France will be defending its championship at the 2022 World Cup championship in Qatar, and will be the favorite with at least one sportsbook. Bovada released its odds for the next global soccer competition, and put France at 5/1 to win its third title.
Brazil is next at 7/1, with Spain at 15/2, Germany at 8/1, and Belgium at 12/1. Croatia, who lost in the final to France, 4-2, is listed at 50/1. Those odds are worse than the 30/1 they were listed at before the 2018 World Cup.
Team USA, who failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, has odds of 80/1.
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has Brazil the favorite to win at 6/1, with France next at 13/2. Germany is 7/1, Spain is 8/1, and Argentina is at 10/1. They have the US at 60/1.
Youth Movement Powerful for France
The team was the second youngest group of players to win a World Cup. They had an average age of 25 years, 10 months. The youngest team was Brazil in 1970 with an average age of 25 years, nine months.
The French squad was led by forwards Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe, who each had four goals. Griezmann, 27, will be one of the few players on the team who will be in his 30s when the next World Cup rolls around.
Mbappe was 19, and named the best young player of the tournament. He joined Pele as the only teenagers to score a goal in a finals game. Pele was 17 when he did it for Brazil in 1958.
Many worried Mbappe would fold under the pressure and expectations for him, but the Paris Saint-Germain star thrived in the spotlight, impressing former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand, who told the BBC he will an international star for many years.
“To come to a World Cup with all eyes on you, and to do this at 19 years old … It’s the intelligence and the decision-making,” Ferdinand said. “Mbappe makes the right decisions so often. There is already maturity beyond his years.”
Can US Team Rebound?
It was one of the most embarrassing moments in US Men’s soccer team history. The squad, who was ranked 28th, lost to No. 99-ranked Trinidad and Tobago, and failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986.
Coach Bruce Arena resigned shortly after the humiliating defeat, and Sunil Gulati, president of US Soccer, followed shortly afterward. Though they bear some of the responsibility for the failure, the team does not have the players to compete on the international stage.
The team does have one star in 19-year-old midfielder Christian Pulisic. The talented scorer could be a cornerstone of the program for at least the next decade. His former coach certainly believes so.
“He looks like a natural on the field, and he moves gracefully,” Arena said. “He’s strong for his size. His speed is incredible. His first touch is good.”
But he is a rarity in the US. More than four million kids play youth soccer, but despite having nearly as many players than the population of Croatia, the void between youth players, and those who choose to continue with the sport, is cavernous. Unless that bridge is gapped, the US Team will continue to struggle against other countries.