The FIFA World Cup takes place in Qatar later this year. It will be the first time that the tournament hasn’t featured in the summer months in the northern hemisphere.
All 32 teams have now booked their spot in the competition. Here is a look at the leading contenders
Five-time world champions Brazil are the favourites with the bookmakers to win the 2022 World Cup. They top the online betting at 9/2 to lift the trophy later this year. If successful, it will be their first victory since 2002.
The South American side top the FIFA world rankings ahead of Belgium and Argentina respectively. They have been in impressive form in 2022, where they have yet to suffer defeat. Wins have come over Paraguay, Chile, Bolivia. South Korea and Japan.
With the likes of Neymar, Richarlison, Gabriel Jesus and Raphinha in their ranks, Brazil are likely to be one of the leading teams with the betting tipsters for the tournament.
France are the defending champions at this year’s World Cup following their victory in Russia in 2018. They prevailed against Croatia 4-2 in the final four years ago. Les Bleus will fancy their chance of repeating that result.
Didier Deschamps’ side tasted victory in the UEFA Nations League in 2021. They beat Belgium and Spain in the semi-final and final respectively. Those results show that they remain a big force in international football.
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is on course for being crowned the Ballon d’Or winner in 2022. He is expected to lead France’s attack, as he bids to continue what has been the best year of his career.
At the last two major international tournaments, England have progressed through to the latter stages. Croatia ended their run in the semi-finals at the 2018 World Cup. A Mario Mandzukic goal in extra time of that contest ended their run. Three years later, they went one place further, finishing runners-up at the European Championship.
England are up to fifth in the world rankings, and they continue to be managed by Gareth Southgate. He has been in his position since 2016, which has allowed the Three Lions to have some continuity.
Harry Kane remains England’s leading goalscorer. The Golden Boot winner from 2018 could be the man who lifts his country to their first World Cup trophy since 1966.
Argentina won the Copa America in 2021, beating rivals Brazil 1-0 in the final. Since then, they have yet to record a defeat, with victory also coming in the Finalissima against Italy. They beat the European champions 3-0 at Wembley.
With the likes of Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria and Nicolas Otamendi in their squad, Argentina will have a lot of experience in their ranks in Qatar. It would be the last major tournament some of their leading stars play, and if that is the case, they will want to finish on a high.
The number three-ranked team in the world have won the World Cup twice. It has been 36 years since they were last victorious, so they will feel that wait has gone on for too long.
The 2022 World Cup begins on November 21st when Senegal take on the Netherlands in the opening game of the tournament.