A total of 13 teams worldwide have already secured a berth for the main tournament after qualification rounds.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup is approximately a year away and the qualification rounds are reaching their final stages. The tournament will be held in Qatar between November 21-December 18 next year. This will be the final edition of the tournament with 32 teams as the FIFA World Cup will see an expansion to 48 teams from 2026 onwards.
The international break saw national teams across the globe contest in their respective continent’s FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. Several teams have already booked a place for the finals alongside Qatar, who qualified automatically as the host nation. Up until now, only teams from Europe and South America apart from Qatar have secured qualification. This is due to the different pace of qualifiers amidst the pandemic.
However, as days pass by, more teams will continue to fill the remaining spots at the FIFA World Cup. Here is a list of teams which have already confirmed their place for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Qatar will be participating as the host nation at the upcoming FIFA World Cup. They automatically qualified for the tournament as a result. Regardless, Qatar participated in the AFC qualifiers as they double up as AFC Asian Cup qualifiers. Qatar secured qualification to the Asian Cup by virtue of topping Group E in the second round of the qualifiers, overcoming teams like Oman, India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
The Latin American giants became the first team from the continent to book their spot in Qatar, courtesy of their brilliant performance. The outfit will finish in the top-four positions, which secures direct qualification of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers. The Selecao are currently sitting atop the standings with 35 points, after winning 11 of their 13 matches and drawing the other two. Neymar is the leading goalscorer for the team with seven strikes and eight assists.
Another South American giant, Argentina have also secured qualification to the main tournament after a recent goalless draw against Brazil. The Copa America winners are sitting at the second place behind Brazil with 29 points, and are one of only two teams yet to taste a defeat. Skipper Lionel Messi is the leading goalscorer with six goals.
From the 13 available spots, European nations have already secured 10 of those places. The qualification round is over and a playoff round later in March 2022 will confirm the remaining three spots. The remaining three spots will see tough competition as 12 teams will battle for the final three spots.
Serbia became surprise winners of Group A after upsetting Portugal in the final match of the qualifiers. A last-minute winner against Portugal took their tally to 20 points, three more than the 2016 Euro winners. Aleksandar Mitrovic with eight goals was the leading goalscorer for the Serbian national team. His winner in the final minutes against Portugal helped Serbia secure qualification.
La Roja also secured qualification to the main tournament from Europe’s leg of World Cup Qualifiers. They finished as group winners from Group B consisting of teams like Sweden, Greece, Georgia, and Kosovo. They won six of their eight matches and Ferran Torres emerged their highest scorer with four goals.
Surprise winners of Group C, Switzerland managed to pip European Champions Italy to secure direct qualification. They finished with 18 points at the top while Italy could only manage 16. The final matchday decided the fate of this group, with the Swiss winning their match against Bulgaria by a 4-0 margin and Italy drawing their game against Northern Ireland. Xherdan Shaqiri with four goals finished as the highest scorer for them.
Reigning world champions France were comfortable Group D winners. Les Bleus defeated Kazakhstan by an 8-0 scoreline in one of their biggest wins. Antoine Griezmann was the highest scorer with six goals. The group also consisted of teams like Ukraine, Finland and Bosnia & Herzegovina alongside Kazakhstan.
The Red Devils finished third at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and emerged as comfortable Group E winners. They left behind the likes of Wales, the Czech Republic, Estonia and Belarus in the process. Belgium finished with 20 points from eight matches. Romelu Lukaku scored the most goals (five) for them.
The Danes were in sensational form and comfortably won Group F against the likes of Scotland, Israel, Austria, Faroe Islands and Moldova. Andreas Olsen was their top scorer with five goals. Denmark lost only one of 10 matches, against Scotland in the last round of fixtures.
After missing out on qualifying for the previous edition, the Netherlands will make an appearance in Qatar. The Oranje finished as Group G winners with 23 points, narrowly leaving Turkey behind with 21 points. A 2-0 win against Norway in the final matchday secured the qualification for the outfit. Memphis Depay with 12 goals led the scoring charts for the Netherlands.
The 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia will be making their appearance in Qatar after winning Group H by a single point. The final encounter between Croatia and Russia decided the group winner in which the former came away with a 1-0 win. Other teams like Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta were no match for these two. The trio of Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic and Mario Pasalic scored the most goals for Croatia, three goals each.
The 2020 Euro runners-up managed to win Group I comfortably to book their ticket for Qatar. Gareth Southgate’s men won eight of their 10 matches and sealed off the qualifiers with a massive 10-0 win against San Marino. Harry Kane was the top-scorer for England with 12 goals in the qualifiers.
Die Mannschaft have also secured direct qualification to the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Germany finished as leaders of Group J, pipping the likes of North Macedonia, Romania, Armenia, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Hansi Flick’s men demolished Liechtenstein by 9-0 in one of their biggest wins of the qualifiers. The highest goalscorer for Germany was midfielder Ilkay Gundogan with five goals.