The FIFA World Cup 2022 is quickly approaching, with an estimated five billion viewers worldwide set to tune in. Qatar will make history as the first Arab country to host football’s biggest sporting event.
Since France won the prestigious trophy in 2018, fans have been rushing to predict who will take home the FIFA World Cup in 2022. While the usual suspects lead the polls – with Brazil being the no.1 favorite to win – the World Cup sees underdogs write history, year after year.
Rundown of the 2022 World Cup
Qatar 2022 will be one to remember. It’s already had its surprises, with four-time winners Italy missing from the line-up. Though they succeeded in taking down the Three Lions in Euro 2020 final, they missed out on the World Cup after a loss to North Macedonia.
Unfortunately, there are still a few weeks to go until the World Cup kicks off. If the wait is dragging and you’re not sure how to fill the time, now is a great opportunity to try a new hobby – like learning how to play blackjack, picking up a new sticker book for the World Cup, or finally finishing Crime and Punishment.
As the first-ever Winter tournament, FIFA has confirmed that national teams can now take squads of 26 players – whereas previous tournaments only allowed 23-man squads. This means 96 extra players will have their chance in the spotlight – and we can’t help but wonder if underdogs will take the reign.
Here are three teams that might cause a big upset…
The Dutch hold the title of participating in the most World Cup finals without winning a single tournament. The football underdogs of the decade have been leading the betting polls this year – ranked eighth favorite according to FIFA World Rankings.
Having achieved outstanding results in the past, The Netherlands never qualified for FIFA 2018 – after their superpower status dwindled. But this year, they’ve received a favorable draw. With Virgil van Dijk as the team"s star performer, they’ve again proven themselves to be a skillful squad.
Louis van Gaal leads the nation – one of the most experienced managers in the tournament, so it’s easy to see why they are optimistic about the upcoming games.
Senegal will be heading to the World Cup as the current champions of the Africa Cup of Nations. While they might not be amongst the bookies’ favorites, their team includes some of the greatest football talents, such as Bayern’s Sadio Mane and Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy.
Coach Aliou Cisse has already pushed Senegal to AFCON victory, solidifying their status as a potential underdog for the FIFA 2022 championships.
Shocked fans saw Croatia advance to the Finals in 2018, with many Danish supporters hoping for a similar result. The Danish national team has regularly qualified for the Finals, reaching the quarter stages in 1998. Making their sixth appearance in Qatar 2022, punters have put their money behind the Danish team, who are now regarded as a top underdog.
And it’s easy to see why – the last European Championships saw Denmark advance to the semi-finals, proving themselves to be a capable squad. A fantastic performance and a surprise to many. They’ve certainly demonstrated their ability to be a worthy contender and one to watch out for.
Which underdogs are you rooting for?
Main Image Credit: