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Thursday, 17 November 2022

World Cup 2022: The Groups


???????? Qatar

???????? Ecuador

???????? Senegal

???????? Netherlands

Qatar (ranked #50 in the world): Host country and first time to compete at a World Cup.

Ecuador (#44): This will be Ecuador’s fourth time at the competition and first appearance since 2014. The furthest the Ecuadorians have got was the last 16 in 2006 where they bowed out of the competition with a 1-0 loss to England.

Senegal (#18): Qatar 2022 will be Senegal’s third time playing in the competition. The country made its World Cup debut back in 2002, reaching the quarter-finals where they were beaten by Turkey.

The Netherlands (#8): A fan-favorite despite having never won the competition and missing out entirely from the 2018 World Cup in Russia. This will be the team’s eleventh appearance at the World Cup having made its debut appearance in Italy in 1990. They’ve made it to the final on three occasions, the last time being in 2010.


???????????????????????????? England

???????? Iran

???????? USA

???????????????????????????? Wales

England (#5): Another fan-favorite and one of top contenders for the title this year. They came in fourth place last time around in Russia in 2018 and were narrowly beaten by the Italians in the final of last year’s European Championship. On only one occasion have England made it to the World Cup final and that was back in 1966 when they clinched the title in a controversial match against West Germany.

Iran (#20): It’ll be Iran’s sixth appearance in this year’s competition in Doha, where the country will be looking to make it out of the group stage for the first time.

United States (#16): The US will be making its 11th appearance at the World Cup this year and was among the 13 countries who made it to the inaugural competition in Uruguay in 1930, coming in third place. It has been downhill since then though, failing to qualify for many of the competitions including Russia 2018. The country’s best recent showing was in 2002 when it reached the quarter finals.

Wales (#19): It’ll only be Wales’ second time around joining the World Cup this year. The only other occasion where it qualifie was in 1958 when it made it to the quarter finals and lost against Brazil.


???????? Argentina

???????? Saudi Arabia

???????? Mexico

???????? Poland

Argentina (#3): As always, Argentina is a top contender for the title. The Argentines have twice won the cup, though we have to go back to 1986 — when Diego Maradona guided the team to famous victories against England and West Germany — for their last win. This will likely be Lionel Messi’s final opportunity to get his hands on the trophy: will this year be the year?

Saudi Arabia (#51): This will be Saudi Arabia’s sixth appearance at the World Cup since 1994 when the national team first qualified for the competition. Having failed to make it out the group stage since their 1994 debut, making it to the knockouts will be the target.

Mexico (#13): Another team with a Uruguay 1930 debut, Mexico has only missed 5 World Cups in the competition's history. The country has exited the competition in the round of 16 at every competition since 1994, and will be looking to go one better this year by making it to the quarter-finals for the first time since 1986.

Poland (#26): This will be Poland’s second time in the competition in the past 12 years, having failed to qualify in 2010 and 2014. The Poles had an easier route to the World Cup this year after their semi-final playoff opponent Russia was kicked out of the competition for invading Ukraine. Last time round, Poland failed to get out of the group stage.


???????? France

???????? Australia

???????? Denmark

???????? Tunisia

France (#4): Major favorite, France, is defending its title this year after winning in Russia in 2018. After crashing out of last year’s Euros in the last 16, Les Bleus will be looking to bounce back on the international stage with a strong showing in Qatar.

Australia (#38): it’s Australia’s sixth appearance at the World Cup this year. The team turned out its best performance in 2006, reaching the round of 16.

Denmark (#10): Also on its sixth go at the World Cup, Denmark’s best-ever performance was back in 1998 when it made it to the quarter-finals against Brazil.

Tunisia (#30): Yet another team up for its sixth time at the World Cup, Tunisia is among the underdogs of the competition, having never made it past the group stage.


???????? Spain

???????? Costa Rica

???????? Germany

???????? Japan

Spain (#7): Since winning the trophy in South Africa in 2010, Spain have failed to impress, falling at the first hurdle in 2014 and bowing out in the last 16 in 2018. The Spaniards have a tough group this year, too, with Germany and Japan also competing for a top-two finish.

Costa Rica (#31): The weakest side in the group, Costa Rica have made it to the competition for the sixth time since 1990, when it first qualified for the World Cup. The Central American side went on a shock run to the quarter-finals in 2014 where they were eventually eliminated by the Netherlands in a tense penalty shoot-out.

Germany (#11): The Germans have faded as a global force since winning the World Cup in 2014 and reaching two consecutive Euro semi-finals in 2012 and 2016. Following victory in Brazil, Joachim Low’s men exited the 2018 tournament at the group stage and were beaten in the round of 16 at the 2020 Euros by England.

Japan (#24): Japan has been consistently qualifying for the World Cup since it made its debut in France in 1998. The Japanese have made it to the Round of 16 three times since first qualifying, most recently in Russia in 2018.


???????? Belgium

???????? Canada

???????? Morocco

???????? Croatia

Belgium (#2): Belgium has had one of the best teams in recent years but has failed to make their mark on the tournament. Kevin de Bruyne and co. came in third place in Russia four years ago and will be looking to go one further in Qatar and make their first final in history.

Canada (#41): The Canadians will be showing up for what will be only their second World Cup. Canada hasn’t qualified for the competition since 1986 when the team struggled to make it past the group stage and was eliminated with no goals scored and zero points to their name.

Morocco (#22): Morocco will be making its sixth appearance at a World Cup this year. Since making its debut in 1970, the country’s high point in the competition came in 1986 when they made it through the last 16.

Croatia (#12): Another big name to look out for this year is Croatia, who were the beaten finalists in 2018. Croatia has been a mainstay of the games since they first qualified in 1998 after the dissolution of Yugoslavia.


???????? Brazil

???????? Serbia

???????? Switzerland

???????? Cameroon

Brazil (#1): The most successful World Cup team in the competition’s history and one of the favorites to win it this year. Brazil is the only country to have never missed a World Cup since its founding 92 years ago and has won five out of the seven finals they’ve played in.

Serbia (#21): This year will be Serbia’s fourth appearance in the tournament. The team first qualified in 2006 (after the breakup of Yugoslavia) as Serbia and Montenegro. They were back again in 2010 and 2018 but only as Serbia and have never successfully got past the group stage.

Switzerland (#15): The Swiss will make their 12th World Cup appearance in Doha. Switzerland has made it through to the last 16 in the last two tournaments, and hasn’t progressed further since 1954 when it reached the quarter-finals.

Cameroon (#43): Cameroon is in the tournament for the first time since 2014. The West African nation has bowed out at the group stage the last four times it has competed at the World Cup; the last time it got further was in 1990 when it reached the quarter-finals.


???????? Portugal

???????? Ghana

???????? Uruguay

???????? South Korea

Portugal (#9): Portugal is looking strong going into Qatar this year and ranks inside the top 10. Despite having Cristiano Ronaldo in its ranks, the team has never gotten further than the round of 16 in the last three tournaments. Its best showing in recent history was in 2006 when it lost to France in the semi-final.

Ghana (#61): Ghana is the lowest-ranked team heading to Doha. The West African nation made its World Cup debut in 2006, and is best known for its dramatic quarter-final loss against Uruguay in 2010 which ended in a penalty shoot-out.

Uruguay (#14): Uruguay has missed only eight competitions since 1930 when it hosted the first-ever World Cup. The Urguayans have taken home the title twice since the competition was formed but the last victory came over 70 years ago when they won in Brazil in 1950.

South Korea (#28): South Korea will be making its 11th appearance this year. After a 30+ year spell away from the competition, the Asian nation has qualified for every competition since 1986. The high point came when it hosted the tournament with Japan in 2002, which saw them get through to the semi-finals.

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