World Cup 2022

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Football World Cup Wagering Guide

Mr Green can offer some of the most competitive odds around on the FIFA World Cup, spread over thousands of betting markets.

While football fans generally are already well catered for within Mr Green’s sportsbook and betting guides, World Cup football betting tips are to the fore as the man in green offers you the best possible football wagering experience.

Odds are available on qualification for the next tournament in Qatar, the outright winner market and of course on all individual games in 2022. Furthermore, once the matches are up and running you are able to bet live in any of our thrilling in-play markets as Mr Green gives you up to the second odds on all the live action.

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The History of the World Cup

As many football fans will already know, the FIFA World Cup goes all the way back to 1930 when the first tournament was held in Uruguay and since then, it has taken place quadrennially. The only time we’ve missed out on the World Cup was between 1942 and 1946 during the World War II.

The next edition of the World Cup will be in 2022 when Qatar hosts for the first time and it will be interesting to see in these new surroundings whether or not we’ll have a new name on the trophy: just eight individual countries having won it so far.

Host nation Uruguay lifted the inaugural World Cup in 1930 and in doing so became one of a number of ‘home teams’ to take the title. France were the latest team to win on their own patch back in 1998, Argentina managed the feat in 1978, West Germany did it in 1974, England won at Wembley in ’66 and the Italians did the same thing back in 1934.

While it started off as a rather exclusive tournament, the number of teams able to compete in the World Cup has steadily grown over the decades.

At the launch World Cup in 1930 just thirteen teams were involved, climbing to sixteen in Italy in 1934 before it moved down to fifteen qualifiers in France in 1938 and back down to only thirteen during the tournament in Brazil in 1950.

Between 1954 and 1978 the World Cup settled on a 16-team format but with greater interest from more nations and TV companies, the tournament was expanded to 24 teams between 1982 and 1994. This swelled again to 32 teams in time for France 1998 and that format has been set in stone from then up to and including the next competition in Qatar.

As of the 2026 World Cup, 48 teams will be at the finals which promises to be quite some spectacle.

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World Cup Stats and Records

As many will already know, Brazil have been the most successful nation in World Cup history with five wins to their name, achieved in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and their last being in 2002.

Germany, including as West Germany, have won four World Cups as have Italy. The most startling statistic, perhaps, is that no team since the Brazilians in 1962 have managed to defend the title, something France’s exciting young side will be looking to change going into 2022 and that’s something to bear in mind when thinking about your World Cup football betting tips.

It’s maybe not surprising then that World Cups in recent times have been a little unpredictable, five different nations in a row having won it between 2002 and 2018. Furthermore, none of the four semi-finalists from Brazil 2014 reached that stage again at Russia ’18.

Despite Brazil just about holding onto their title as the world’s most successful team with five wins, it’s Germany who have been more consistent than anyone over the years having been to 8 finals and fully 13 semi-finals. Mind you, Brazil are the only team to have reached every tournament since 1930 and have reached the knockout stages every single time too. Quite impressive!

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The World Cup’s Top Performers

The all-time top goal scorer at the World Cup is Miroslav Klose of Germany with a staggering 16 goals, scored between 2002 and 2014, with Brazil’s Ronaldo in second place on 15 (1994-2006).

Rather surprisingly, neither Lionel Messi (6) nor Cristiano Ronaldo (7) appear likely to even get close to these numbers regardless of their personal profiles, as the top two have played for easily the most successful overall teams in tournament history which is truly what counts.

Conflicting with the normal view however, there is little in the way of correlation between the winning team and the competition’s top goal scorer. Only three outright Golden Boot winners in history have lifted the trophy the same year; Mario Kempe of Argentina (1978), Paolo Rossi of Italy (1982) and Ronaldo of Brazil (2002).

Two players have managed to win the tournament having been join-top scorer however, the situation occurring in 1962 when Garrincha and Vava each scored four as Brazil won while David Villa shared the honour with five strikes as his Spain side won in 2010.

Only three players in history have played at five different World Cups; Antonio Carbajal (Mexico, 1950-1966), Lothar Matthäus (Germany/West Germany, 1982-1998) and Rafa Marquez (Mexico, 2002-2018).

Cristiano Ronaldo can match this record if, at age 38, he is still in the Portuguese squad come Qatar 2022 although he wouldn’t be the oldest to ever turn out as that honour belongs to Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El-Hadrary, who in 2018 played at 45 years, 161 days old.

From experience to youth then, and the youngest player ever to play at a World Cup tournament was Norman Whiteside of Northern Ireland who qualified in 1982. Whiteside was just 17 years, 41 days old at the time.

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The Netherlands at the World Cup

Having not qualified at all until this point, the invention of Total Football by the Dutch and pioneered by Johan Cruyff in the 70’s sparked an upturn in fortunes for The Netherlands’ national team as they qualified for the 1974 tournament and never really looked back.

After the gradual decline of the total footballing side from 1980, however, there were some lean years but things have picked up again since, culminating in a final appearance in 2010.

The Netherlands at the 1974 World Cup

first time, The Netherlands were one of only three European teams at West Germany ’74 to advance beyond the first round along with Sweden and the hosts.

Things took off in the second round as, largely thanks to the great Johan Cruyff, the Dutch side hammered Argentina 4-0 in their first group game before beating East Germany 2-0. Strikes from Cruyff and Johan Neeskens sent the Brazilians home after that, moving The Netherlands into the final in the Olympiastadion in Munich.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for the great Total Football side as they succumbed to West Germany this time, losing 2-1. They were to repeat their runner-up feat four years later in Argentina.

The Netherlands at the 1998 World Cup

[Text Wrapping Break]After some rather lean years on the world stage there was to be an upturn in fortunes for The Netherlands at France ’98 for a squad containing the likes of the de Boer brothers, Jaap Stam, Dennis Bergkamp and Marc Overmars.

Draws against Belgium and Mexico were solid if unspectacular, while a 5-0 thrashing of South Korea is what did the damage as the Dutch won their group to set up a meeting with Yugoslavia. Having won that game 2-1, they came up once more against Argentina on the big stage in the Battle of Marseille.

The game was famous for a most sumptuous goal by Dennis Bergkamp that settled the contest 2-1, setting up a semi-final match with Brazil.

Having taken the great team all the way with a 1-1 draw though, the Brazilians triumphed on penalties to reach the final with France and The Netherlands had to make do with fourth place having lost the play-off 2-1 to Croatia.

The Netherlands at the 2010 World Cup

[Text Wrapping Break]Having not gotten to the latter stages for a little while, hopes were high over in South Africa as The Netherlands boasted players of the quality of Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Dirk Kuyt in their squad.

Things started well too with a comfortable 2-0 win over Denmark preceding a 1-0 victory over Japan and after defeating Cameroon 2-1, The Netherlands topped their group with a perfect three wins from three.

The second round saw them come up against Slovakia who they dispatched 2-1 before two Wesley Sneijder goals were responsible for a famous 2-1 quarter final win against Brazil.

Having taken a 3-1 lead against Uruguay in the semis The Netherlands were dreaming of glory, though things got nervy after their opposition bagged a late goal. They hung on though to reach their third World Cup Final but knew it would take something special to beat the brilliant Spanish side of the era.

The final itself in Johannesburg was tough and cagey, going all the way to extra-time after a 0-0 draw. With penalties looking likely however and just four minutes left on the clock, disaster struck as Andres Iniesta finally found a way past Maarten Stekelenburg to win the trophy for Spain.

Qatar 2022

The latest edition of the FIFA World Cup will take place in 2022 and it will be nothing like we’ve seen before. Not only are we moving to the Middle East for the first time, but the World Cup has also had to be moved to winter in order to avoid the blistering Qatar heat as much as possible.

Because of this, World Cup 2022 will begin on November 21st and end on December 22nd. The competition also takes place in the middle of the regular domestic season in Europe meaning it has had to be snipped to just 31 days.

Qatar 2022 Format

Regardless of the abridged format, the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be played out in broadly the same way it has been since France ’98 with 32 teams playing a total of 64 matches. In fact, this may be the last we see of the current format given that from 2026, the tournament in North America will see 48 teams taking part.

As usual then the 32 teams will be split among 8 groups, A-H. To try to ensure no “groups of death”, teams are split according to their ranking into four pots when the draw is made with the top seven plus hosts Qatar in the first pot. While the remaining pots are organised mostly according to ranking, they are designed also to see an even split of teams from varying continents in each group.

Each team in a group plays every other side once with, as normal, three points being given for a win and one for a draw. The top two sides from each group then qualify for the last-16.

In the Round of 16 each group winner players a group runner-up, though of course teams from the same group can’t play each other again at this stage. From this point there is no more round-robin format, rather a straight knockout tie. If games are level after 90 minutes, they go to a 30-minute extra-time period and then penalty kicks if necessary.

The quarter-finals, semi-finals, third-place play-off and final are all conducted this way until there is a World Cup winner.

FIFA World Cup 2020 – Locations and Venues

Given its population of little more than 2.6million and its small land mass, Qatar will be comfortably the most diminutive country to have ever hosted the FIFA World Cup. The major plus side to this of course is the fact that all of the host venues are close to each other, the longest distance between two stadiums being less than 60 kilometres.

8 stadiums are set to host games at Qatar 2022, six of them being built newly for the tournament. The other two venues, the Khalifa International and Al Rayyan stadiums are to undergo large scale renovations in time for the competition.

The majority of the venues will have a capacity of around 40,000 each with the exception of the Al Bayt Stadium (planned to be 60,000) and the Lusail Iconic Stadium which will hold around 86,000 and be used for the final. All of the venues have been designed to include state of the art cooling systems to prevent players and fans from suffering heat exhaustion.

Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor Based in the town of Al Khor, the Al Bayt is mooted to be taking on an asymmetrical seashell motif in its design properties. At 60,000, this stadium will have the second-largest capacity at the tournament.

Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah Following on from the Khalifa International Stadium, this was the second new venue ready well before the World Cup and opened officially in May of 2019. The arena features a running track and will be capable of hosting 40,000 fans for the tournament, though this will be more like 20,000 after the World Cup is over.

Al Rayyan Stadium, Al Rayyan Named colloquially after the town in which it sits, officially this is the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium was has been on the scene since 2003. Currently capacity here is only 21,200 but this will rise to 40,000 in time for the World Cup.

Al Thumama Stadium, Doha Another 40,000-capacity stadium which is to be halved after the competition, the Al Thumama will have its seats donated to other development and building projects around the world. After they are removed, the space they leave will be used for a hotel featuring 60 unique rooms all facing the playing area.

Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan As the name would suggest, this venue sits within numerous university campuses and can hold more than 45,000 fans. Given that this was one of the first stadia completed, it was allowed to host the 2019 Club World Cup.

Khalifa International Stadium, Baaya Comfortably the most well-established venue on the list, the Khalifa International was built in 1976 but has undergone renovations to bring it up to date in both 2005 and 2017. This venue was used for two World Club Cup games as somewhat of a prep for this tournament in 2019.

Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail Building work began on this new venue in 2017 with completion due some time in 2020. The Iconic will be easily the largest stadium on show during the World Cup, though after the tournament it is due to be reconfigured to host just 40,000 when the World Cup roadshow has moved on.

Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, Doha Set in the capital and most populous city in Qatar, Doha, the Ras Abu Aboud is to be the first ever temporary stadium used at a World Cup. Work began on the venue in 2018 and should be completed in 2020, though the whole 40,000-seat arena will not be required after the tournament is over and will be completely dismantled.

Qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup

The qualification process for this tournament began as far back as July 2019 in Asia and will continue right around the world until the back end of 2021.

Africa are permitted 5 teams, Asia either 4 or 5, CONCACAF 3 or 4, Europe the most with 13, Oceana maybe one and South America will have either 4 or 5. Oceana and Asia will have teams playing off for one spot, as will CONCACAF (North/Central America and the Caribbean) and South America to determine the final team.

It probably goes without saying that Qatar have never before played at a FIFA World Cup, though as the host nation they qualify automatically and as a ‘pot 1’ team, they are less likely to bump into one of the world’s best such as Brazil or Spain.

Players and Teams to Watch at the 2022 World Cup

While the hosts are ultimately unlikely to be among them, there are a number of teams fully expected to be in the running to win the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Both Brazil and Argentina are expected to represent South America strongly, the former having five wins to their name and the latter (Messi and all) having had five final appearances and two wins. As for the Europeans, if they handle the heat, Spain, Germany, France and The Netherlands should all be strong. Italy are World Cup winners of course, as are England.

As for individual talent, Mr Green has handpicked a few key players likely to really shine in Qatar, perhaps all peaking at just the right time in 2022:

Joao Felix (Portugal) Now that the great Cristiano Ronaldo’s best days are just about behind him, Portugal need a new talisman and this guy fits the bill wonderfully.

Joao Felix has already taken the Golden Boy title for 2019, an accolade previously given to other under-21 stars Lionel Messi, Kun Ageruo, Paul Pogba and of course Kylian Mbappe.

At only 19 he has already changed clubs for a huge €126million, moving from Benfica to Atletico Madrid, this on the back of him scoring 15 goals in 26 league games for his boyhood team.

Kylian Mbappe (France) Having already won it already at only 19 and netting four times along the way in Russia, Mbappe has the chance to win his second World Cup at the age of only 23 – a feat that may never be repeated again.

The lightning forward is well on track to break a ton of records having scored more than 100 goals before he turned 21, lifted three French Ligue 1 titles with two teams and also having been transferred for €135million, the second-highest fee ever recorded.

Raheem Sterling (England) Sterling has long since been recognised as a top domestic and European player for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, but he is now truly finding his feet on the international stage as well.

Having not been too prolific in the early parts of his England career, 2019 was a major turnaround year for him as he notched 8 goals in nine games for his country, showing himself to be peaking at that level just in time for Euro 2020 and Qatar 2022.

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