Football’s most prestigious tournament will take place in the winter for the very first time as the sport prepares for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, a festival of football comprised of nations from each corner of the globe.
Qualification has already begun for the tournament in some confederations, whilst the host nation will join the European qualifiers ahead of their first visit to football’s biggest stage as the game’s finest footballers compete to be crowned as world champions, arguably the defining moment in any player’s career.
Ahead of what promises to be a unique event in the Middle East in 2022, we’ve decided to look at how the bookmakers view the leading side’s chances of success.
So for those of you interested in the best betting sites like betenemy.com, here are the five favourites to win the 2022 World Cup.
Argentina – 8/1
Argentina are ranked as 8/1 outsiders for football’s biggest prize despite their disappointing campaign in Russia two-and-a-half years ago, sneaking through the group stage as runners-up before a last 16 exit to eventual winners France.
Qatar is likely to represent the last opportunity for Lionel Messi to finally win a World Cup with the Barcelona superstar set to be 35 by the time the tournament begins, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner having so far found international honours elusive with La Albiceleste – finishing as runners-up at the 2010 World Cup and losing three Copa America finals.
Argentina are unbeaten in their opening four qualifiers and are expected to qualify in comfortable fashion, though the South American giants remain in transition with key figures in Messi, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria all entering the twilights of their careers.
Lautaro Martinez and Paulo Dybala are two players who will be expected to step up with the former’s reputation continuing to flourish at Inter Milan, and few will fancy facing a side possessing such firepower.
Doubts remain over their defensive strength, however, as Argentina look to progress beyond the quarter-finals for just the second time since 1990.
Spain – 6/1
Spain have endured two disappointing World Cup campaigns since being crowned as champions just over a decade ago, their 2010 success in South Africa coming in the midst of an unprecedented three major tournaments in succession.
Since winning the European Championships two years later Spain have struggled to make an impression on the international stage despite continuing to produce a wealth of exciting talents, failing to progress beyond the last 16 in their past three tournament appearances.
Few of those serial winners remain, though Luis Enrique’s side is packed with potential and has several players who could peak at just the right time in Qatar.
Ferran Torres has made a strong start to his international career with four goals in seven appearances, including a hat-trick in a 6-0 thrashing of Germany in November that outlined the potential in the Spanish side.
The likes of Mikel Oyarzabal and Dani Olmo also offer interesting options in the forward line, whilst captain Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets and Thiago Alcantara add trophy-winning experience to the youthful ranks.
Spain’s credentials will be showcased during next summer’s European Championships and Nations League finals, though few would be surprised to see La Roja return to football’s pinnacle in Qatar.
Germany – 11/2
Perennial contenders for any major tournament, Germany are one of the world’s proudest footballing nations and often a side who deliver when it matters most at international level.
Germany crashed out of the World Cup in ignominious fashion in Russia in 2018, a dismal campaign seeing the holders eliminated at the group stage.
That exit was the first time in six major tournaments that Germany had failed to reach at least the semi-finals and Joachim Low’s side will be determined to bounce back in Qatar as Die Mannschaft seek to level Brazil’s record of five World Cup victories.
Low has come under increasing pressure following Germany’s Nations League humbling by Spain, whilst his outcasting of experienced players such as Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller has also raised questions.
The World Cup-winning coach does possess an abundance of talent at his disposal, however, with a forward line containing Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry and Timo Werner containing electric speed and movement.
France – 5/1
France will travel to Qatar as holders and will be regarded by many as the favourites to win a second successive title, a feat only previously achieved by Italy and Brazil and not since the latter triumphed at the 1962 World Cup in Chile.
Almost all of the key figures from that triumphant squad in Russia are likely to feature in Qatar, whilst there are several hugely exciting prospects emerging on the fringes of the fold, including the likes of Eduardo Camavinga and Dayot Upamecano.
Didier Deschamps’ side will once again be spearheaded by Kylian Mbappe, who was named as the World Cup’s best young player in 2018 and has since flourished into one of the world’s best forwards, scoring 81 goals in just 94 appearances for Paris Saint-Germain since returning from Russia with a winners’ medal.
A stellar supporting cast including Antoine Griezmann and Raphael Varane sees France regarded as 5/1 second favourites with the bookmakers, with few squads in world football possessing such strength in depth.
France have the talent and experience to challenge once more and will be a formidable obstacle in the path of any side seeking to lift the trophy in 2022.
Brazil – 9/2
The World Cup’s most successful side are ranked as 9/2 favourites to end a two decade wait for the trophy in 2022, Brazil amongst the leading contenders to be crowned as world champions for a record-extending sixth time.
Brazil showed they have the talent to succeed with Copa America success in 2019, their coronation as South America’s finest coming despite the absence of talismanic forward Neymar, the 28-year-old having recently overhauled Ronaldo as the Selecao’s second-highest scorer of all-time.
Neymar undoubtedly provides the x-factor in Tite’s side but there are leading talents throughout, Brazil containing a large Premier League contingent including Liverpool trio Alisson, Roberto Firmino and Fabinho and Everton forward Richarlison.
Brazil have also made a flawless start to qualification with four victories from four, scoring 12 times and conceding just twice with the Samba stars currently established as South America’s leading side.
Brazil were beaten by Belgium in the last eight two-and-a-half years ago, though will be firmly amongst the favourites to reach the latter stages in Qatar.