The FIFA ranking, updated based on each team’s performance, including the outcomes of ongoing competitions, friendlies, and qualifiers, is a useful tool for considering favoritism.
The following teams are the clear favorites to win the World Cup based on their recent results, soccer Vegas odds, world rankings, squads, and opponents in the group stage:
Brazil appears to be the clear favorite: it is ranked first in the official FIFA rankings, won the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers in undefeated fashion (having played one fewer game than Argentina), with 14 wins and three draws, and has a top-notch team that includes players with World Cup experience and elite athletes at their clubs.
Some of the team’s top players are Casemiro, Vincius Junior, Gabriel Jesus, Fabinho, Éder Milito, and Alisson Becker. The 29-year-old PSG forward Neymar will serve as their captain.
Tite possesses the talent, experience, and national team track record necessary to succeed. Although the team lost the Copa América final to Argentina in 2021, it still outperforms its competitors on the job and has not suffered a loss since.
Brazil has participated in four World Cups while leading the world rankings, but has not prevailed in any of them. It fell short of the home team in the final in France in 1998, the quarterfinals in Germany in 2006, and South Africa in 2010.
The club led by Scaloni enters with a memorable unbeaten streak of 35 games, a joyful run, and a solidified team. It is ranked third in the world, behind Brazil and Belgium, and qualified for the World Cup without a loss with 11 victories and 6 draws.
After a string of defeats in championship games—one World Cup and two Americas Cups—a cohesive team can be seen for the first time in a long time, one that brings out the best in star player Lionel Messi.
In turn, Messi elevates a group of outstanding players, including Angel Di Mara, Rodrigo de Paul, and Lautaro Martinez, who scored the Copa América 2021 winning goal.
The South American team will compete in Group C alongside Poland, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico. Argentina should have little trouble getting past this first round, despite the fact that the later two are opponents who can make things difficult.
The current winner, France, still has a sizable portion of the team from their victory in Russia in 2018. Additionally, it comes with a number of players at a high level, including Kylian Mbappé, PSG’s leading scorer and one of the key players in the victory four years ago, and Karim Benzema, the overwhelming favorite to win the Golden Ball.
Didier Deschamps is still in charge and already knows how to win a championship. With players like Raphael Varane, Lucas Hernandez, N’Golo Kanté, Aurélien Tchouaméni, and Antoine Griezmann, it would be difficult for a squad to not be a major factor in the World Cup.
The European squad defeated Spain in the 2021 final to win the Nations League and is currently defending its title. It nearly fell out of the edition this year, though.
The French are seeded in World Cup Group D, which also includes Australia, Denmark, and Tunisia. In theory, this is one of the easier groups for a favorite, but the French have already lost to Denmark this year in the Nations League.
Only two teams have won two World Cups back-to-back: Brazil in 1958 and 1962 and Italy in the 1930s.
The fourth-placed team on FIFA’s rankings will not have an easy challenge.
Following the humiliation of 2014, coach Luis Enrique was able to create a new identity for La Roja with youthful players and a successful qualification campaign (six victories, one draw, and one defeat).
Spain is ranked sixth by FIFA. It reached the semifinal of the 2021 European Championship before being defeated by eventual champion Italy, and it is currently in the semifinal of this year’s Nations League. It also lost to France in the 2021 Nations League final.
Spain is in first place in Group E in the Qatar 2022 World Cup, but they have tough opponents in Germany, Costa Rica, and Japan.
The reigning champions from 2014 are refreshed. Hans-Dieter Flick is charged with continuing Joachim Löw’s successful reign at Bayern Munich with a squad that blends seasoned World Cup champions Manuel Neuer and Thomas Müller with youthful players like Leroy Sané, Joshua Kimmich, Serge Gnabry and Timo Werner.
Germany finished last at the European Championship after being defeated by England in the round of 16 and currently holds the 11th place in the FIFA rankings (behind Italy, who failed to make the World Cup).
The difficulty this year is great, but players and history demonstrate that they cannot be disregarded as favorites. They will be in Group E, which includes Spain, Costa Rica, and Japan.