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World Cup 2022 Opening Odds: Can France Repeat in Qatar?

World Cup 2022
Now that a bow has been tied on World Cup 2018 with France being crowned champions, we switch focus to four years from now when the World's game moves to Qatar. Photo By: Mieslogo {Wiki Commons) [CC License]
  • What are the opening odds for the winner of World Cup 2022?
  • Which star players could be retiring from international soccer?
  • Which country has performed the best at recent youth tournaments?

The dust has barely settled on France’s 2018 World Cup championship. But that doesn’t mean we can’t start looking forward to future World Cup betting opportunities in 2022. With odds already released for who will be the next champion available we take a look at the favorites in Qatar 2022.

Top 2022 FIFA World Cup Contenders

 

When looking across multiple online sports betting sites, France has opened up as favorites to repeat as champions, with average odds of +500. Not far behind is Brazil (+700), Spain (+780), Germany (+800), and this year’s third place finishers, Belgium, at +1100.

To view the odds for every country you can wager on, see our 2022 FIFA World Cup Odds Tracker.

And since these are average odds from a variety of our top online sports betting sites, the table below focuses on the odds from Bovada.

2022 World Cup Odds via Bovada

Team  Odds
France +500
Brazil +700
Spain +750
Germany +800
Belgium +1100
Argentina +1200
Italy +1800
Netherlands +2000
England +2000
Portugal +2800

Let’s begin with the new champs. Les Bleus came into the 2018 tournament tied as the second-youngest team with England. According to Statista,the French and English had an average roster age of 26-years-old.

This bodes well for a French team that will still be in it’s prime in four years time. The French only had a total of five players in their 30s for this tournament on the roster.

We may have seen the last of Olivier Giroud and Blaise Matuidi, who will each be 35 come 2022. However, others like Antoine Griezmann, N’Golo Kanté and Paul Pogba will only be in their late 20s or early 30s.

And we still haven’t mentioned 19-year-old sensation, and FIFA Young Player Award winner, Kylian Mbappé. He very well could be one of the world’s top talents and still only 23 years old when the next tournament kicks off.

A World Cup in the Desert

Due to the extreme heat in Qatar and the Middle East, we’ll be having a winter World Cup. The tournament will take place from November 21 – December 18, 2022. This will avoid the 2022 World Cup being played in average temperatures slightly over 100°F in the summer.

The potential downside to this will be having to break just as the major leagues around the world—mostly in Europe, are just getting into high gear. For teams like France and Belgium, who fielded almost exclusively English Premier League (EPL) lineups during their Semi-Finals match, they’ll likely be affected in some way.

Who Will Challenge the French?

Speaking of the Belgians, there’s a reason they’ve been called the Golden Generation throughout the 2018 tournament. This was maybe the best collection of Belgian stars their nation has ever seen, and all competing in the prime of their careers.

They were the 13th-youngest team in the tournament this year. Two years from now in the Euros, they should still be a top contender too. But in four years?

[E]very single defender from this year’s [Belgium roster] would be 31-36 [years old] come 2022

Listen, I loved me some Red Devils as much as the next guy (probably more) this tournament, but they had nine players in their 23-man squad aged 29 or older this year. To start with, every single defender from this year’s team would be 31-36 come 2022. Most of the rest of the roster would also be in their 30s as well by 2022.

The pipeline of talent doesn’t exactly look stocked either. Belgium did not participate in the U20 or U17 World Cups last year. (More on these tournaments later.) They also failed to make it to the Group Stage of the UEFA U19 Championships which begin today in Finland.

Leroy Sané
Leroy Sané didn’t get the call for Germany in Russia, but could he be the next breakout star at the World Cup in 2022? Photo By: Ailura {Wiki Commons) [CC License]

Looking to the rest of the top five, each of Brazil, Spain, and Germany are perennial contenders.

While Germany flamed out of the Group Stage this year, they no doubt have the talent to rebound in 2022. It was only a year ago they dominated the Confederations Cup, with a second or maybe third-tier lineup. The 2022 World Cup will also no doubt see the inclusion of Manchester City star Leroy Sané, who was not selected to this year’s German squad. The 22-year-old had ten EPL goals for City this year, and will be in his prime when Qatar rolls around.

[Spain and Brazil possessed] the 22nd and 25th-oldest squads in [the 2018 FIFA World Cup], respectively

With the seventh youngest team in 2018, Germany could be ahead of schedule compared to Spain and Brazil. Those countries were already getting a little long in the tooth as the 22nd and 25th-oldest squads in Russia.

The Spaniards could be in for a bit of a rebuild, as they’ll have several players in their later 30s come 2022 (see chart below). That doesn’t include several others who will be in their early 30s as well. The youth movement could be brewing, though, as they did finish runners-up in last year’s U17 tournament.

The Brazilians will also see some roster turnover, but were a very respectable third in that same tournament last year. They’ll also still have Neymar, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, and Gabriel Jesus all 30 or under.

Retiring Stars

One-by-one as teams made their exit of World Cup 2018, a common question was, “Have we seen the last of (insert aging star name)?”  The oldest team in this year’s World Cup was Costa Rica, at an average age of 29.6 years. Not far behind were the Mexicans at 29.4, and Argentines at 29.3.

This brings generational talent Lionel Messi to mind. Messi has already retired from the stresses of playing for Argentina once. It’s not hard to imagine him not sticking around for another four years in Qatar when he’ll be 35.

Messi has already retired from the stresses of playing for Argentina once. It’s not hard to imagine him not sticking around for another four years in Qatar when he’ll be 35.

And if we have seen the last of Messi, surely we’ve seen the last of fellow generational star Cristiano Ronaldo, who will be 37 come 2022.

Have we seen the last of…?

Player/Country 2022 World Cup Age Odds To Play in the 2022 World Cup
Andrés Iniesta (SPA) 38 1000/1
Fernandinho (BRA) 37 100/1
Mario Gómez (GER) 37 90/1
Cristiano Ronaldo (POR) 37 60/1
Luka Modrić (CRO) 36 50/1
Manuel Neuer (GER) 36 50/1
Radamel Falcao (COL) 36 50/1
Sergio Ramos (SPA) 36 10/1
David Silva (SPA) 36 50/1
Gerard Piqué (SPA) 35 500/1
Edinson Cavani (URU) 35 20/1
Luis Suárez (URU) 35 20/1
Lionel Messi (ARG) 35 30/1

 

Best Bet to Lift World Cup 2022?

When you’re looking to make a bet that won’t be decided for another four and a half years, it’s best to look into the opportunity cost of placing that bet, and having your money tied up.

But if you’re looking for some value on a contender, you could do much worse than placing a small stake on The Three Lions of England at +2000 at Bovada.

England have been completely bossing the youth ranks of late. At both the U20s and U17s last year, England went undefeated in Group Stage play. They then went on to win 1-0 over Venezuela in the finals of the U20s, and 5-2 over Spain in the finals of the U17s. They are also a combined 5-0-1 through qualifying rounds at the 2018 UEFA U19 Championships.

At the U20s, Dominic Solanke (English) tied for second-most goals in the tournament with four, while at the U17s, Rhian Brewster (English) led all participants with eight.

Feeling patriotic and hoping the USA can make a deep run? They can be had for +8000. Thinking Qatar can have a magical run like the Russians? The host Maroons would pay out at +20000.

2017 FIFA U20 World Cup Results

Placing Team
1st England
2nd Venezuela
3rd Italy
4th Uruguay

2017 FIFA U17 World Cup Results

Placing Team
1st England
2nd Spain
3rd Brazil
4th Mali

 

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Ryan has always enjoyed playing, watching, writing about, and betting sports. Though winning is always the end goal—he enjoys the whole process of doing the research, finding value, and putting together the pieces of the puzzle that make up placing a bet.