As the 2022 FIFA Qatar World Cup approaches, there are legitimate paths for teams to reach to the final match by looking at the depths of the squads that various nations boast of. Only 8 countries in the world can say that they have won the World Cup in the past 21 events that the global showpiece event has taken place. Here are the five nations that are most likely to win the 2022 World Cup in no particular order:
France: They are the defending champions having won the 2018 edition in Russia. The country boasts of having some of the best players in the world in the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema, Griezman, Paul Pogba, and Ngolo Kante amongst others. The nation also won the UEFA Nations League, and shapes up to be among the favorites in Qatar. Hugo Lloris and his defense conceded just six goals, with half of those coming in the round of 16 thriller against Argentina.
England: England thrived in Russia in the 2018 edition and went up to the semifinals stage of the competition where they were knocked out by Croatia who finished the tournament as runners-up to France. Harry Kane scored seven goals leading him to win the golden shoe in that tournament. In the Euro 2020, England finished in second place after losing the final to Italy in a dramatic penalty shoot-out at Wembley. Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, and Sancho all missed penalties during the shout-out. England last tasted world cup glory during the 1966 edition. They now have depth across the field everywhere except for perhaps center-back, England should be among the contenders to lift another World Cup trophy.
Brazil: It is the most successful nation when it comes to the world cup having won five of them with their last being in the 2002 Japan/South Korea edition. It was the first South American country to qualify for the 2022 world cup. The country boasts of the likes of Neymar, Vinicius Jr, Casemiro, and many more. Brazil currently sit at the 1st position in the latest Coca-Cola FIFA Rankings. The nation is undefeated since losing the Copa America finals to their arch-rivals Argentina.
Belgium: The Belgians have always been a strong team although they have never won any trophy. They won bronze in Russia during the 2018 world cup after losing the semifinals to eventual champions France. They have dominated the landscape for the past decade with players like Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin de Bryune, and Courtois among others. This year, they yet again take another strong squad to Qatar. The squad has a lot of talent but only lack some consistency. If this golden generation of Belgium can put it together for what could be one last ride, there is no reason to think it cannot win its first major trophy. However, the window is rapidly closing.
Argentina: It was the second nation from South America to qualify for the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup. It went through the qualifiers without any loss. They are on a record 32 games unbeaten run. This is superstar Lionel Messi's final World Cup and therefore, himself and the team will give it their all to ensure that they get the trophy home. The country last won the world cup during the 1986 edition when legend Diego Maradona was the captain of the team. In the 2014 Brazil world cup, they came so close to winning but lost the final to Germany in a second-half extra-time late victory. It boasts of Angel Di Maria, Paulo Dybala, and Lautaro Martinez amongst other great names but it will all come down to Messi’s performance on the biggest stage for the last time for Argentina to have any chance. He is arguably the best player the world has ever witnessed and it will be unfair of him to retire from the game without having won the most coveted trophy in the football world. He, unlike his competitor Cristiano Ronaldo, has an enabling team around him that can make this a possibility and a reality.