Mapped: The 32 Teams Playing in the 2022 FIFA World Cup
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:
|Country||FIFA Rank||Total Points|
|🇮🇷 IR Iran||20||1564.61|
|🇰🇷 Korea Republic||28||1530.30|
|🇨🇷 Costa Rica||31||1503.59|
|🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia||51||1437.78|
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:
|Group||Country (Top Rank)||Country (Top Middle Rank)||Country (Bottom Middle Rank)||Country (Bottom Rank)|
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:
*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.
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.
Visualizing the Highest-Paid Athletes in 2021
Athletes pull huge sums of money from their on-field and off-field contracts. Here we rank the top 50 highest-paid athletes in the world.
Who Were the Highest-Paid Athletes in 2021?
The financial figures in sport are enormous. The highest-paid athletes in the world make tens of millions, or even hundreds of millions per year.
The global pandemic put a significant dent in the commercial aspect of many sports. Even though the teams and their owners earned significantly less during this period, individual athletes actually thrived.
According to the Forbes annual rankings of the world’s highest-paid athletes for 2021, the top 50 of them turned in a record-setting year and made nearly $2.8 billion in 12 months, beating 2019’s record total by more than $150 million.
Highlights of the Year
This year’s list had a multitude of names making the big bucks. Here are some of the highlights:
Connor McGregor is 2021’s highest-paid athlete
MMA fighter Connor McGregor tops the list with a whopping $180 million earned in 2021. According to McGregor, this has been a long time coming, who in 2016 infamously boasted to soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo that he’d overtake him one day as sports’ highest-paid star.
Roger Federer lands at the 7th spot
Roger Federer’s on-field earnings for 2021 were a mere $0.03 million, but he still lands in the 7th spot. Recovering from a knee injury, Roger Federer made nearly all of his $90 million in earnings from sponsorships.
Naomi Osaka is the only woman among the top 15 earners
Naomi Osaka is the highest-paid female athlete on this list and the only one to crack the top 15. Over the last year, she won her second Australian and U.S. Open titles, while also receiving media attention for her stances on mental health and racial equality.
Dak Prescott had the highest on-field earning
The highest on-field earning by any player was by Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott who earned $97.5 million in 2020. In March of 2021, Prescott signed a four-year, $160 million contract extension with the Cowboys, with a $66 million signing bonus.
Motor racing’s top earners
Seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and newcomer and current world championship leader Max Verstappen are the only two from the sport of auto racing on the list.
Significance in Numbers
Let’s take a look at the most notable numbers in this year’s list:
What the Future Holds for the Highest-Paid Athletes
With contracts and endorsement deals growing bigger every year, the number of athletes breaking the $100 million mark will continue to increase.
While supermax contracts and weekly wages make the headlines, endorsement deals account for a significant portion of an athlete’s income. And that piece of the pie is growing steadily. The off-the-field earnings of the top 50 athletes reached $1.04 billion this year, compared with $556 million back in 2012.
If the last year has been any indication, socio-political messages and social media will likely play an essential part in how athletes are perceived and their endorsements are impacted as we go forward in the future.
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