Europe will send 13 national teams to the World Cup in Qatar in 2022. 10 have already secured their places, with three more to be decided after the playoffs in March.

World Cup Trophy
The World Cup is the most prestigious tournament on the planet. (Image: Twitter/euro2024)

The Netherlands were the last European team to book a direct flight for Doha after stepping ahead of Norway and Turkey to top Group G. The Dutch won 2-0 against Norway, canceling Turkey’s bid for first place. The Turkish came out 2-1 winners in Montenegro to clinch a playoff spot. The Netherlands finished with 23 points from 10 games, two more than Turkey.

Norway went hunting without a spear

With Haaland out because of injury, Norway didn’t have enough attacking power to win over Latvia at the weekend in Oslo, as the game ended in a disappointing 0-0 draw. Against a way better Dutch side, the Vikings found themselves in even more trouble. The lack of attacking power saw them score zero goals in any of their two qualification deciders in November versus Latvia and The Netherlands.

The Netherlands weren’t too relaxed either. Turkey, the other team that was pushing for qualification in Group G, were leading 2-1 in Montenegro and equaled the Dutch on 21 points. But late goals from Bergwijn (’84) and Depay (’90) settled the affair in Rotterdam, though, so the Orange party could start after the final whistle of the Norway clash.

The Netherlands join France, Belgium, Croatia, Spain, Serbia, England, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark among the European teams that have qualified directly. Three more seats will be allocated through the playoffs in March. A total of 12 national teams will compete for them.

How will the European qualifying playoffs for Qatar 2022 work?

All the 10 runners-up in the qualifying groups will connect with the two best Nations League teams which haven’t finished inside the top two of their qualifying groups, The Czech Republic and Austria. The 12 resulting teams will be split into seeded and unseeded based on their performance in the qualifiers, then a draw will set the encounters.

The 12 teams are allocated into three four-team paths, from A to C. Each of the paths features two semi-finals and then a final, with the winner going to the World Cup. The six seeded teams have the advantage of playing their semi-final at home. A draw will decide who will play at home in the three finals.

The semi-finals will be played on 24 March 2022, with the finals set for 29 March. Kick-off times haven’t been released yet.

The draw for the playoffs will take place on Friday, 26 November, at FIFA’s headquarters in Nyon.

Seeded teams: Portugal, Scotland, Italy, Russia, Sweden, Wales
Unseeded teams: Poland, North Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, Austria, Czech Republic

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will start on 21 November 2022, with the final taking place on 18 December. It will be the first winder World Cup in the tournament’s history.

France is currently the bookies’ favorite to win it, at +600, followed closely by Brazil and England at +650. Spain is next, at +700, with Messi’s Argentina at +900. Germany sits sixth on the favorites’ list at +1,000, while Italy stands seventh despite having to go through the playoffs to qualify.