The big soccer event is here. The 2022 World Cup will be played by 32 national teams in stadiums in the Middle East, Qatar. This year, the quadrennial tournament will be held in winter instead of summer for the first time.
There are many highly anticipated fixtures scheduled for the opening round, including the match between the United States and England on November 25, Mexico against Argentina on November 26 and Germany against Spain on November 27. Host country Qatar will take on Ecuador on November 20 to kick off the 4-week competition.
Is it your first World Cup? Here's everything you need to know to understand the preeminent display of the beautiful game.
What is the World Cup?
The World Cup is international football or soccer that takes place every four years, with national teams competing to determine which country has the best team in the world.
It is considered as the most important sports event around the globe. The defending champions are France, who beat Croatia in the 2018 final. The tournaments were dominated by teams from South America and Europe, where the sport is hugely popular.
How were the World Cup groups selected?
The tournament is divided into eight groups (Groups A - H) with four teams. Each group was randomly selected from four pots in April. Teams were placed in pots according on their FIFA World Ranking. The top ranked teams entered the first pot and so on.
How do teams advance to the Final stage of World Cup?
Teams play one match versus the other teams in their group, and the top two teams with the most points from each group headway to the final.
🔵A win equals three points.
🔵A tie is worth one point.
🔵A loss has no points.
If the top two teams are tied on points, the first-place team will be the team with a greater goal difference (the difference between the number of goals a team has conceded and scored in their matches) or the team that has the head- head-to-head match won.
The first-place team from one group faces the second-place team from another group (and vice versa) in the first knockout stage. Then the number of teams will be reduced to eight, then to four in the next round, then to two, which will be played in the final on Sunday, December 18. The day before, there will be a match for third place between the losers of the semi-finals.
Who has won the most World Cup?
With its five World Cup trophies, Brazil is considered the most successful football nation. This year's Brazilian side, led by Paris Saint Germain's Neymar, would be the favorites to win. But Brazil haven't lifted the big trophy since 2002.
Where will the 2026 World Cup take place?
The 2026 World Cup will be co-hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico, with matches played in 16 cities, together with Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle. These 16 cities will host an expanded tournament: Initially, 48 teams will compete in the next World Cup.