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Mapped: The 32 Teams Playing in the 2022 FIFA World Cup

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Mapped: The 32 Teams Playing in the 2022 FIFA World Cup

The FIFA World Cup is one of the most-watched sporting events in the world—in 2018, nearly 3.6 billion people tuned in to watch the tournament.

Starting on November 20th, that excitement will return as 32 teams from around the world will compete in the 22nd FIFA World Cup Championship in Qatar.

This graphic by Athul Alexander shows the teams that will be playing against one another this year, and their latest pre-tournament FIFA rankings.

The Ranks of the 32 Qualifying Teams

The FIFA World Ranking is used to compare the 211 teams that are part of the FIFA association. They attempt to measure the progression and current ability of the each national football team.

The ranking is determined using a number of different metrics, including the number of games a team has won and how “important” those results were, such as in major tournaments or against strong opponents.

But high-ranking teams don’t qualify for the World Cup directly. Instead, ranks are used for seeding in regional qualifying tournaments, as each region (also known as a “confederation”) has a select number of slots.

This means that every World Cup, many lower-ranked teams end up qualifying for the event over higher-ranked teams. For 2022, the biggest example of this is Italy’s national team (ranked #6), which failed to qualify.

Here’s a look at the World Ranking of the 32 qualifying teams, as of Oct 6, 2022:

CountryFIFA RankTotal Points
🇧🇷 Brazil11841.30
🇧🇪 Belgium21816.71
🇦🇷 Argentina31773.88
🇫🇷 France41759.78
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 England51728.47
🇪🇸 Spain71715.22
🇳🇱 Netherlands81694.51
🇵🇹 Portugal91676.56
🇩🇰 Denmark101666.57
🇩🇪 Germany111650.21
🇭🇷 Croatia121645.64
🇲🇽 Mexico131644.89
🇺🇾 Uruguay141638.71
🇨🇭 Switzerland151635.92
🇺🇸 USA161627.48
🇸🇳 Senegal181584.38
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 Wales191569.82
🇮🇷 IR Iran201564.61
🇷🇸 Serbia211563.62
🇲🇦 Morocco221563.50
🇯🇵 Japan241559.54
🇵🇱 Poland261548.59
🇰🇷 Korea Republic281530.30
🇹🇳 Tunisia301507.54
🇨🇷 Costa Rica311503.59
🇦🇺 Australia381488.72
🇨🇦 Canada411475.00
🇨🇲 Cameroon431471.44
🇪🇨 Ecuador441464.39
🇶🇦 Qatar501439.89
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia511437.78
🇬🇭 Ghana611393.00

The highest-ranked team is Brazil with 1841.30 points. The South American team holds the record for most World Cup wins with five total—in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, and 2002.

Next on the ranking is Belgium, with 1816.71 points. Belgium has yet to win the World Cup, however, in 2018 they made it to the semi-finals and ended up getting third place.

The Eight Groups for 2022

Each team’s ranking upon qualifying for the FIFA World Cup tournament is also used for seeding purposes to establish the groups.

The association first organizes the teams into four pots, based on their FIFA Ranking. Then, groups are established by randomly drawing teams from each pot.

Here’s a look at the eight different groups for 2022:

GroupCountry (Top Rank)Country (Top Middle Rank)Country (Bottom Middle Rank)Country (Bottom Rank)
ANetherlandsSenegalEcuadorQatar
BEnglandU.S.WalesIran
CArgentiaMexicoPolandSaudi Arabia
DFranceDenmarkTunisiaAustralia
ESpainGermanyJapanCosta Rica
FBelgiumCroatiaMoroccoCanada
GBrazilSwitzerlandSerbiaCameroon
HPortugalUruguaySouth KoreaGhana

The groups can’t have more than two teams from the same region, with the exception of Europe, which has double the amount of slots.

These groups will play each other in the first stage of the tournament, after which the top two teams from each group will move on to the bracket round.

Past FIFA World Cup Winners

Since 1930, the FIFA World Cup has been hosted every four years, apart from 1942 and 1946, when it was canceled during WWII.

Here’s a look at past cup winners, as well as the runner-ups, since 1930:

YearWinning TeamScoreRunners-up
1930Uruguay4–2Argentina
1934Italy2–1Czechoslovakia
1938Italy4–2Hungary
1950Uruguay2–1Brazil
1954West Germany3–2Hungary
1958Brazil5–2Sweden
1962Brazil3–1Czechoslovakia
1966England4–2West Germany
1970Brazil4–1Italy
1974West Germany2–1Netherlands
1978Argentina3–1Netherlands
1982Italy3–1West Germany
1986Argentina3–2West Germany
1990West Germany1–0Argentina
1994Brazil0–0 (a.e.t.)
(3–2 pen.)
Italy
1998France3–0Brazil
2002Brazil2–0Germany
2006Italy1–1 (a.e.t.)
(5–3 pen.)
France
2010Spain1–0 (a.e.t.)Netherlands
2014Germany1–0 (a.e.t.)Argentina
2018France4–2Croatia

*a.e.t mean “won after extra time,” pen. means “won by penalty kicks”

What’s expected for this year? While it’s technically anyone’s game, Brazil has a 15/4 chance of winning this year’s cup, according to bet365.

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Sports

The World’s Most Valuable Sports Teams in 2024

The most valuable sports teams in 2024 range from NBA and MLB teams to renowned soccer clubs in Europe, but the NFL reigned supreme.

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Charting the most valuable sports teams 2023

The World’s Most Valuable Sports Teams in 2024

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on Apple or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Worth more than $5 billion, the world’s most valuable sports teams in 2024 can be found in baseball, basketball, and soccer leagues, but American football’s NFL reigns supreme.

This chart highlights the 15 sports teams with the highest value in the world, according to Forbes data published late last year.

Ranked: Top 15 Sports Teams by Value

The NFL’s Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable team in the world with a $9.0 billion valuation.

The team was purchased in 1989 for $150M by Jerry Jones. Its growth in value was slower at first, but over the past five years, the Cowboys’ valuation appreciated by 80%.

Here are the 15 most valuable sports teams around the world:

TeamLeagueValue ($B)
Dallas Cowboys🏈 NFL9.0
New York Yankees⚾ MLB7.1
Golden State Warriors🏀 NBA7.0
New England Patriots🏈 NFL7.0
Los Angeles Rams🏈 NFL6.9
New York Giants🏈 NFL6.8
Chicago Bears🏈 NFL6.3
Las Vegas Raiders🏈 NFL6.2
New York Knicks🏀 NBA6.1
New York Jets🏈 NFL6.1
Real Madrid⚽ Spanish La Liga6.1
Washington Commanders🏈 NFL6.1
Manchester United⚽ English Premier League6.0
San Francisco 49ers🏈 NFL6.0
Los Angeles Lakers🏀 NBA5.9

Other NFL teams including the New England Patriots at $7.0 billion and the Los Angeles Rams at $6.9 billion are amongst the world’s top five most valuable sports teams.

Indeed, NFL teams account for nine out of the top 15 most valuable sports teams today.

The MLB’s New York Yankees are the second-most valuable sports team with a valuation of $7.1 billion, but is the only representative from Major League Baseball on the ranking. Meanwhile, the NBA has three teams in the top 15, with the Golden State Warriors ranking the highest with a $7.0 billion valuation.

Only two teams from outside of America feature in the top 15 sports teams by value, and both are internationally-renowned soccer teams: Real Madrid of Spain’s La Liga at $6.1 billion, and Manchester United of England’s Premier League at $6.0 billion.

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