Who’s qualified for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar? Every team at a glance…

The World Cup 2022 final stage, which runs from November 20 to December 18, will feature 32 teams split into eight groups. We already know what’s in store after April’s draw in Doha: England and the United States will face Wales in Group B, while former world champions Spain and Germany have been pitted against one another in a muscular-looking Group E.

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World Cup teams and group draw in full

Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands
Group B: England, Iran, USA, Wales
Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
Group D: France, Australia, Denmark, Tunisia
Group E: Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan
Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia
Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea

Key dates

Group stage: November 20 to December 2
Round of 16: December 3-6
Quarter-finals: December 9-10
Semi-finals: December 13-14
Final: December 18

Every team at a glance

Group A


How they qualified: Hosts
FIFA world ranking: 51
Fixtures: Ecuador (November 20), Senegal (November 25), Netherlands (November 29)
Manager: Felix Sanchez (Spain)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 0 / tournament debut
In a nutshell: Scrutiny will continue off the pitch for all of these reasons but expect little of the tournament debutants — ranked 51st in the world — on the field. Winger Akram Afif, who has had spells in Spain, is a standout performer among a crop of unheralded, Qatar-based players.
Casually drop into conversation: Qatar are the current AFC Asian Cup holders, scoring 19 goals and conceding just one during the 2019 tournament.


How they qualified: CONMEBOL fourth place
FIFA world ranking: 46
Fixtures: Qatar (November 20), Netherlands (November 25), Ecuador (November 29)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 3 / Round of 16 – 2006
Manager: Gustavo Alfaro (Argentina)
In a nutshell: Relieved to be there. Their participation was in jeopardy but FIFA dismissed a Chile complaint that they had fielded an ineligible player during qualification. Enner Valencia, once of West Ham but now at Fenerbahce, is the old head who showed an enduring eye for goal on the road to the finals.
Casually drop into conversation: Ecuador have played just 10 matches at the World Cup to date, with four wins, one draw and five defeats.


How they qualified: CAF third round winners
FIFA world ranking: 20
Fixtures: Netherlands (November 21), Qatar (November 25), Ecuador (November 29)
Manager: Aliou Cisse (Senegal)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 2 / 2002 quarter-finals
In a nutshell: Reigning African champions, who booked place at Qatar at the expense of Egypt. Sadio Mane, who converted a spot-kick as Mohamed Salah fluffed his, brings stardust to a squad full of Premier League faces. Where, though, will the forward be playing his club football by the time the tournament comes around?
Casually drop into conversation: Senegal are the third Africa Cup of Nations title-holder to qualify for the World Cup in the 21st century, after Cameroon in 2002 and Nigeria in 2014.


How they qualified: UEFA Group G winners
FIFA world ranking: 10
Fixtures: Senegal (November 21), Ecuador (November 25), Netherlands (November 29)
Manager: Louis van Gaal (Netherlands)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 10 / Runners-up – 1974, 1978, 2010
In a nutshell: Should be fun. Booked their spot as group winners after ignominy of failing to reach Russia, can call on Virgil van Dijk after his Euro 2020 injury absence, and have Louis van Gaal making mischief at the helm. The ex-Manchester United boss has spent the summer seemingly delighting in any chance to rile his former employers and has dismissed FIFA’s assertion the tournament will “develop the game” in Qatar as “bullshit”.
Casually drop into conversation: The Netherlands have won 11 of their last 14 matches at the World Cup, penalty shoot-outs excluded, and their last defeat in a group game was back in 1994 against Belgium (0-1).

Group B



How they qualified: UEFA Group I winners
FIFA world ranking: 5
Fixtures: Iran (November 21), USA (November 25), Wales (November 29)
Manager: Gareth Southgate (England)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 15 / Champions – 1966
In a nutshell: Familiarly breezed through qualifying after progress of reaching the semi-final in Russia and final of Euro 2020. England’s core squad of players have become used to going deep in tournaments but The Southgate Debate rumbles on. As does The Grealish One.
Casually drop into conversation: England set the best goal difference in the group stage of European qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, scoring 39 goals and conceding only three (+36).


How they qualified: AFC third round Group A winners
FIFA world ranking: 21
Fixtures: England (November 21), Wales (November 25), USA (November 29)
Manager: Dragan Skocic (Croatia)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 5 / group stage – 1978, 1998, 2006, 2014, 2018
In a nutshell: Upwardly mobile. Strikingly pipped South Korea to top spot in qualifying and breaking new ground after reaching a third successive World Cup finals.
Casually drop in conversation: Iran are one of 20 teams to have featured at each of the last two World Cups in 2014 and 2018 — of those teams, they have had the fewest shots (47), the fewest shots on target (10) and scored the fewest goals (3) in the group stages across those two tournaments combined.


How they qualified: CONCACAF third round third place
FIFA world ranking: 15
Fixtures: Wales (November 21), England (November 25), Iran (November 29)
Manager: Gregg Berhalter (USA)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 9 / Third – 1930
In a nutshell: Back at the finals after watching the 2018 tournament from the sidelines. High-pressing and full of bright young things. Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic will hope to serve reminders of his talent, while Dallas’ Jesus Ferreira has staked a claim for the starting striker’s spot.
Casually drop into conversation: The USA have reached the knockout stage in three of their last four World Cups (2002, 2010, 2014). 


How they qualified: UEFA play-off Path A winners
FIFA world ranking: 18
Fixtures: USA (November 21), Iran (November 25), England (November 29)
Manager: Rob Page (Wales, caretaker)
In a nutshell: Gareth Bale’s retirement is on hold. Wales are back on the world stage for the first time since 1958, emboldened by a ‘Red Wall’ of reinvigorated Welsh supporters since the country’s unlikely run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016. “Misfits for their clubs, immortals for their nation,” neatly sums it up.
Casually drop into conversation: Wales’ gap of 64 years between tournaments is the biggest by any nation in the competition’s history.

Group C

lionel-messi-argentinaCan Messi deliver the big prize for Argentina? (Photo: Getty Images)


How they qualified: CONMEBOL runners-up
FIFA world ranking: 4
Fixtures: Saudi Arabia (November 22), Mexico (November 26), Poland (November 30)
Manager: Lionel Scaloni (Argentina)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 17 / Champions – 1978, 1986
In a nutshell: Undefeated in qualifying and among the favourites after a Copa America triumph last summer that brought with it the sense of a psychological burden eased. Lionel Messi’s international fate will dominate the narrative but Angel Di Maria, Paolo Dybala, Rodrigo De Paul and Lautaro Martinez can deliver in a side with the sort of blend and balance that makes them genuine contenders.
Casually drop into conversation: Argentina have qualified for their 18th World Cup, with Qatar 2022 being their 13th in a row — the third-longest ongoing run, after Brazil (22) and Germany (18).

Is this World Cup Messi’s best chance yet?

Saudi Arabia

How they qualified: AFC third round Group B winners
FIFA world ranking: 49
Fixtures: Argentina (November 22), Poland (November 26), Mexico (November 30)
Manager: Herve Renard (France)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 5 / Round of 16 – 1994
In a nutshell: Among the rank outsiders but steadily improving at international level and qualified automatically from an Asian group that included Japan and Australia. Winger Salem Al-Dawsari, who had a stint at Villarreal, remains a key man and they will hope to benefit from playing close to home.
Casually drop into conversation: Saudi Arabia have failed to score in nine of their 16 matches at the World Cup (56 per cent) — the highest such ratio of any Asian side to play five or more games in the competition.


How they qualified: CONCACAF third round runners-up
FIFA world ranking: 9
Fixtures: Poland (November 22), Argentina (November 26), Saudi Arabia (November 30)
Manager: Gerardo Martino (Argentina)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 16 / Quarter-finals – 1970, 1986
In a nutshell: Scrambled to qualification, beating El Salvador on the final day. Can they finally go one better than the round-of-16 stage at which they’ve bowed out in the last seven tournaments? Hirving Lozano at Napoli and Wolves’ Raul Jimenez provide experience but with unprecedented tournament factors on the back of a string of mediocre performances, their stamina to go deep is questionable.
Casually drop into conversation: During the third round of CONCACAF qualifying, Mexico had more different goal scorers than any other nation (excluding own goals), with their 17 goals scored by 13 different players.


How they qualified: UEFA play-off Path B winners
FIFA world ranking: 26
Fixtures: Mexico (November 22), Saudi Arabia (November 26), Argentina (November 30)
Manager: Czeslaw Michniexicz (Poland)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 8 / Third – 1974, 1982
In a nutshell: Out to avenge a miserable campaign in Russia, where they finished bottom of their group. Robert Lewandowski is a match-winner but, collectively, they are unlikely to go deep.
Casually drop into conversation: Poland scored 32 goals in qualifying, including play-offs — only England (39), Germany (36) and Netherlands (33) scored more among European teams in qualification.

Group D



How they qualified: UEFA Group D winners
FIFA world ranking: 3
Fixtures: Australia (November 22), Denmark (November 26), Tunisia (November 30)
Manager: Didier Deschamps (France)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 15 / Champions – 1998, 2018
In a nutshell: Reigning champions. Dumped out of Euro 2020 in the second round — but have not lost a match since that Budapest shocker. After a schoolboy spat last summer about who was or wasn’t passing enough to whom, the waters of Deschamps’ ridiculous pool of talent — including a Kylian Mbappe sure to be fired up by his Euro 2020 flop —  appear ominously calm.
Casually drop into conversation: France are making their seventh appearance in a row, their longest ever consecutive run of participations. 


How they qualified: AFC vs CONMEBOL play-off winners
FIFA world ranking: 42
Fixtures: France (November 22), Tunisia (November 26), Denmark (November 30)
Manager: Graham Arnold (Australia)
In a nutshell: Competing at their fifth straight World Cup after beating Peru on penalties, thanks to Andrew Redmayne’s snake hips and flailing arms. Expectations had been lowered by start-stop qualifying campaign and while defensive vulnerabilities remain, Socceroos coach Arnold is banking on “Aussie DNA”. That means, he says: “Fight, scratch and do whatever you have got to do to win.”
Casually drop into conversation: Australia have conceded in each of their previous 13 games in the finals — the joint-longest streak in the competition alongside Saudi Arabia.


How they qualified: UEFA Group F winners
FIFA world ranking: 11
Fixtures: Tunisia (November 22), France (November 26), Australia (November 30)
Manager: Kasper Hjulmand (Denmark)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 5 / Quarter-finals – 1998
In a nutshell: Made light work of qualifying, winning nine of their 10 matches. An emotionally-charged run to the last four of Euro 2020 followed Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest but they have the technicality as well as togetherness to be stubborn opponents.
Casually drop into conversation: Denmark kept more clean sheets in the group stage of European qualifying than any other side (8).


How they qualified: CAF third round winners
FIFA world ranking: 35
Fixtures: Denmark (November 22), Australia (November 26), France (November 30)
Manager: Jalel Kadri (Tunisia)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 5 / group stage – 1978, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2018
In a nutshell: More unlikely lads but narrow qualifying win over Mali makes it back-to-back finals after successive failures.
Casually drop into conversation: Tunisia have failed to keep a clean sheet in 14 of their 15 games at the World Cup, the only exception coming against Germany in 1978.

Group E

Pedri-spainLuis Enrique’s Spain blends experience with the youthful talents of the likes of Pedri (Photo: Getty Images)


How they qualified: UEFA Group B winners
FIFA world ranking: 7
Fixtures: Costa Rica (November 23), Germany (November 27), Japan (December 1)
Manager: Luis Enrique (Spain)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 15 / Champions – 2010
In a nutshell: Rallied from Russian round-of-16 exit to be denied final place at Euro 2020 by Italy on penalties. An experienced squad has been buoyed by a new influx of talent, namely Pedri and Gavi, the latter’s emergence likened by Luis Enrique to an “erupting volcano”. Their high defensive line might be a risk — but don’t expect it to change.
Casually drop into conversation: During the group stage of European qualifying, Spain’s possession average of 76 per cent was the highest of any nation, while they allowed their opponents just 38 shots across their eight matches — the joint-fewest of any side (England also 38).

Costa Rica

How they qualified: Intercontinental play-off winners
FIFA world ranking: 31
Fixtures: Spain (November 23), Japan (November 27), Germany (December 1)
Manager: Luis Fernando Suarez (Colombia)
World Cup appearances / best performance: CR – 5 / Quarter-finals – 2014
In a nutshell: Suarez has already led Ecuador and Honduras to World Cups; the man who pinned the draw to his fridge when it was made in April is only the sixth coach to have three tournaments on his CV. Is this a last chance for a run deep into the tournament for Keylor Navas, Bryan Ruiz and Celso Borges?
Casually drop into conversation: Costa Rica will be hoping to avoid Brazil at this winter’s tournament. They have lost three times to the South Americans at World Cups, more than any other team.


How they qualified: UEFA Group J winners
FIFA world ranking: 12
Fixtures: Japan (November 23), Spain (November 27), Costa Rica (December 1)
Manager: Hansi Flick (Germany)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 19 / Champions – 1954, 1974, 1990, 2014In a nutshell: Bayern redux? The personnel and hard-pressing system of this new-look Hansi Flick side would suggest so. After disappointing early exits under Joachim Low in 2018 and 2020, the Flick-fuelled machine was ruthless in qualification. Will Jamal Musiala step up with the world watching?
Casually drop into conversation: Germany have reached the semi-finals in four of their five World Cup participations this century, the only exception being 2018. That’s more than any other nation in this time.


How they qualified: AFC third round Group B runners-up
FIFA world ranking: 23
Fixtures: Germany (November 23), Costa Rica (November 27), Spain (December 1)
Manager: Hajime Moriyasu (Japan)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 6 / Round of 16 – 2002, 2010, 2014
In a nutshell: Limped in behind Saudi Arabia in their group, despite sitting 26 places above them in FIFA’s rankings. Takumi Minamino and Takehiro Tomiyasu have high-profile club experience but Japan’s task is tough against European heavyweights.
Casually drop into conversation: This will be Japan’s seventh consecutive World Cup appearance in a run stretching back to 1998.

Group F

kevin-de-bruyne-belgiumOne last shot for Belgium’s own ‘Golden Generation’? (Photo: Getty Images)


How they qualified: UEFA Group E winners
FIFA world ranking: 2
Fixtures: Canada (November 23), Morocco (November 27), Croatia (December 1)
Manager: Roberto Martinez (Spain)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 13 / Third – 2018
In a nutshell: Knocked off the FIFA summit by Brazil and the feeling lingers that a stellar squad may have missed its big chance. Still, they eased through qualifying and class acts abound.
Casually drop into conversation: Belgium are one of three teams, alongside Brazil and France, to reach the quarter-finals in both of the last two World Cups.


How they qualified: CONCACAF third round winners
FIFA world ranking: 38
Fixtures: Belgium (November 23), Croatia (November 27), Morocco (December 1)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 1 / Group stage – 1986
Manager: John Herdman (England)
In a nutshell: Topped the CONCACAF hexagonal ahead of Mexico and the United States to reach a first World Cup for 36 years. Talented forwards Cyle Larin and Jonathan David scored 22 qualifying goals between them, while Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies is a more familiar threat. Keep an eye on them.
Casually drop into conversation: Canada qualified in first place in CONCACAF, scoring the most goals in the final round of qualifying (23) and conceding the fewest (7). 


How they qualified: CAF third round winners
FIFA world ranking: 24
Fixtures: Canada (November 23), Belgium (November 27), Canada (December 1)
Manager: Vahid Halilhodzic (Bosnia)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 5 / 1986 round of 16
In a nutshell: Boast a cluster of exciting players but a cloud still hangs over Hakim Ziyech’s premature retirement after a falling-out with Vahid Halilhodzic. Paris Saint-Germain’s Achraf Hakimi provides chief threat down the right.
Casually drop into conversation: Morocco have won only one of their last 10 World Cup games, doing so against Scotland in 1998 in the group stage.


How they qualified: UEFA Group H winners
FIFA world ranking: 16
Fixtures: Morocco (November 23), Canada (November 27), Belgium (December 1)
Manager: Zlatko Dalic (Croatia)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 5 / Second – 2018
In a nutshell: The 2018 World Cup finalists should not be underestimated, but Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic, Andrej Kramaric and Marcelo Brozovic will all be 30 or older by the time the tournament starts. They’ll more grateful than most it’s taking place in November, then.
Casually drop into conversation: Only Denmark (8) kept more clean sheets in the group stage of European qualifying than Croatia (7), who conceded only four goals in their 10 group matches

Group G

Neymar-BrazilNeymar will be hoping to deliver for Brazil in Qatar (Photo: Getty Images)


How they qualified: CONMEBOL winners
FIFA world ranking: 1
Fixtures: Serbia (November 24), Switzerland (November 28), Cameroon (December 2)
Manager: Tite (Brazil)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 21 / Champions – 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002
In a nutshell: The bookies’ favourites did not lose a game in qualifying but have struggled in the tournament proper in recent years, only progressing beyond the quarter-final stage once since winning Japan 2002. This Tite side is more functional than extravagant but Neymar — involved in 16 goals during qualifying — will be desperate to impress on the big stage.
Casually drop into conversation: Brazil have topped their group in round one in every single World Cup since 1982 and last failed to progress past the first round in 1966.


How they qualified: UEFA Group A winners
FIFA world ranking: 25
Fixtures: Brazil (November 24), Cameroon (November 28), Switzerland (December 2)
Manager: Dragan Stojkovic (Serbia)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 2 / Group stage – 2010, 2018
In a nutshell: Failed to qualify for Euro 2020 but won their group to force Portugal through the play-offs. Aleksandar Mitrovic, Dusan Vlahovic, Luka Jovic and Dusan Tadic provide solid attacking options.
Casually drop into conversation: Serbia lost none of their eight qualifying matches — the first time they remained unbeaten in a qualifying group for a major tournament (World Cup/Euros) since qualifying for the 2006 World Cup.


How they qualified: UEFA Group C winners
FIFA world ranking: 14
Fixtures: Cameroon (November 24), Brazil (November 28), Serbia (December 2)
Manager: Murat Yakin (Switzerland)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 11 / Quarter-finals – 1934, 1938, 1954
In a nutshell: Undefeated in qualifying, twice holding four-time world champions Italy on way to group summit. Disciplined, organised and usually no pushovers.
Casually drop into conversation: Switzerland have reached their fifth finals in a row, setting their longest run of consecutive appearances in the tournament.


How they qualified: CAF third round winners
FIFA world ranking: 37
Fixtures: Switzerland (November 24), Serbia (November 28), Brazil (December 2)
Manager: Rigobert Song (Cameroon)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 7 / 1990 quarter-finals
In a nutshell:
 Squeaked past Riyad Mahrez’s Algeria on away goals and capable of springing another surprise somewhere down the line. Toko Ekambi scored 18 goals in all competitions last season, while Andre Onana has talked up his team-mates’ togetherness.
Casually drop into conversation: Cameroon have played more matches at the World Cup than any other African nation (23).

Group H

Portugal-Cristiano-RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo took his all-time men’s international goal tally to 117 this year. (Photo: Getty Images)


How they qualified: UEFA play-off Path C winners
FIFA world ranking: 8
Fixtures: Ghana (November 24), Uruguay (November 28), South Korea (December 2)
Manager: Fernando Santos (Portugal)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 7 / Third – 1966
In a nutshell: The Euro 2016 winners needed the play-offs to reach Qatar after finishing behind Serbia but a squad that includes Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Felix, Diogo Jota and Cristiano Ronaldo is always going to be a threat.
Casually drop into conversation: Portugal are one of just five European teams to have made an appearance in every World Cup edition since 2002, alongside England, France, Germany and Spain.


How they qualified: CAF third round winners
FIFA world ranking: 60
Fixtures: Portugal (November 24), South Korea (November 28), Uruguay (December 2)
Manager: Otto Addo (Ghana)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 3 / 2010 quarter-finals
In a nutshell: Back on the world stage — at the expense of Nigeria, thanks to Thomas Partey’s goal — after failing to reach Russia. Former Newcastle and Brighton boss Chris Hughton is part of the Black Stars staff as a technical adviser.
Casually drop into conversation: Ghana have found the net in each of their last five World Cup games.


How they qualified: CONMEBOL third place
FIFA world ranking: 13
Fixtures: South Korea (November 24), Portugal (November 28), Ghana (December 2)
Manager: Diego Alonso (Uruguay)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 13 / Champions – 1930, 1950
In a nutshell: The 2018 quarter-finalists may still rely heavily on thirty-somethings Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez and Diego Godin but there is emerging talent in the form of new Liverpool signing Darwin Nunez, Fede Valverde and Rodrigo Bentancur.
Casually drop into conversation: This is only the second time that Uruguay have participated in four consecutive World Cups  after 1962, 1966, 1970 and1974.

South Korea

How they qualified: AFC third round Group A runners-up
FIFA world ranking: 29
Fixtures: Uruguay (November 24), Ghana (November 28), Portugal (December 2)
Manager: Paulo Bento (Portugal)
World Cup appearances / best performance: 10 / Fourth place – 2002
In a nutshell: Stunned Germany in Russia but failed to get out of group. Son Heung-min might have been snubbed for inclusion in the 2021-22 Premier League Team of the Year but is sure to dictate whether his side are likelier to fly home early or reach an ambitious last-eight target.
Casually drop into conversation: This is South Korea’s 11th World Cup tournament — the most of any Asian nation.


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