Qatar 2022 is the last World Cup carried out with 32 countries. In 2026, the participating teams in the finals expand to 48 countries.
Table of contents
North, Central American and Caribbean
Manager: Dragan Stojković
Captain: Dušan Tadić
In the European qualifiers, Serbia defeated Portugal and won the right to participate as the group winners. Former Yugoslavia star player Dragan Stojković leads the team as manager. Yugoslavia’s best finish at the World Cup is 4th. As a Serbian national team, they have not made it past the group stage up to 2018.
Manager: Luis Enrique
Captain: Sergio Busquets
Spain won the 2010 World Cup, but failed to advance to the higher rounds of the tournaments in 2014 and 2018. Having reached the semi-finals of Euro 2020, the squad are undergoing regeneration under the manager Luis Enrique.
Manager: Murat Yakin
Captain: Granit Xhaka
Switzerland’s highest performance in the World Cup is the last 8, and they advanced to the round of 16 in the 2014 and 2018 tournaments. Characterised by strength in organisation and set-pieces.
Manager: Didier Deschamps
Captain: Hugo Lloris
France are the 2018 World Cup champions. With talents such as FW Kylian Mbappe and MF Paul Pogba, the team lineup is satisfactory to aim for the second straight victory.
Manager: Roberto Martínez
Captain: Eden Hazard
Belgium reached the last 8 in the 2014 tournament and finished 3rd in 2018, setting new records for the national team in 2 consecutive World Cups. The golden generation such as Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne, who were successfully cultivated in Belgium and blossomed, have reached maturity.
Manager: Kasper Hjulmand
Captain: Simon Kjær
Denmark’s best result in the World Cup was the last 8 in France 1998. In 2018, they advanced to the round of 16.
Manager: Louis Van Gaal
Captain: Virgil van Dijk
The Netherlands finished 2nd in the 2010 tournament and 3rd in the 2014 tournament. However, they were in the same group as France and Sweden in the European qualifiers for the World Cup 2018, and missed participating in the finals. The determination of the Netherlands, who return to the world stage after a long time is extraordinary.
Manager: Zlatko Dalić
Captain: Luka Modrić
Croatia finished runners-up in the World Cup 2018. Captain and MF Luka Modric (Real Madrid), who won numerous individual awards such as the Ballon d’Or, has reached the level of a veteran.
Manager: Gareth Southgate
Captain: Harry Kane
England won their first World Cup in 1966 as they hosted in their homeland. In the 2018 tournament, they achieved 4th place, which is the highest tie since then. England’s dynamic style of play is present.
Manager: Hansi Flick
Captain: Manuel Neuer
The 4-time World Cup winners, tied for second place with Italy. Germany has traditionally been excellent at operating games with a sense of stability, and has demonstrated competitiveness in international competitions. At the 2014 Brazil tournament, they defeated the host nation Brazil and Argentina in the knockout stage to win the championship. However, in the following 2018 tournament, they were eliminated in the group league, and the generational change progressed.
Manager: Rob Page
Captain: Gareth Bale
Wales come back after 64 years to appear in their 2nd World Cup. It’s the ticket they won after defeating Austria and Ukraine in the European play-offs. For captain Gareth Bale, it is the culmination of his career.
Manager: Czesław Michniewicz
Captain: Robert Lewandowski
Poland qualified for the finals via the European play-offs after a long struggle. FW Robert Lewandowski announced that he wears the blue and yellow captain armband that he received from Ukraine’s manager Andriy Shevchenko along with Poland’s armband to play in the finals. Approximately half of the team members play for Italian clubs.
Manager: Fernando Santos
Captain: Cristiano Ronaldo
In the European qualifiers, Portugal finished 2nd in the group stage and made it through the play-offs. After winning their first European Championship in 2016, they aim to win their first World Cup.
Manager: Adenor Leonardo Bacchi (Tite)
Captain: Thiago Silva
Brazil has won the World Cup 5 times, which is the highest. In the South American qualifiers, they passed as the 1st place with a big gap to the 2nd place and below. In the finals, they traditionally go through the group stage with trial runs, and the peak is adjusted to the knockout stage. They have overwhelming abilities and can afford to arrange their pace to win. This is the reason for the football kingdom.
Manager: Lionel Scaloni
Captain: Lionel Messi
South American powerhouse Argentina have 2 World Cup titles. In the 2021 Copa America, they defeated the host country Brazil in the final. Riding on this momentum, they aim to win the championship for the first time since the 1986 Mexico Tournament with Diego Maradona. Captain Lionel Messi, who has won numerous club titles and individual awards, desperately wants the World Cup, which is the only big title he hasn’t got.
Manager: Diego Alonso
Captain: Diego Godín
Uruguay have won the World Cup twice, one of which was the memorable first tournament held at home in 1930. Aiming to win the World Cup for the first time since the 1950 tournament.
Manager: Gustavo Alfaro
Captain: Enner Valencia
On the first day of the World Cup, they play a big role in the opening game against the host nation Qatar. Since Ecuador was eliminated in the qualifiers for the 2018 tournament, there are not many players who are familiar with the big stage. It is important that young players are not overwhelmed by the special atmosphere.
Manager: Félix Sánchez Bas
Captain: Hassan Al-Haydos
Since it’s decided in 2010 that Qatar host the World Cup, they have invested a huge amount of money and time into strengthening the national team such as inviting coaches from overseas to boost the development of the junior generation. Their efforts paid off, and they won the Asian Cup for the first time in 2019. Expectations for the World Cup have risen.
Manager: Carlos Queiroz
Captain: Ehsan Hajsafi
A powerhouse of Asia, Iran qualified for the finals as the winners of Group A in the 3rd round of the Asian qualifiers. Making use of the advantage of being held in Qatar, which is geographically close, they aim to break through the World Cup group stage for the first time.
Manager: Paulo Bento
Captain: Son Heung-min
South Korea participate in the World Cup 11 times, which is the highest in Asia. Many players play in the K League and European leagues. FW Son Heung-min plays for Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League for many years.
Manager: Hervé Renard
Captain: Salman Al-Faraj
For Saudi Arabia, Qatar, which is on the same Arabian Peninsula, is just a stone’s throw away. Motivated by the fact that it’s held in a neighbouring country, they managed to secure a spot to participate in the finals as the winners of Group B in the 3rd round of the Asian qualifiers. The Saudi Arabian national team have many players who play domestically, which gives them an advantage in terms of travel.
Manager: Hajime Moriyasu
Captain: Maya Yoshida
Japan participate in 7 World Cup tournaments for the 7th time in a row. Many of the key players play in European leagues. In the 3rd round of Asian qualifiers, they lost the opening matches against Oman and Saudi Arabia, and they had a series of matches they could not lose after that, but they shrugged off the pressure and won consecutive matches to qualify for the finals.
Manager: Graham Arnold
Captain: Mathew Ryan
After winning the Asian play-off and the Inter-confederation play-off, Australia had a hard-earned ticket to the World Cup. Many of the players play in European leagues. After transferring from Oceania to Asia in 2005, they have participated in 5 consecutive World Cups and have been successful in strengthening their team.
Manager: Otto Addo
Captain: André Ayew
After missing out on the 2018 World Cup, Ghana were determined to make it to the 2022 finals. In the 2nd round of African qualifiers, they tied with South Africa in terms of points and goal difference, and came to the 1st place with 1 goal difference in overall goals scored and advanced to the 3rd qualifying round. Then, despite having drawn on aggregate against Nigeria, they grabbed the spot for the finals due to the away goal rule. You may feel that luck is on Ghana’s side in tightly contested battles.
Manager: Aliou Cissé
Captain: Kalidou Koulibaly
Senegal played powerhouse Egypt in the 3rd round of African qualifiers, resulting in a draw on aggregate and went into a penalty shootout to secure a place in the finals for the 2nd time in a row. Many of the players play in European leagues. Aliou Cisse has been coaching the Senegal national team since 2015, and prior to that, he had also coached the Senegal U23 since 2012, and has succeeded in strengthening the team in long-term vision.
Manager: Jalel Kadri
Captain: Youssef Msakni
Tunisia, with many of their players play in the French and Middle Eastern leagues. In Qatar, where the language and culture are familiar, they aim to advance to the knockout stage for the first time.
Manager: Walid Regragui
Captain: Romain Saïss
Morocco have many players who play in European leagues such as Spain and France, which are geographically close to them. They became the only country to win all the matches in the 2nd round of African qualifiers. In the 3rd qualifying round, while each country played closely contested matches, Morocco won the Democratic Republic of the Congo by 3 goal difference on aggregate. They enter the finals after winning all of the African qualifiers.
Manager: Rigobert Song
Captain: Vincent Aboubakar
Cameroon with most of the players playing for various clubs in Europe, including France. In the 2nd round of African qualifiers, they surpassed the powerhouse Cote d’Ivoire in the same group and advanced to the 3rd qualifying round. They ended up with a draw on aggregate against Algeria who played there, but they grabbed a ticket to the finals due to the away goal rule.
North, Central American and Caribbean
Manager: John Herdman
Captain: Atiba Hutchinson
Canada started out in the North, Central America and Caribbean qualifiers from the 1st round, but showed a dark horse performance in the 3rd round. They came back to the World Cup for the first time in 36 years, after reaching the top of the table and keeping Mexico and the United States lower. This is the second time they participate in the finals, and the morale of the team is high. There are many young players with great potential, and Canada are steadily strengthening their team towards the World Cup 2026, which is co-hosted in North America.
Manager: Gerardo Martino
Captain: Andrés Guardado
Mexico is a traditional powerhouse in North America. They advanced to the round of 16 for seven consecutive tournaments since the 1994 tournament. They aim to reach the last 8 for the first time since the 1986 tournament held at their home country. Approximately half of their players play in Mexico, while others gain experience in Europe.
Manager: Gregg Berhalter
Captain: Christian Pulisic
The United States couldn’t participate in the 2018 finals, and the team mainly consisted of young players heading to their first World Cup since 2014. While a certain number of players play in the United States, more than half of them play in Europe such as England.
Manager: Luis Fernando Suárez
Captain: Bryan Ruiz González
Costa Rica ended 4th in the 3rd round of the North, Central America and Caribbean qualifiers before defeating New Zealand of Oceania in the Inter-confederation play-off on 14 June 2022. They became the 32nd team to qualify for the finals. Most of the players play domestically in Costa Rica.
Author: Takuya Nagata. Amazon ProfileFollow @nagatackle
Novel writer, Creator. Travelled to Brazil and trained football at CFZ do Rio (Centro de Futebol Zico Sociedade Esportiva) in Rio de Janeiro. Played soccer for the Urawa Reds (Urawa Red Diamonds), one of the biggest football clubs in Japan, and toured Europe. Retired at a young age and voyaged alone to England and graduated from UCA, the UK’s university. Established careers as a journalist, football coach, consultant, etc. across Europe such as Spain. Knowledgeable in creative and technology fields as well. Launched “MINIЯISM” (minirism), the art movement that contributes to the development of societies and the knowledge hub “The Minimalist.” The founder of “Propulsive Football” (PROBALL), the world’s first-ever competitive mixed football, facilitating diversity and spirit for equal participation in society. Also writing for “Football Game Sphere.”