It’s just over ten weeks until the 2022 FIFA World Cup gets underway. While many of the aspects of the event are unprecedented, including the fact that it will be held in winter for the first time. But some things will not change. We will see old rivalries renewed in Qatar, and we will see plenty of explosive action and goals.
But which of the 32 nations are best placed to succeed at the World Cup? Below we bring you the ten best teams (in our opinion) heading into the tournament, which gets underway on November 20th. While surprises can always happen, we are confident that the winner will come from among this group of ten teams:
The favourites in the betting and the favourites in most pundits’ eyes, Brazil have a squad so laden with talent that they could probably bring two teams to Qatar. In fact, the squad is so deep that you might see big names like Antony (who recently arrived at Manchester United for €100 million) and Roberto Firmino left behind. The only chink of light for opposing teams is many of the emerging stars are inexperienced.
Hmmm. It’s really difficult to know where to put France on this list. The reigning champions match Brazil for squad depth, but Les Bleus are also in a bad run of form. Something simply seems off about the France squad, and manager Didier Deschamps will need to get his team into shape if they are to retain. Still, it’s a ridiculously talented squad.
Could this be it? Could this be the moment we get to see Lionel Messi lift the World Cup? The Paris Saint Germain player led Argentina to the Copa America last year, and it seems that all the pieces are starting to fit for a tilt at the World Cup. Messi can’t do it all on his own, however, so he will need others to pitch in. Luckily, Argentina has developed some wonderful players in recent years. Genuine contenders.
The perennial flops almost got the monkey off their back by reaching the Euro 2020 (played in 2021) Final last year. While they came up short, there was still a sense that England players finally worked out how to play for their country. The best England squad since the late 1990s has a chance of success, but there are some questions over the tactical nous of the manager, Gareth Southgate.
Probably the most technically gifted team after Brazil, the Spain team remains in transition. There is incredible talent across the squad, particularly in midfield. But the big issue facing Spain is the lack of quality strikers. Alvaro Morata does not seem to be the answer. Still, Spain showed in the past that a team can win without a traditional striker.
Always among the favourites, Germany fans were somewhat stung by the team’s early departure from the 2018 World Cup. There have been some highs, lows, and in-betweens since then. The team is capable of beating anyone, but it is also capable of losing to North Macedonia. Which will show up in Qatar?
This will be the last World Cup for Cristiano Ronaldo (you would think), and thus, like Messi, the last chance for one of the GOATs to lift the most coveted prize in football. There are plenty of other players who can pitch in to help Ronaldo. But whisper it: some believe that Portugal’s style of play is hindered, not helped, by accommodating the legendary CR7 in the line-up.
The Dutch will be the dark horse pick for many fans. The team has a good mix of youth and experience, and the style of play will make the Netherlands a joy to watch. The three-times beaten finalists will feel they deserve a World Cup – but do they have the quality to go all the way? It’s debatable.
Has the Golden Generation already had its chance? With Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, and others, there is always hope. But there is a consensus that the time to strike was in 2014 and 2018 when the majority of players were at their peak. Still, Belgium remain a formidable team who will go deep into the tournament.
We toyed with placing Uruguay as the 10th team on our list, but opted for Denmark instead. The Danes form a cohesive unit, one that reached the semi-finals of the Euros last summer. That sense of togetherness has saw the Danes cobble together some big scalps – including France – this year. They might not win the whole thing, but nobody will want to play Denmark.