NFL comparisons for all 32 groups competing at World Cup 2022

November 19, 2022

To a majority of the world, the FIFA World Cup is as large because it will get for soccer (or fútbol), and it solely occurs each 4 years. In the US, the largest soccer occasion occurs yearly in February: the Tremendous Bowl.

[Hey Yank! It’s football, not soccer. Or is it?]

As the house of each the 2022 FIFA World Cup and Tremendous Bowl LVII, we right here at FOX Sports activities requested NFL reporter David Helman to work alongside soccer author Doug McIntyre to provide you with NFL comparisons for the 32 groups that may compete in Qatar. 

United States: New York Jets

United States’ profile: The U.S. normally qualifies for the World Cup (their 2018 miss is the one one within the final 36 years) and the People have superior in 4 of the seven tournaments they’ve performed in since 1990. The youngest staff in Qatar and probably the most proficient in U.S. historical past, they need to attain the second spherical this time. However they don’t seem to be legit trophy contenders simply but and certain will not be for (at the least) 4 extra years. 

Why the Jets? The U.S. has a variety of thrilling younger expertise and a few intriguing potential, however let’s be sincere: It is truthful to say the hype typically outpaces the product, given the quantity of people who need this staff to lastly take the following step. It sounds lots just like the New York Jets — younger and thrilling, however maybe not prepared for prime time.

Argentina: Miami Dolphins 

Argentina’s profile: Led by the best participant ever in Lionel Messi, the two-time World Cup winners are ocean-deep and nails-tough. The Albiceleste are additionally one of many favorites in Qatar after successful the South American championship final yr. They will be hoping to ship Messi, who’s showing in his fifth last event this yr, off with one of many few main titles he hasn’t received. — McIntyre

Why the Dolphins? The Miami Dolphins can in all probability relate to Argentina, as their two championships really feel like historic historical past, and their passionate fanbase is determined to expertise that success once more. After all, the Dolphins do not make use of an icon like Lionel Messi, however they have a deep roster and a loaded offense. Messi is likely to be going through extra strain, however Tua Tagovailoa can certainly relate. — Helman

Australia: Tennessee Titans

Australia’s profile: The Socceroos have been so dominant of their former area — Oceania — that they moved to Asia’s confederation in 2006. They’re nonetheless a dependable World Cup qualifier, having participated within the final 5 editions together with 2022. However Australia has solely reached the second spherical as soon as, they usually’ve fallen within the group stage at every of the final three tourneys.

Why the Titans? Once I take into consideration a dominant group from a weak area, my thoughts can not help however go to the Tennessee Titans. Very like Australia, they’re proficient sufficient and constant sufficient to reliably get up to now. However are you able to rely on them to make noise past that?

Gregg Berhalter, Alexi Lalas in contrast NFL gamers to World Cup stars alongside “FOX NFL Sunday” crew

Gregg Berhalter, Alexi Lalas compared NFL players to World Cup stars alongside "FOX NFL Sunday" crew

Gregg Berhalter and Alexi Lalas be part of the “Fox NFL Sunday” crew to preview the USMNT’s World Cup Hopes and evaluate NFL stars and groups equivalent to Tom Brady and the Dallas Cowboys to gamers within the World Cup.

Belgium: Buffalo Payments

Belgium’s profile: One of many deepest and most proficient groups within the discipline, Belgium spent a lot of the final 4 years as FIFA’s high ranked nation. They’ve by no means received all of it, although, and the title window might need already closed on their star-studded however ageing roster. 

Why the Payments? It isn’t that the Payments’ title window has closed, however issues are going to get a lot more durable from right here on out. Josh Allen’s cap hit goes to get larger, and different key items are going to be more durable to afford. The Payments are probably the greatest groups within the NFL proper now, but when they cannot deliver house a championship in 2022, it is not going to get any simpler going ahead.

Brazil: San Francisco 49ers

Brazil’s profile: Not simply the perfect staff proper now (they’re FIFA’s No. 1-ranked squad) and most profitable in historical past (with 5 World Cup titles), Brazil’s bodily dominance, on-the-ball talent and all-out attacking fashion strikes concern into even elite foes. It makes them probably the most enjoyable squad to look at, too.

Why the 49ers? Do not let the document idiot you. The San Francisco 49ers have as a lot, if no more expertise than anybody within the league. They have 5 championships, to not point out a boatload of postseason expertise. Very like their Brazilian counterparts, although, the previous few journeys to the postseason have not gone as they’d favor. Possibly that is the yr to vary that — for each groups.

Cameroon: Detroit Lions

Cameroon’s profile: The splendidly nicknamed Indomitable Lions are again after a one-tournament absence. Qatar marks Cameroon’s seventh World Cup look since 1990, however they’ve but to duplicate the runaway success they loved that yr, when Cameroon turned the primary African staff to achieve the quarterfinals. They have not survived group play since.

Why the Lions? A staff named the Lions, which hasn’t made a run since 1990 and likewise shares a gaggle with a few constant powers. Yup, Cameroon is the Detroit Lions. That feels harsh, particularly for the reason that Indomitable Lions have been extra profitable than the common Lions simply by advantage of qualifying for the World Cup. Nonetheless, it is equally unlikely that both staff comes away with any {hardware}.

Canada: Atlanta Falcons 

Canada’s profile: Led by bona fide younger stars Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David, the long-dormant Reds returned to the largest stage for the primary time since 1986 in grand fashion, ending atop their regional World Cup qualifying event forward of perennial event members Mexico and the US. It is going to nonetheless be troublesome for the Canadians to outlive a gaggle that features European heavyweights Belgium and Croatia.

Why the Falcons? Everybody doubted Canada, solely to see them high their qualifying group over the U.S. and Mexico. Everybody doubted Atlanta, solely to see the Falcons preventing for the division lead on the midpoint of the season. Sadly for each groups, there’s in all probability not sufficient expertise readily available to make any actual noise, however you have to respect the struggle.

Costa Rica: New Orleans Saints 

Costa Rica profile: The Ticos hail from a rustic of simply 5 million, but have been dependable qualifiers for the World Cup, having reached the massive stage in six of their final eight tries. Costa Rica has participated within the final three occasions, shedding on penalties (to the Netherlands) within the 2014 quarterfinals.

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Why the Saints? There are solely 4 World Cup international locations with a smaller inhabitants than Costa Rica, much like New Orleans being one of many smallest markets within the NFL. Regardless of that, each the Ticos and the Saints have managed to seek out constant success on this competitors — although it does not seem like both staff will probably be making a lot noise this yr.

Croatia: Seattle Seahawks

Croatia’s profile: At all times a low-key title risk even when this yr’s squad is not pretty much as good because the one which completed runner-up to France 4 years in the past. Extremely expert and battle-tested, Croatia is led by the ageless Luka Modrić (really he is 37), whose mastery of the ball permits him to dictate the sport’s tempo from his central midfield spot. 

Why the Seahawks? A low-key risk? How concerning the Seattle Seahawks, who positively nobody noticed coming. Granted, Geno Smith’s trophy case cannot maintain a candle to Luka Modrić’s, however it’s nonetheless wonderful to see the way in which the 32-year-old quarterback’s mastery of the ball has turned Seattle right into a staff value fearing. 

Denmark: Denver Broncos

Denmark’s profile: A classy decide to make a deep run at this World Cup, Denmark’s squad is populated by a golden technology of gamers led by Barcelona’s Andreas Christensen and Manchester United’s Christian Eriksen. They’ve a balanced roster and are well-coached. Organized, disciplined and opportunistic, the Danes can beat any staff within the discipline when enjoying their finest. 

Why the Broncos? Keying in on the phrase “when enjoying their finest,” as a result of the Denver Broncos completely have the expertise to beat any opponent. Clearly, that hasn’t been the case in 2022, however the strain is on for Russell Wilson to repair that. The Broncos paid him to steer a golden technology in Denver.

Ecuador: Jacksonville Jaguars

Ecuador’s profile: Completed behind solely Argentina and Brazil in South American World Cup qualifying, which is spectacular. Ecuador nonetheless does not have a historical past of success on the predominant occasion, which they’re competing in for simply the third time in 2022. They’ve superior simply as soon as and, grouped with the Netherlands, Senegal and host Qatar, aren’t anticipated to outlive the primary spherical this yr, both. 

Why the Jaguars? The Jacksonville Jaguars spend a variety of time trying up within the division at their two rather more profitable counterparts, Indianapolis and Tennessee. The Jags haven’t got a historical past of success on the predominant occasion, both, and except one thing drastic occurs that is not anticipated to vary in 2022.

England: Dallas Cowboys

England’s profile: Their popularity-to-success ratio is bigger than every other members. Whereas England is likely one of the world’s most fanatically supported groups, the Three Lions have received only one World Cup title — and that was all the way in which again in 1966. They’ve gotten nearer in recent times, reaching the semis in 2018 and the ultimate of final yr’s European Championship. England’s window would possibly now have closed, although. They head to Qatar using a six-match winless streak. 

Why the Cowboys? An extremely well-liked staff, full of extremely proficient gamers, backed by an unlimited fan base that is determined for them to re-capture their former glory. To be truthful to the Dallas Cowboys, they’ve received 5 Tremendous Bowls in comparison with England’s lone World Cup title. However the similarities are too enjoyable to disregard. One other championship has been a very long time coming, and nothing wanting that may suffice.

France: Los Angeles Rams

France’s profile: Les Bleus have among the many deepest, most proficient squads within the World Cup, however that alone does not be certain that they will make a deep run. If historical past is any information, the defending champs are as more likely to implode and flame out within the first spherical.

Why the Rams? If final yr’s Rams season was the nice model of Les Bleus, then this yr is likely to be the dangerous model. The roster remains to be stocked with Professional Bowl expertise, however the Rams have not been capable of reclaim the magic that helped them raise the trophy final yr. Hopefully that is not a foul omen for his or her soccer counterparts, as they give the impression of being to comply with up a championship with one other good exhibiting.

Germany: Kansas Metropolis Chiefs

Germany’s profile: With 4 titles, Die Mannschaft are the second most profitable World Cup staff (together with Italy) ever. What their stacked squad lacks in fashion and aptitude, they greater than make up for with stout defending, big-game pedigree and ruthless effectivity within the assault. Germany is at all times a title contender. 

Why the Chiefs? Yearly we speak ourselves into some newer, sexier staff. And but, over the course of the final 10 World Cups, Germany has completed first, second or third on seven events. They’re at all times within the combine. You possibly can say related issues concerning the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, who’ve appeared in four-straight AFC Championship Video games. Wager in opposition to them at your individual peril.

Ghana: Chicago Bears

Ghana’s profile: The Black Stars return to the largest stage after lacking out in 2018. They’re able to advancing — Ghana reached the spherical of 16 in 2006 and the quarterfinals in 2010, once they have been a missed penalty kick away from turning into the primary African staff to make the semis — in the event that they carry out to their potential. 

Why the Bears? Ghana has been out of the highlight for just a few years, and now they’re again with a stable base of younger expertise. They are going to be up in opposition to it, on condition that they share a gaggle with Portugal and Uruguay, however they’re thrilling. Looks like a stable description of Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears, who all of a sudden look much more promising than they did a month in the past.

Iran: Washington Commanders 

Iran’s profile: At No. 20, Iran is the bottom FIFA-ranked staff in a gaggle that incorporates England, the US and Wales. Do not sleep on Crew Melli, although. This yr’s model, thought of a golden technology by their followers, can punish any staff in transition with their lightning-quick counterattacks. 

Why the Commanders? Ranked final in a tricky division. Mentioning the rear does not essentially imply Iran is dangerous — simply as Washington has confirmed its value by successful three of its final 4 video games. Are the Commanders able to a run? Most likely not. They’re nonetheless a greater staff than informal observers will need to give them credit score for.

Japan: New England Patriots

Japan’s profile: Defensively organized and troublesome to dispossess as soon as they get the ball, the Blue Samurai are at all times tough to beat. They’ve certified for every of the final six World Cups and superior to the knockout stage in three of them, together with 2018. 

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Why the Patriots? It is nonetheless tough to regulate expectations for the post-Tom Brady Patriots. New England is not more likely to make a deep run this yr, however they’re undoubtedly defensively organized, and that may make them robust to beat on any given afternoon.

Mexico: Inexperienced Bay Packers 

Mexico’s profile: Like England, Mexico has an unlimited and passionate fan base who’ve sky-high and infrequently unrealistic expectations for a nationwide staff that by no means really wins something. El Tri does at all times qualify for the World Cup, although, they usually do at all times advance, having reached the knockout stage seven straight instances. In addition they at all times lose instantly once they get to the spherical of 16. Mexico, which can discipline its weakest squad in current reminiscence in Qatar, has by no means reached the quarterfinal of a World Cup they did not host. 

Why the Packers? An enormous, passionate fan base with excessive expectations and a bent to put on inexperienced. Clearly, the Inexperienced Bay Packers have a wealthy historical past of successful championships. However right here previously decade, they’re fairly nice at reaching the knockout spherical and failing to advance, and that is their weakest staff in fairly a while. Sounds lots like El Tri.

Morocco: Indianapolis Colts

Morocco’s profile: Headed to their six World Cup this month, Morocco has gotten out of the primary spherical simply as soon as, in 1986. It will likely be onerous to advance from a gaggle that additionally incorporates Belgium, Canada and Croatia, however they do boast three gamers who’re regulars at high European golf equipment: Achraf Hakimi (Paris Saint-Germain), Noussair Mazraoui (Bayern Munich) and Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea).

Why the Colts? Morocco has some expertise, although there was drama inside the staff about how finest to put it to use — to the purpose that it received the pinnacle coach fired. That already sounds lots just like the Indianapolis Colts. Whenever you add in the truth that each groups are unlikely to make the knockout spherical, it sounds nearly good.

Netherlands: Cincinatti Bengals

Netherlands’ profile: Essentially the most highly effective soccer nation by no means to raise the World Cup, the Oranje’s expertise is unquestioned. The Dutch simply can not seem to get out of their very own manner, although, shedding within the last on three separate events (1974, 1978 and 2010). They did not even qualify for 2018 4 years after ending third.  

Why the Bengals? A staff recognized for high-flying offense, that wears orange, that has been to the Huge Recreation 3 times and are available out 0-3? The Netherlands really feel awfully Bengals-ish to me. Hopefully for the Dutch, they’re on the cusp of discovering their subsequent technology of stars, as Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase have Cincinnati extra targeted on the long run than the previous.

Poland: Baltimore Ravens 

Poland’s profile: Hardworking and disciplined, the Poles’ wild card is their elite striker. Robert Lewandowski is likely one of the most feared and environment friendly goal-getters within the international sport. With scoring alternatives onerous to come back by on the World Cup, Lewandowski is able to successful a match for his nation all by himself. 

Why the Ravens? Very like Lewandowski, Lamar Jackson is likely one of the most proficient and completed gamers at his place within the sport at the moment. Very like Poland, I am not satisfied the supporting solid in Baltimore is powerful sufficient to get the Ravens the place they need to go. No strain, however it all comes all the way down to the talismanic MVP on the entrance.

Portugal: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Portugal’s profile: Their roster is populated with real all-world gamers, a listing which may not even nonetheless embrace 37-year-old captain Cristiano Ronaldo. Can the legend, who helped Portugal end fourth at his first World Cup in 2006 and win a European Championship title a decade later, flip again the clock in Qatar and lead his nation on one other deep run?

[Which Cristiano Ronaldo will show up for Portugal at World Cup 2022?]

Why the Buccaneers? The ageing legend will get all of the publicity, however there are half a dozen different gamers which might be essential to the staff’s success. Portugal with Cristiano Ronaldo remind me a variety of Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Each groups will want their GOAT to attain their targets, however the Bucs are going to want extra from the likes of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Devin White and Lavonte David if they will flip their season round.

Qatar: Arizona Cardinals

Qatar’s profile: House discipline benefit is not any joke: each earlier World Cup host, apart from South Africa in 2010, has reached the knockout stage. Adept and carving foes open with their blistering counterattack, Qatar will look to comply with go well with this fall. It will not be straightforward, because the hosts have been drawn into a gaggle that additionally included the Netherlands, Ecuador and African champions Senegal.

Why the Cardinals? They put on purple, they’re based mostly in a desert, they’re enjoying host to the championship this yr, they’re in a gaggle with at the least two higher groups and nobody is giving them an opportunity to perform a lot. The Arizona Cardinals are an ideal match for Qatar.

Saudi Arabia: Pittsburgh Steelers

Saudi Arabi’s profile: Again on the worldwide stage for a second consecutive World Cup, the Saudis completed twenty sixth out of the 32 entrants in 2018. That was an enchancment over all however one among their earlier 4 appearances. Whereas little is anticipated of them this yr, they will have loads of assist within the stands in Qatar. As of final month, Saudi followers had purchased the third-most tickets to the event, after these in the US and the host nation. 

Why the Steelers? Let’s have a look at. A middling staff that we are able to comfortably rule out of the championship dialog, however remains to be certain to take pleasure in enthusiastic fan assist from a big fan base. Appears like a becoming description for this yr’s Pittsburgh Steelers, who’ve a way more storied historical past than Saudi Arabia, however simply aren’t able to compete this yr.

Senegal: Minnesota Vikings

Senegal’s profile: Within the span of some months earlier this yr, Senegal received the African Cup of Nations after which certified for the World Cup, beating Egyptian staff every time. In addition they got here inside a whisker of reaching the second spherical 4 years in the past. With extra expertise and a backbone of top-shelf gamers equivalent to keeper Édouard Mendy, central defender and captain Kalidou Koulibaly and star ahead Sadio Mane, they need to survive the group stage — at a minimal — in Qatar.

Why the Vikings? There’s a variety of expertise readily available, and Senegal has been gifted a gaggle that does not look too onerous to win. That appears like an apt description for the Minnesota Vikings, who undoubtedly have staff — however who undoubtedly profit from a weak division. Granted, the Netherlands does not look remotely as down as Inexperienced Bay. However the level stays: it is a distinctive likelihood for the Vikings to make some noise.

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South Korea: Cleveland Browns

South Korea’s profile: Competing at their tenth straight World Cup in 2022, the Taegeuk Warriors are hoping to outlive the group stage for the primary time since 2010. That objective will probably be considerably more durable to attain if they do not have Son Heung-min, their captain and finest participant, out there in Qatar. Son suffered a critical facial damage Nov. 1, however is anticipated to play.

Why the Browns? We’re all hoping Music Heung-min can handle to play, or else we’ll be robbed of watching one among this World Cup’s finest gamers. If he isn’t out there, this seems like a staff that is not able to advancing, largely due to the absence of its finest participant. Whereas the circumstances are wildly completely different, it sounds lots just like the Cleveland Browns.

Serbia: Carolina Panthers

Serbia’s profile: The 2022 occasion in Qatar marks the fourth World Cup journey for Serbia since 2006.  A daily Prime 10 finisher once they competed as Yugoslavia, they have not loved the identical form of success beneath the Serbian flag, failing to advance in three tries. They do boast two high strikers in Aleksandar Mitrović and Dušan Vlahović and arrive in Qatar on a 4W-0L-1T run. 

Why the Panthers? Everybody at this stage has expertise, even Carolina. The Panthers have two of the perfect younger gamers at their place within the league in Brian Burns and D.J. Moore. That is not ok to assist Carolina to a successful document, identical to it is onerous to think about Serbia getting previous the likes of Brazil, Switzerland and Cameroon.

Spain: Philadelphia Eagles

Spain’s profile: With all-planet gamers at virtually each place, Spain is a darkish horse to win all of it in Qatar. The virtually totally rebuilt La Roja, which claimed their lone World Cup title in 2010, have higher odds (per FOXBet) than all however 4 groups this fall. They’ve additionally misplaced simply as soon as in 10 matches during the last calendar yr. 

Why the Eagles? A powerhouse that fell aside only a few quick years in the past, however it hasn’t taken them lengthy to rebuild as one the deepest groups within the discipline. And whereas some legendary names have lengthy since moved on, a proficient new group has seamlessly taken their place. Am I describing the Spanish nationwide staff, or the 8-1 Philadelphia Eagles? You be the choose.

Switzerland: New York Giants

Switzerland’s profile: The Swiss have gotten accustomed to advancing, having reached the spherical of 16 in each 2014 and ’18. (Whereas they did not progress in 2010, they did stun eventual champ Spain within the first spherical). Though they’re in a gaggle with Brazil this yr, Switzerland ought to outlast Cameroon and Serbia to make it three in a row. 

Why the Giants? Overshadowed by groups in their very own group — however loads harmful in their very own proper. Switzerland will get misplaced within the shuffle behind Brazil very similar to the Giants are unappreciated sitting behind the Eagles and Cowboys. They’ve nonetheless finished loads to show that they are value taking critically. Switzerland has overwhelmed Spain and Portugal in the previous few months, simply because the Giants boast spectacular wins in opposition to the Titans and Ravens.

Tunisia: Houston Texans

Tunisia’s profile: Competing of their sixth World Cup and second in a row, the northern African nation has by no means made it out of the group stage. They’ve completed no increased than twenty fourth of their final 4 journeys, with their finest exhibiting (ninth general) again in 1978. 

Why the Texans? Somebody’s certain to deliver up the rear, primarily due to an absence of star energy. Tunisia is the Houston Texans — though at the least the Texans have the luxurious of enjoying in a awful division, whereas Tunisia has the unenviable job of enjoying Australia, Denmark and France.

Uruguay: Las Vegas Raiders

Uruguay’s profile: Regardless of by no means reaching the heights of their glory days — Uruguay received the inaugural 1930 World Cup on house soil, then repeated the feat in Brazil 20 years later — La Celeste remains to be formidable if not among the many favorites. They’ve certified for 3 of the final 4 World Cups, ending fourth in 2010 and advancing to the quarterfinals in 2018 earlier than shedding to eventual champion France. Robust within the sort out and led by elite scorers Edinson Cavani and Darwin Núñez up high, Uruguay will probably be a tricky out for anybody.   

Why the Raiders? The becoming parallel right here feels just like the Las Vegas Raiders — a proficient staff with a proud historical past that hasn’t managed to copy the success of a long time previous. The distinction is that this yr’s Raiders, constructed round Derek Carr, Davante Adams and Darren Waller, have been one of many greatest disappointments of the NFL season. Hopefully, Uruguay does not comply with go well with.

Wales: Los Angeles Chargers

Wales’ profile: It has been 64 years for the reason that Welsh final competed at a World Cup, however their keep on the 2022 occasion may very well be a brief one. Wales has misplaced 5 of their final seven matches heading into the event. Their lone victory, in June in opposition to Ukraine, certified them for Qatar however would not have occurred with out keeper Wayne Hennessey standing on his head. And Gareth Bale, Wales’ most adorned and vital participant, hasn’t been wholesome sufficient to play often for LAFC in MLS. Add all of it up and a gaggle stage exit appears possible. 

[USMNT can’t afford to overlook Gareth Bales and Wales]

Why the Chargers? With all of the horrible accidents this season, it typically seems like Justin Herbert is being requested to do all the pieces himself. And identical to Gareth Bale, he hasn’t even been absolutely wholesome in his personal proper. It is too quickly to rule the Chargers out, however the vibes aren’t good transferring into the second half of the season.

Learn extra:

David Helman covers the Dallas Cowboys for FOX Sports activities. He beforehand spent 9 seasons masking the Cowboys for the staff’s official web site. In 2018, he received a regional Emmy for his position in producing “Dak Prescott: A Household Reunion” concerning the quarterback’s time at Mississippi State. Comply with him on Twitter @davidhelman_.

Doug McIntyre is a soccer author for FOX Sports activities. Earlier than becoming a member of FOX Sports activities in 2021, he was a workers author with ESPN and Yahoo Sports activities and he has coated United States males’s and ladies’s nationwide groups at a number of FIFA World Cups. Comply with him on Twitter @ByDougMcIntyre.


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