As mid-November approaches, the Qatar World Cup 2022 is going to be the first World Cup played during fall and winter. Due to the excessive heat during the summertime in the Middle East, the winter temperatures will provide fans and players a safer and more enjoyable experience. It is the first World Cup to be held in the Middle East and the second World Cup to be played in Asia. Additionally, the Qatar tournament is the most expensive World Cup with the country spending nearly $300 billion on infrastructure and construction, per Fox Sports. Lastly, this World Cup will be the final World Cup with only 32 countries participating since Fédération Internationale de Football Association will be adding 16 more countries to the World Cup, creating 48 spots for the tournament in 2026 hosted by Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. 

The first game will showcase the host country, Qatar, taking on Ecuador. Ecuador looks to be the favorite to win the match-up. In addition, this World Cup will showcase some of the biggest names in the soccer world. Notable players include Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, neither of whom have ever won the tournament. Both Messi and Ronaldo may be facing international retirement following the conclusion of the tournament, as they have reached the final years of their competitive careers. Football fans around the world continuously debate which player should be named the greatest of all time, yet both Messi and Ronaldo are still looking to add the World Cup trophy to their list of accolades. 

Although Argentina is the third favorite to win the World Cup and Portugal is the ninth, Brazil ranks as the odds-on favorite to claim the hardware. With so much talent on their team, Brazil’s roster looks unbeatable. Neymar, Alisson, Gabriel Jesus, and many others will headline Brazil’s squad. However, being in Group G will not help their chances, as many are predicting this group to be the hardest. With the three other countries being Switzerland, Cameroon, and Serbia, these other countries in Group G have star players of their own who have been performing well in soccer leagues around the world. 

The U.S. is also back in the World Cup after failing to qualify in 2018. Even though the U.S. is not a heavily favored team to win the entire tournament, the accomplishment of making it to the tournament this year is certainly an improvement over their past performances.  

This showdown between all the countries in the World Cup will be one for the ages with such great players on the brink of retirement. With so many star players from countries all around the world, there is no telling who will win the tournament. Fans should enjoy the opportunity to watch heroes of the sport compete in their final World Cup. The opening match will take place on Sunday, Nov. 20 with Qatar facing off against Ecuador in the first stages of group play.