The 22nd World Cup in football history takes place from November 20 to December 18 in Qatar. Like every four years, some teams stand out to be favorites. State of play.
Who to succeed France at the World Cup in Qatar? If the Blues are regularly cited as a natural favorite, others can claim the crown.
France 24 reviews a short selection of title contenders.
France: reigning champion despite doubts
Winner of the 2018 Cup in Russia, the French team is the selection to beat for many participants. Since this title, France has also awarded the League of Nations. Its strong point is the attack of stars: two of the six players leading the last Ballon d’Or (Benzema 1st and Mbappe 6th) make it up and it can also count on Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud and Ousmane Dembélé.
However, the Blues remain fragile. She lost her magic doublet in the middle, Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté are forfeited, while in defense she will appear without certainties between a recovering Varane, a Kimpembe now package and newcomers without experience. A statistic also plays against them: since 1998, five of the six defending champions have seen the exit from the group stage.
Brazil: perennial favorite
Record holder of the number of world champion titles (5), Brazil is a must when it comes to favorites for a football World Cup. This year, the antiphon is even truer. The nation of football is currently at the top of the Fifa rankings and can rely on a dream attack: Neymar in form since the start of the season with PSG (15 goals and 12 assists in 19 matches) supported by Vinicius Junior ( Real Madrid) or Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal). Brazilian coach Tite, who is probably playing his last World Cup at the head of the Seleção, also has an experienced defense at his disposal with Thiago Silva and Marquinhos as well as Dani Alves, 39.
Eight years after the fiasco of mWorld Cup at home and humiliation at the hands of Germany (7-1), time is running out for this Brazilian generation: this is probably their last chance at the world crown. The Brazilian public has been waiting for a world title since 2022, an eternity for them.
Argentina: Messi wants the trophy he lacks
Emiliano Martinez, Cristian Romero, Rodrigo de Paul, Leandro Paredes, Lautaro Martinez, Angel Di Maria, Paulo Dybala and, of course, Lionel Messi… Argentina presents itself with an impressive procession of stars in Qatar. Under the leadership of Lionel Scaloni, in office since 2018, the Albiceleste has gained in consistency to become one of the favorites. Since 2019, Argentina have gone on a 35-game unbeaten streak, two shy of Italy’s record of Roberto Manciniand should probably beat him during this world.
The Argentinians are also the last team to beat another favorite, Brazil. It was in 2021 in the final of aCopa America that the country has been waiting for for 28 years. After finally lifting a major trophy in the selection, “Leo” Messi should have the fangs to do the same in Qatar and lift the only trophy missing from his collection.
Portugal: aging Ronaldo and an armada to support him
Another sacred football monster, another world last. Just like his best enemy Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo will experience his fifth in the world in Qatar. The five-time Portuguese Ballon d’Or, however, is moving forward shrouded in doubts: lacking playing time with Manchester United, less sharp with Portugal, the superstar seems to be showing some wear and tear. Fortunately in the quest for a first star on the Portuguese jersey, he can count on a team with world-class players on all lines. Among them: João Cancelo, Danilo Pereira, Pepe, Rúben Dias, Nuno Mendes, Bernardo Silva, Rafael Leão, Joao Félix…
Germany, beware of the sleeping bear
Has Germany ever been so little feared? However, everyone knows that “football is a sport that is played eleven against eleven, and in the end, Germany wins”. If the team is in full reconstruction, Hanzi Flick has concocted a tasty team mixing glorious old, promising young people and confirmed players. In the first category, Mario Götze, Thomas Müller, Manuel Neuer and Matthias Ginter, the four survivors of the coronation in Brazil eight years ago. In the second, Flick is betting on Jamal Musiala, 19, the very young Youssoufa Moukokopas, not yet 18, a birthday he will celebrate on the day of the opening match on November 20. Leroy Sané, Serge Gnabry, Joshua Kimmich and Kai Havertz complete the armada available to the coach.
After the fiasco of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, ended to everyone’s surprise in the group stage with a defeat against South Korea (2-0), Germany wants to restore its image, 18 months from hosting the Euro-2024. For the first time in its post-war history, the German selection did not reach the quarter-finals of a major tournament twice in a row (World or Euro), since 18 months ago, at the Euro-2020 shifted by a year, the Nationalmannschaft lost in the round of 16 against England (2-0).
Other nations can do well:
England : after a semi-final in 2018 and a final lost at the last Euro, the Three Lions have a card to play in Qatar. Harry Kane, Raheem SterlingPhil Foden or even Mason Mount will put their talent at the service of the English nation which is awaiting its first major title since the world championship at home in 1966.
Spain :dsemi-finalist of the last Euro, La Roja is one of the football sensations of the moment. Luis Enrique offers a flamboyant game that relies above all on the collective. Rather young, Spain has no real star but relies on a solid midfielder embodied by Pedri and Gavi, the two Barcelona nuggets, the latest winners of the Raymond Kopa trophy for best young player.
Senegal : less than a year after the first title in their history at CAN-2022, the Teranga Lions are ready to make a whole people dream. With its world-class players on all lines (Edouard Mendy, Kalidou Coulibaly, Idrissa Gueye, Sadio Mané), Senegal hopes to break the African glass ceiling in the World Cup, the quarter-finals. However, bad news has darkened the hopes of the Senegalese: Sadio Mané was injured a few days before the World Cup. Despite its presence in the listhe might not be reinstated until the eventual round of 16.
Uruguay: veterans of La Celeste, Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, top scorers in the Uruguayan selection who will play their fourth in the World Cup, will guide promising young shooters, Federico Valverde and Darwin Nuñez. What to dream of a last place in the last four, or even better even if Uruguay has not won the world title since 1950.
The World Cup in Qatar beyond football: