Every four years, football fans and football bettors love to experience the thrill of the World Cup – and everything goes crazy. People all go a little bit footballing mad, whether it’s watching the games, betting on the games, kicking the ball around, reading the news, playing FIFA on their computers or even checking out the best football slot online – we eat, breathe and sleep it.
The 2022 World Cup Finals are still some time away, but the qualifiers are finishing up and the build up is just beginning. But who are the favourites to win? Let’s take a look…
Right now, there are no runaway favourites, but, as usual, the teams attracting the most attention will be Brazil, France, Spain, Germany and Argentina. France, the reigning champions, have an outstanding squad including players such as Mbappe, Pogba and Griezmann – alongside some youngsters looking to make a mark. These are as close to favourites as you’re going to get right now!
Following France is Brazil, with the team looking to end a 20-year drought this year. Much of the focus has been around Neymar but they have plenty of talent in the team, which managed to win the Copa America in 2019 without their Talisman. They have superstars such as Alisson, Coutinho and Richarlison alongside rising stars like Gabriel Martinelli and Vinicius Jr.
Aside from France, Europe always throws in some strong contenders in the form of Germany and Spain, both attracting attention. Germany was crowned World Champion in 2014 but suffered the humiliation of losing in the group stages in 2018 – bottom of the group. They will be looking to correct this. Spain also suffered last year, barely making it out of group stages and being eliminated in the last-16 stage. These two teams have a lot to prove.
Sometimes there are starting teams that play well above all expectations. One of these is Lionel Messi’s Argentina squad. He has won the Ballon d’Or 6 times but never managed to lead his national team to victory. This is another team that had struggles in the last tournament, dropping out in the final 16. However, this will probably be very different with players such as Lautaro Martinez, Giovani Lo Celso and Paulo Dybala expected to be in the new-look team.
Another good-looking team is the Belgium squad, who had an excellent third-place finish last time and many believed that this would be the peak of the Red Devil’s golden generation. Their main man, Eden Hazard will be coming up to 33 this time around, and Man City star, De Bruyne is also on the wrong side of 30 – and there aren’t as many up and coming players to replace them.
We always like to believe in England and no-one will ever discount them after they came 4th in 2018 and made it to the finals of the Euro 2020. The fact that they aren’t favourites will maybe take a little bit of pressure off the young squad. They have some excellent players in the team – Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling – and, of course, Harry Kane.
The Netherlands – the late 2010s weren’t great for the Dutch team and they failed to qualify for Euro 2016 and again for the 2018 World Cup. However, they are improving in form again. The team boasts players such as Virgil Van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong who are all in their prime right now, so this might well be a team to watch.
Another strong European team is Portugal, who won the Euros in 2016 and despite the fact that they were eliminated in the final 16 of the 2018 World Cup, they won the inaugural UEFA Nations League in 2019. Cristiano Ronaldo is not young anymore, so how much of a role he plays, we don’t know, but they have plenty of young talent including Trincao and Joao Felix.
Italy is another famous footballing nation – and the longest shot of all outsiders. They don’t have the same stars that they used to, but they have a youth team that has shown lots of potential in recent years. If they carry this through to the senior squad, they have a decent chance.
Sometimes the unexpected happens – and we all love an underdog. There are a few notable underdogs worthy of a mention – including Croatia, Mexico and Uruguay. All of these teams have lots of experience, have elite level players and are capable of punching above their weights in global tournaments such as this.
It will be also interesting to watch the US national team. Football – or soccer as they call it, is growing in the country and they are getting better. However, they aren’t quite at the elite level just yet. Ecuador also has some strong players and of course, Qatar as hosts will put in a good show as the host nations always do.