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Ranking the five favourites to win the 2026 World Cup

Who are the favourites to be crowned world champions at the 2026 World Cup? We take a look…

Qatar is still fresh in the memories after a controversial but compelling World Cup last winter, one which saw Argentina crowned champions for a third time and Lionel Messi end his wait for the ultimate success.

The cycle towards the next tournament has already began however, when Canada, the USA and Mexico will join forces to host football’s biggest event in the first expanded 48-team edition.

Much can change before the World Cup begins in three-and-a-half year’s time, but we’ve decided to look at the early favourites for success in the Americas.

So those of you who like to gamble online and would be interested the best Lottoland football bets, here are the five favourites to win the 2026 World Cup.

Spain – 9/1

Spain have endured a wretched record at the World Cup since being crowned world champions for a first time in 2010, with La Roja having failed to progress past the last 16 in three attempts since.

Luis de la Fuente has arrived as the new head coach of the national time following Luis Enrique’s exit, after the Spanish suffered a shock exit to surprise package Morocco in Qatar.

The last remaining remnants of the nation’s golden era will have moved on when the 2026 tournament begins, but there is a new wave of exciting talent ready to emerge. Of the squad that travelled to Qatar, just six were over the age of 30. Just three others – David Raya, Aymerica Laporte and Marco Asensio – will turn 30 before the next World Cup begins.

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Spain’s squad is one packed with potential and in Pedri and Gavi the nation boast two of the most promising talents in world football. Already performing at a high level, the duo – winners of the Golden Boy in 2021 and 2022 respectively – could be cemented among world football’s best when the World Cup gets underway.

Yeremy Pino, Ansu Fati, Nico Williams and Alejandro Balde are among those who will also hope to develop into prominent part of Spain’s plans.

Argentina – 9/1

Argentina were crowned champions of the world for a third time in Qatar, as the South Americans bounced back from a setback in their opener to win the World Cup.

It was a tournament in which the stars appeared to align for La Albiceleste, with Lionel Messi producing an iconic tournament to lead his nation to long-awaited success on the world stage. Messi’s heroics were central to their triumph and the 35-year-old confirmed Qatar would be his last World Cup campaign.

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He remains a part of the side for now, but Argentina will enter the post-Messi era before the next World Cup. With stalwarts in Nicolas Otamendi and Angel Di Maria also part of a squad ageing in key areas, will enough talent breakthrough and improve for Argentina to defend their crown?

England – 8/1

England’s campaign in Qatar ended in disappointment as the Three Lions suffered a quarter-final exit to eventual runners-up France.

Despite the common view that England had been the better side in defeat, their exit raised questions over Gareth Southgate’s credentials to lead the side to tournament success. Southgate will stay on until Euro 2024 at least, tasked with turning a talented generation from also-rans to champions.

The 2026 tournament will see a core of Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden, Declan Rice and Marcus Rashford aged between 23-28, perhaps the perfect profile for a tournament-winning squad. There will be few squads in 2026 with a stronger foundation.

Brazil – 6/1

Brazil’s early exit last winter was viewed as a disaster, as the Selecao – tournament favourites and FIFA’s number one ranked nation – crashed out in the quarter-finals.

It extended their wait for World Cup success to 24 years at least, with time running out for Neymar to etch his name alongside the South American side’s greats. Neymar levelled Pele as Brazil’s all-time record goalscorer in Qatar, but a mix of cruel look and poor performances have impacted his ability to make an impression on the World Cup.

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He will be 34 when the 2026 edition rolls around and will take encouragement from Paris Saint-Germain teammate Lionel Messi, who achieved success at the fourth attempt in 2022.

Brazil won the World Cup after a 24-year wait at USA ’94. It will be 24 years since their last triumph when the 2026 tournament begins, co-hosted in the United States. Will that prove to be an omen for the Selecao?

France – 9/2

France are the favourites to win the 2026 World Cup, in what would represent a third consecutive final appearance for Les Bleus.

Penalties denied France back-to-back successes in Qatar, following a thrilling final that saw Kylian Mbappe become just the second man to score a World Cup final hat-trick. Mbappe now has 12 goals in the tournament and is in within reach of Miroslav Klose’s goal record (16). He will be just 27 when the 2026 tournament kicks off and arguably at the peak of his powers.

France had one of the youngest squads in Qatar and boast the deepest level of talent in the world game. The recently retired Hugo Lloris, Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann are perhaps the only squad members unlikely to still be around, while talents such as Aurélien Tchouaméni (23), Eduardo Camavinga (20) and William Saliba (21) should be approaching their best.

Read – Five big name players shown the exit door after clashing with their manager

Read Also – Five games that defined the 2022 World Cup

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