Preview: 2022 Qatar World Cup

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license

France were victorious in the previous World Cup in Russia.

The countdown to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has begun.

After 865 qualifying matches, the final 32 participating in the tournament have been determined. With just under 5 weeks before the first match kicks off on Nov. 20, all nations have started their final preparations.

None of the teams have released their official squads, but that can be expected in the coming weeks. Every team has until Nov. 13 to submit their final 23-26 man squad. 

Qatar will host this year’s tournament. Usually the World Cup is held in the summer, but due to the extreme heat, there have been some adjustments. This year’s World Cup will be the first to have not been in played in May, June or July.

The 2022 Qatar World Cup is also set to become the most expensive in history, with Qatar having spent an estimated $200 billion on infrastructure. This includes construction for the eight stadiums.

This construction has been extremely controversial. The country has been criticized due to the way it has treated its labor workers and how it obtained them. There have been reports of over 6,500 migrant deaths in Qatar, and many have spoken out against the nation hosting the World Cup.

One of the participating nations, Denmark, recently unveiled a kit for the World Cup that is designed to protest against Qatar. Hummel, the kit sponsor, recently stated in a social media post, “We wish to make a statement about Qatar’s human rights record and its treatment of the migrant workers that have built the country’s World Cup stadiums.”

On April 1, 2022, the official groups for the competition were drawn. There will be a total of 8 groups for the first round of the tournament, with 4 teams in each group:

Going into the tournament, Brazil appears to be the favorite. Nicknamed “Canarinho,” Brazil is currently number 1 in the FIFA World Rankings and have the best odds. It can also be said that Brazil has history on its side, as it currently holds the record for the most World Cup wins, having lifted the trophy 5 times.

However, Brazil is closely followed by Germany with 4 wins. Brazil hasn’t been crowned champions since 2002, but the team has looked impressive lately. 

Belgium takes the silver in the FIFA rankings but has never won the World Cup. It cannot be denied that Belgium is a force to be reckoned with. With top players such as Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, the Red Devils have the star power needed to go far in Qatar. 

Ranked third, Argentina currently has two World Cup wins under its belt, but it looks like the team is eager to expand its collection to three. Having been champions of the last Copa America, Argentina can go all the way in this tournament. 

There will be some notable absences as well. Euro 2020 victors, Italy, failed to qualify, after a loss to North Macedonia.

Sweden, who made it to the quarterfinals in the 2018 World Cup, will not be making an appearance either after being knocked out in qualifiers by Poland.

Erling Haaland, who is considered to be one of the best players in the world, is also missing out, after his nation, Norway, failed to qualify.

Egypt and Chile will also be watching the competition from home. 

Brazil, Belgium, and Argentina won’t be the only teams fighting for the trophy. So who will raise the World Cup?

Brazil? Spain? The current reigning champ, France? Will there be an upset? That’s the beauty of sports. Anything can happen.