The men’s FIFA World Cup draws ever nearer, with the tournament kicking off in Qatar on the 21st November and running until 18th December. This year’s event, the 22nd edition of the tournament, will be contested by 32 nations, all desperate to get their hands on the coveted trophy.
According to the latest world cup 2022 winner odds, Brazil are the current favourites and they certainly have the pedigree to deserve this recognition.
They will be looking to add to their record-breaking total of five victories, but with so many great teams taking part, why is Brazil the sportsbooks pick for this year’s tournament?
In Brazil, there isn’t a beach, street or yard that doesn’t have a local kid kicking a ball around. Football is deeply entrenched in the Brazilian psyche and for many, it is an escape from everyday life, as well as a potential route out of the slums.
The country is home to historic clubs that are famous around the world, including Atlético Mineiro, Botafogo, Corinthians, Cruzeiro, Flamengo, Fluminense, Grêmio, Internacional, Palmeiras, Santos, São Paulo and Vasco da Gama. It also boasts the famous Maracanã stadium, which holds the record for the biggest ever attendance at a football stadium. The 1950 World Cup Final between Brazil and Chile saw over 200,000 people cram into the stadium.
Following a renovation for the 2014 World Cup tournament, the stadium was modernised and turned into an impressive 80,000-seater stadium with an atmosphere unlike anywhere else in the world.
World Cup history
With victories in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002, Brazil have won more World Cup finals than any other country. Germany and Italy are second on four.
But no matter their form, Brazil is always a threat when a World Cup comes around. Football unites the nation, and the players are inspired to bring glory to their country.
One of the greatest players to have ever played the game is Pelé. He made his international debut at just 16 years of age and remains the only player to win three World Cups, arguably a record that will never be broken. His name, like his country, is synonymous with the competition.
It is the national teams run of results that are getting pundits excited.
Undefeated since a 0-1 loss to arch-rivals Argentina in July 2021, the team is responding well to their experienced coach, Tite. The manager led the team to their first trophy in six years with their 2019 Copa América victory on home soil, and they currently sit atop the FIFA Men’s World Rankings.
Players to watch out for
A huge part of Brazil’s rise to the top of the world rankings is the exciting talent they can call upon. Their squad boasts a unique blend of experience and youth and boasts Champions League, Premier League, Serie A and La Liga title winners.
Neymar Jr. (Paris Saint-Germain)
The Paris St Germain front man has scored 74 goals in 119 appearances for the national team, putting him 3 behind Pele’s all-time record. He also holds the record for the highest transfer ever paid when PSG paid Barcelona £190 million for his services.
A Champions league winner and holder of titles in France and Spain, the skilful striker is still only 30 years of age and will be looking to break Pele’s record in Qatar.
Vinicius Jr. (Real Madrid)
Still only 22 years of age, the talented Vinicius Jr. will be looking to showcase his incredible skills in Qatar.
The winger had a phenomenal season with Real Madrid, scoring 22 goals and creating 16 assists. Not only did Los Blancos secure the Primera League title, but Vinicius Jr. scored the only goal in the Champions League final, proving that he’s now ready to step up on the big stage. And there’s no bigger stage than a world cup.
Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal)
Still only 25, Jesus is a serial winner. Four Premier League titles in five years with Manchester City, plus an Olympic gold medal with Brazil in 2016. His record of 19 goals in 56 appearances for the national team is an impressive return for a player that often operates out wide. A £45 million pound summer transfer to Arsenal will see him lead the Gunners attack next season, as Jesus looks to secure his spot at the World Cup.
Teams to Watch
History tells us that the favourites don’t always win, and this year’s World Cup will be hotly contested, with several teams in with a chance.
The current holder France remain Brazil’s biggest threat, as they look to retain the trophy they won in Russia in 2018.
With Mbappe, Pogba and Benzema in their team, you can’t rule them out.
Runners up in last years European Championships, they will be looking to end far too many years of hurt, and finally bring home the trophy, 62 years after their first – and last – victory.
With a squad that includes the attacking talents of Harry Kane, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, and Raheem Sterling, they will be a serious contender.
Luis Enrique has impressed as national manager and his side boasts the talented youngsters Pedri, Gavi and Ferran Torres, and the experienced Laporte, Morata, Rodri, Busquets and Llorente. Winners in 2010, they can easily go all the way again.