Team-By-Team Guide To The 2022 Qatar World Cup

The 2022 World Cup is right around the corner.  The tournament gets underway on November 21, with the final taking place under a month later on December 18, 2022.

The group stage draw has come and gone, with eight sets of four teams set to compete, with a 32-team format at the World Cup.

Here are all 32 teams as the competition edges closer, and we analyze which nations are the favourites to win, who are the star players and managers to watch out for;

Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland


Who’s the manager?

Lionel Messi

Lionel Scaloni – Parachuted into the job after Jorge Sampaoli failed to get Argentina beyond the last-16 at the 2018 World Cup and burned any sort of goodwill he had with his players, Scaloni has turned Argentina into a force again.

For years they were billed as Lionel Messi + 10 but, after lifting the Copa America last year, Argentina have some pedigree coming into a tournament and with Cristian Romero, Rodrigo De Paul, Lautaro Martínez among others as the support cast.

Who’s the star man?

Lionel Messi – An underwhelming first season at PSG has hinted his powers are waning but Messi is still capable of genius and he is the undisputed leader of this team.

Realistically, at 34, this could be Messi’s swansong with Argentina on the international stage so expect him to do all he can to win that trophy that continues to elude his illustrious career.

How did they qualify?

Seamlessly. Unbeaten in their 17 matches played, Argentina won 11 and drew six to claim 39 points and finish second to Brazil. Home draws with Paraguay and Chile were the only real blips but they’re in Qatar nonetheless. Their 18th game – against Brazil – was suspended back in September when health officials ran on to the pitch to stop Argentina’s England-based players from playing, saying they had breached the country’s COVID-19 quarantine rules. It must be replayed but both are qualified though and their positions in the table finalised.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

Who’s the manager?

Herve Renard – The Frenchman – who has previously coached Morocco, Lille and Ivory Coast – took over in 2019 as the Saudis looked to qualify for their second consecutive World Cup. 

Who’s the star man?

Salem Al-Dawsari – In a squad who all play their domestic football in Saudi Arabia, left-winger Al-Dawsari did have a stint at Villarreal back in 2018, making one appearance. 

With 64 caps to his name since his debut in 2011, he featured prominently in Russia and scored a late winner against Egypt in their final group game.  

How did they qualify?

Credit to the Saudi squad, who qualified automatically from an Asian group which included Japan, Australia, Oman, China and Vietnam. 

They beat Japan and Australia 1-0 at home, while also drawing in Sydney. They finished top of the group.  


Who’s the manager?

Gerardo Martino – The 59-year-old has been in charge of Mexico since 2019 and his tenure has largely been defined by results against the United States. Mexico won the Gold Cup in 2019 but then lost the same tournament and CONCACAF Nations League final to the Americans in 2021.

In July 2013, Martino was chosen as the successor to Tito Villanova at Barcelona after carving out a strong reputation within South America. But he lasted just a year at the Nou Camp with Barcelona second in LaLiga and runners-up in the Copa del Rey.

Who’s the star man?

Raul Jimenez’s strike for Mexico sealed their qualification

Raul Jimenez – Like he is at club level with Wolves, Jimenez is the focal point of the Mexican attack and is a guaranteed starter in Qatar if he’s fit. With 29 goals in 92 caps, Jimenez’s latest strike was the one that sealed Mexico’s qualification on Wednesday night.

Jimenez has managed just six goals in 30 appearances for Wolves and is still working his way back to top form after that sickening head injury he suffered last season. His country will be hoping he’s in red-hot form in November. 

How did they qualify?

Mexico went into the final round of CONCACAF qualifiers knowing that just a point against El Salvador would be enough to seal one of the three North America spots that guaranteed a place in Qatar.


Who’s the manager?

Czeslaw Michniewicz – Poland named former Legia Warsaw coach Michniewicz as their new manager in January after parting ways with Portugal’s Paulo Sousa – who asked to be relieved of his duties so he could join Brazilian club Flamengo. 

Michniewicz managed nine Polish clubs before he was named the Poland Under-21 coach in 2017. He helped them qualify for the 2019 European Under-21 Championship, becoming the first manager to do so in 25 years.

Michniewicz left the national team duty in 2020 to take over Polish top-flight club Legia, guiding them to a record 15th Polish championship title in 2021 and the group stage of the Europa League.

Who’s the star man?

Robert Lewandowski and Poland

Robert Lewandowski – Who else? The Bayern striker is the world’s deadliest striker and continues to find the back of the net with frightening consistency. With 45 goals in 37 games at club level so far, it has been another ridiculous season for the striker after he scored 48 in 40 last campaign.

He also proves himself to be Poland’s hero on the international stage time and time again. Even this week he scored a penalty in their 2-0 playoff victory over Sweden and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to book a spot at the event in Qatar.

How did they qualify?

Poland won six and drew two of their 10 qualifying matches but were second best to an unbeatable England side, who ran away with the group with ease. Second place meant Poland dropped down to the playoff route. Poland ran out 2-0 winners against Sweden.



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