The World Cup in 2022 will be hosted by Qatar. It will be the first winter tournament ever hosted, replacing the summer format. 2018 world champions France and Brazil are joint favorites to triumph in December 2022 in Doha.

World Cup trophy
The 2022 World Cup will be the first one organized outside the summer break since the creation of the tournament. (Image: skysports.com)

This week, both Brazil and France secured their places at the final tournament next year. Brazil top the South American qualifiers. They are undefeated leaders after 12 games, having won 11 matches and drawn one. After beating Colombia 1-0 on Friday, Selecao are now certain to play in Qatar next year no matter what happens in their final six games from the qualifying campaign.

France, who won the World Cup in Russia in 2018, destroyed Kazahstan 8-0 to confirm their tickets as well. Kylian Mbappe netted four times, with Benzema on the score sheet twice to celebrate a wonderful night of football at Paris Saint-Germain’s Parc des Princes stadium.

According to the bookies, France and Brazil are both at +500 to win the World Cup next year. Euro 2020 finalists England sit behind at +600, the same as Spain, while the European Championship winners Italy are now at +900. And so are Germany and Lionel Messi’s Argentina. Belgium is behind at +1100, while Ronaldo’s Portugal are just ninth favorite at +1500, just like The Netherlands.

If France confirm their win in 2018 and retain the trophy, they will become only the third national team in the history of the World Cup to do so after Italy in 1934 and 1938 and Brazil in 1958 and 1962. Brazil regard 2022 as probably the last opportunity to take advantage of Neymar’s brilliance, with the PSG superstar hinting at international retirement after Qatar. It’s expected that then 35-year-old Lionel Messi will also compete for a final time at a World Cup in 2022. Cristiano Ronaldo has refused any talks around a potential retirement from international duty, despite turning 38 just two months after the final tournament.

Premier League sets 2022/23 season dates and Qatar 2022 break

The English Premier League is the first national championship to set a timeline for next season. The campaign will kick off on 6 August 2022 and will finish on 28 May 2023. There will be a mid-season break between 14 November and 26 December to make way for the World Cup. Match round 16 will be the last one contested before the World Cup.

The World Cup in Qatar will start on 21 November 2022 and will finish on 18 December. National team coaches with players coming from the Premier League will have just one week at their disposal to integrate them into their teams’ system before the start of the World Cup.

The 2022 World Cup will be the last one with 32 participating teams. In 2026, the number will increase to 48.

Up to now, only five teams have booked their tickets for Doha. Apart from the host nation Qatar, Germany, Denmark, Brazil, France and Belgium are sure to participate.

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