; Argentina, Brazil and France respectively.
Argentina come into this tournament with a record of 36 matches unbeaten. They beaten their rivals Brazil in the finals of the Copa America in 2021. Meanwhile the Selesaco of Brazil are considered strong contenders with a strong squad they also went unbeaten in the qualifiers.
France would enter as defending champions and still have about 60% of the players that won the last World Cup in Russia 2018. Le Bleu are Europe’s best bet.
Spain, Germany and England are all former champions who are also considered as teams that have the potential to win the tournament. La Roja of Spain come in with a team not as potent as the one that won them the 2010 World Cup but good enough to surprise others. The were eliminated at the Semi- finals of the European Nations Cup in 2021.
Germany with their recent win in 2014 still have a team to win them the trophy after some essential revamp on the squad that played at the Euros. England could win their second World Cup after losing at the semis of the 2018 Edition. They also lost to Italy at the finals of the Euros.
Portugal and Netherlands also considered as “perennial underachievers” could break their negative records to take home the trophy. Both have strong sides that can go farther in the tournament.
Some teams will start as undergoes but go spring a surprise to the favourites; Croatia, Belgium, Denmark, Senegal and Uruguay. Croatia left Russia as the surprise of the tournament after losing to France in the final. Most of the players are still in active business for the National team and could use their experience to get Croatia to the final again. Senegal would probably come in as Africa’s finest bet to go to the last point.
Denmark is the third European team marked as underdogs and with a consistent squad can also push through at Qatar.
Uruguay is tagged as the third force for South America and after pushing to fourth place in 2010, would like to try harder this time round. Most of the experienced players would be retiring after this tournament and would like to try for one more time.
Mexico and USA who lead the North American train in Qatar are categorized teams that need a miracle to win the World Cup. As next co-hosts in 2026, they would want to prove something after their consistent appearance at the Mundial.
Japan will be Asia’s best chance but would also need a miracle to get to the finals and probably win the Cup.
Ghana, Morocco and Tunisia also follow as Africa’s hope but would need a miracle to get to the final phase of the Tournament.
Other teams in this group are Switzerland, Wales, Serbia are not so much seen as potentials from Europe to win the World Cup. They would also demand a miracle to scale their chances through.
No Real Chance
Poland, Australia, South Korea and Cameroon do not exhibit traits of any viable chance of winning the trophy. The same applies to Canada, Ecuador and Costa Rica all have slim chances of even getting to the semi-final stage.
Iran, Saudi Arabia and host, Qatar would need more than miracle to even go past their groups.