The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

What would be the 48 selected today that would play in the 2026 World Cup if they classified by the FIFA ranking?


There will be a record number of participants and for the first time it will be held in three countries: Mexico, the United States and Canada. The champion will have to play eight games instead of seven as in Qatar 2022.

On March 14, 2023, at the FIFA Council, held in Kigali, Rwanda, the date of the decisive match of the World Cup to be played in the United States, Canada and Mexico was confirmed.

And in that 73rd FIFA Congress the calendar was also resolved:

the opening match will be on Tuesday, June 9 and the final will be played on Sunday, July 19


The format was also confirmed: the competition

will have a record number of 48 selected divided into twelve groups of four


The top two from each group along with the eight best third-placed teams will qualify for the round of 32.

From that instance all matches will be direct elimination.

It is known that there are already three classified, the organizers.

It is also known, of course, that

Argentina is the defending champion, after obtaining its third star in the unforgettable event in Qatar 2022


Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbapp, in the Qatar 2022 World Cup final between Argentina and France at the Lusail stadium in Doha, Qatar.

(EFE / Alberto Estevez)

Considering the format of the Qualifiers of each confederation, this is the scenario according to the latest FIFA ranking, corresponding to April 6, 2023.

In CONMEBOL: Argentina, Brazil and the rest

Although FIFA had suggested that the South American Qualifiers be held in two groups of five, the Conmebol authorities -unanimously- opted to maintain the current format that has been taking place since the prelude to France 1998. Ten selected, all

against all back and forth.


In Europe they say that here in South America it is easier to qualify. It is seen that they traveled little

due to altitude, because of that heat that sometimes does not let you breathe, that not all the pitches are impeccable like Old Trafford, nor are they wet...", Said -already champion of the Copa América, in the final against Brazil at the Maracana, and of the


, against Italy at Wembley- the goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez,



It was in response to a statement by Kylian Mbappé in which he minimized the South American teams.

Huge cutouts of Neymar and Lionel Messi, installed outside houses in the Indian state of Kerala.

Brazil and Argentina, leaders of the FIFA ranking.

(Priyadarshini Ravichandran/The New York Times)

Conmebol will have six direct places and one for the Repechage.

If the ranking were to qualify for the World Cup, they would look like this:

1- Argentina (returned to first place after seven years);

2- Brazil (dropped from first to third place in the general ranking);



5- Peru;



These would go straight to North America.

Ecuador (41st in the FIFA ranking) would be the seventh


It should be remembered, in any case, that the team led by Gustavo Alfaro in the last World Cup

will start with three discount points as a result of the bad inclusion of Byron Castillo in the last Qualifiers


Outside would be: Paraguay (48 °), Venezuela (55 °) and Bolivia (83 °)

In UEFA: with 16 places, the greats will almost certainly not be missing

In Italy, the elimination

against North Macedonia in the Repechage to access Qatar 2022

was experienced as a sports tragedy. They had just won the Euro Cup, from

an unbeaten record of 37 games

, but none of that served to prevent their second consecutive absence.

To top it off, the


- four-time world champions - then fell in the


 (UEFA-CONMEBOL Champions' Cup; also called Intercontinental) against the American champions, Argentina, 3-0 at Wembley.

With 16 passages in dispute, a scene such as the one suffered by Italy seems very difficult.

A giant caught in the nets of the Qualifiers does not seem reasonable now.

A detail that speaks of the power of the European teams: since Brazil was champion in 2002,

those from the Old Continent occupied eight of the ten boxes in the finals


Only Argentina was the


that dared to break the hegemony: it was a finalist for Germany in Brazil 2014 and winner of France in the recent Qatar 2022.

Some details regarding this dominance of the Europeans: except for Argentina and Brazil, the top 10 is occupied by Europeans.

More: among the top 29 in the ranking are the 16 that would cross the Atlantic.

In this order:

1- France (it was second in the ranking according to the last update);

2- Belgium;

3- England;

4- Netherlands;

5- Croatia;

6- Italy;

7- Portugal;

8- Spain;

9- Switzerland;

10- Germany (the other four-time champion, eliminated in the first round under the skies of Qatar);

11- Denmark;

12- Sweden;

13- Poland;


15- Wales;

and 16- Ukraine.

Kylian Mbappé -scorer in Qatar- will almost certainly be one of the faces of the next World Cup.

(AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

This ranking

for now would be leaving out one of the great football figures of this time, undoubtedly the best recent appearance: Erling Haaland


It happens that Norway -the country for which he chose nationality, although he was born in Leeds, England- is 44th and the last of those classified by UEFA would be Ukraine (30th).

In addition, they are ahead of Turkey (43rd), the Czech Republic (38th), the Russian Federation (37th), Scotland (36th), Hungary (34th) and Austria (32nd).

CONCACAF: the organizers and a door for some surprise

The 2026 World Cup will be held in 16 venues.

The detail: from the

United States

: Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle.



: Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey.

And from


: Vancouver and Toronto.

Argentine coach Diego Cocca poses during his presentation as the new coach of the Mexican team at the High Performance Center in Mexico City.

(EFE/ Jose Mendez).

Another advantage: the organizers, as in every World Cup, are seeded.

In other words,

something similar will happen for the first time with teams from this Confederation


In addition to the three venues, there will be

three other permanent places


Always according to the ranking today they would be:

1- Costa Rica;

2- Panama;

and 3- Jamaica


And there will be

two other places

to go to the Repechage.

Today it is about

 El Salvador and Honduras


The five already had experiences in World Cups.

Gustavo Flores, Sports Director of Diario de Hoy, from El Salvador, points out about these Qualifiers: "

They will be very even and the impression remains that there will be room for those who are well at the time of facing them

. Except for Costa Rica, which is a step away above, the rest will have to fight and become strong at home to be able to travel further north". 

Asia (AFC): Arab supremacy and the long wait for China

The AFC, organizer of the last World Cup thanks to the millions offered by Qatar (the smallest and least populated country) to organize the sport's greatest event, will have eight direct places for the next World Cup and one possible through the

Repechage .

Before going with those who would be qualifying for the ranking today, it is worth mentioning:

will China (80th) and India (102nd), the two most populous countries in the world, be able to show their heads on this unmissable occasion?

The Chinese only participated in 2002, with the driving of the globetrotter Bora Milutinovic.

He lost all three games and did not score goals.

The Indians were supposed to go to Brazil in 1950,

but since they were not allowed to play with only bandages, almost barefoot, without boots, they decided not to participate


And our brother people of Bangladesh?

Figure at 192nd, too far away as always


But so close to Diego's spells and Leo's magic.

From Maradona and Messi, almost heroes in that country so densely and so lovingly populated.

And it should be said:

if Argentina won the FIFA The Best award for the best fans of Qatar 2022, a lot had to do with what was generated in Bangladesh and other periphery countries in the eyes of the West or Eurocentrics


The top 8 Asian FIFA ranking is made up of:

1- Japan;

2- Iran;

3- South Korea;


5- Saudi Arabia;

6- Qatar;

7- Iraq 8- United Arab Emirates.

The ninth, who would go to the Repechage, is Oman (73rd, only one place in the UAE).

Wataru Endo, from Japan, disputes a ball before the Croatian gaze.

It was in the round of 16 of the 2022 World Cup. (EFE)

These nine names reflect a reality on the playing field: Islamic countries are in full growth


Another indication, the last Arab Cup of Nations was organized directly by FIFA.

It was played in 2021, in Qatar, in preparation for the World Cup.

The champion was Algeria, who beat Tunisia in the final.

Both North African countries.

Qatar finished third and was the best among the representatives of their continent.

Africa (CAF): After the astonishment of Morocco, the continent goes for more

The echoes of Morocco's qualification to the semifinals of the last World Cup still last.

Yassine Bounou, archer and figure, seems to be still flying to become a superhero in the history of his country and his continent.

He was shortlisted at The Best Awards, he earned everyone's empathy with his charisma and his polyglot status (among other languages ​​he speaks Spanish as if he were from the River Plate, from around here, from Barracas or from Pocitos) .

The journalist and narrator Francisco Jáuregui, a specialist in African football and African themes, points it out without hesitation: "Morocco's classification is obviously historic.

And Bono's directly puts him on the pedestal of the best in the history of this continent, without a doubt

And that there are very good ones".

The land of Eusebio (he was born in Mozambique although he represented Portugal), George Weah, Samuel Eto'o,

Jay Jay

Okocha, among others.

Yassine Bounou, goalkeeper and figure from Morocco, semifinalist in Qatar.

He is raised by his teammates after eliminating Spain on penalties in the round of 16.


What happened in 2022

can serve as inspiration

for several selected teams who so many times made merits to go further and some detail left them on the way.

For this World Cup, Africa has nine guaranteed places and the chance of a tenth team through the Repechage.

The nine, for now:

1- Morocco (11th, almost nothing from the top 10 of the ranking);


3- Tunisia;

4- Algeria;

5- Egypt;


7- Cameroon;

8- Ivory Coast;

9- Burkina Faso.

And the tenth in contention is Mali

Oceania (OFC): New Zealand and maybe a huge surprise

This time the chances of an Oceania team to access a World Cup will not have an inevitable suspense.

It will have a fixed place for the winner and a repechage chance for the second.

Everything indicates that New Zealand (the only one with a history in World Cups since Australia has competed in the AFC) will be the one that crosses the world to play the Cup. The All


, as they are called by opposition or complement, as you want to see , to his immense rugby team, the All Blacks, are candidates.

In any case, New Zealand is the one with the worst ranking of the 48 that would access the World Cup (the most champion of their confederation is located 101 °)


New Zealand against New Caledonia, the main candidate and the possible enemy.. (@FIFAWorldCup).

Behind them appear: Solomon Islands (133 °), Papua New Guinea, (159 °);

New Caledonia (161°);

Tahiti (162nd; in 2013 they participated in the FIFA Confederations Cup as champion of Oceania), Vanuatu (166th) and Fiji (169th)


American Samoa

, which is ranked 187th, has two peculiarities:

it received the biggest win in an official match between teams

(31-0 against Australia, in April 2001).

That day a certain Archie Thompson also set a record: he scored 13 goals.

And also

at the beginning of this century he came to invite players through the Internet to a test to participate in the selected team


Only requirement: have a US passport.

The Repechage: six selected to play the last two passages

Six teams will access the Repechage: one from each Confederation (except UEFA) and another from the Confederation of the organizing countries (that is, CONCACAF).

The four teams worst positioned in the FIFA ranking will play two brackets.

The two winners will face the two remaining teams that will be the best positioned according to the ranking.

The winners of these


will occupy the two remaining places




will be played in the host countries as a test for the World Cup.

Today it would be like this:

the first qualifying phase would be played by: Oman (73rd) against Solomon Islands (133rd) and El Salvador (75th) against Honduras (82nd).

The two winners will cross paths with those waiting in the final: Mali (53rd) and Ecuador (41st)


In any case, it's football and there's a long way to go before the murmurs and shouts that accompany each World Cup begin to be heard. 

look also

Deschamps gave the first list of France after the final with Argentina and definitively erased a world star: "It's the past"

The Messi of the 40s: Valentino Mazzola, a story of fable and tragedy

The sad story behind the biggest win of the World Cups

Argentina, the candidate of all in the two soccer World Cups that were not played

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-04-07

Trends 24h


© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.