NFL comparisons for all 32 groups competing at World Cup 2022

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NFL comparisons for all 32 groups competing at World Cup 2022
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To a majority of the world, the FIFA World Cup is as massive because it will get for soccer (or fútbol), and it solely occurs each 4 years. In america, the most important 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 give you NFL comparisons for the 32 groups that may compete in Qatar. 

United States: New York Jets

United States’ profile: The U.S. often qualifies for the World Cup (their 2018 miss is the one one within the final 36 years) and the Individuals have superior in 4 of the seven tournaments they’ve performed in since 1990. The youngest group in Qatar and essentially the most gifted 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 sure will not be for (no less than) 4 extra years. 

Why the Jets? The U.S. has lots of thrilling younger expertise and a few intriguing potential, however let’s be trustworthy: It is honest to say the hype usually outpaces the product, given the quantity of those that need this group to lastly take the subsequent step. It sounds rather a lot 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 profitable the South American championship final 12 months. They will be hoping to ship Messi, who’s showing in his fifth last event this 12 months, off with one of many few main titles he hasn’t received. — McIntyre

Why the Dolphins? The Miami Dolphins can most likely 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 may be dealing with extra stress, however Tua Tagovailoa can certainly relate. — Helman

Australia: Tennessee Titans

Australia’s profile: The Socceroos had 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, and so they’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 gifted 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 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 akin to Tom Brady and the Dallas Cowboys to gamers within the World Cup.

Belgium: Buffalo Bills

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

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

Brazil: San Francisco 49ers

Brazil’s profile: Not simply the most effective group 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 ability and all-out attacking type strikes concern into even elite foes. It makes them essentially the most enjoyable squad to look at, too.

Why the 49ers? Do not let the file 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 couple of journeys to the postseason have not gone as they’d want. Perhaps that is the 12 months to alter 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 12 months, when Cameroon turned the primary African group to succeed in the quarterfinals. They have not survived group play since.

Why the Lions? A group named the Lions, which hasn’t made a run since 1990 and in addition 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 group 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 most important stage for the primary time since 1986 in grand type, ending atop their regional World Cup qualifying event forward of perennial event members Mexico and the United States. It should 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 prime 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 most likely not sufficient expertise readily available to make any actual noise, however you have to respect the combat.

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.

Why the Saints? There are solely 4 World Cup nations 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 search out constant success on this competitors — although it does not appear to be both group shall be making a lot noise this 12 months.

Croatia: Seattle Seahawks

Croatia’s profile: All the time a low-key title risk even when this 12 months’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 (truly 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, nevertheless 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 group price fearing. 

Denmark: Denver Broncos

Denmark’s profile: A stylish 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 group within the subject when taking part in their finest. 

Why the Broncos? Keying in on the phrase “when taking part in 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 stress 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 12 months, both. 

Why the Jaguars? The Jacksonville Jaguars spend lots of time wanting up within the division at their two way more profitable counterparts, Indianapolis and Tennessee. The Jags do not have a historical past of success on the predominant occasion, both, and except one thing drastic occurs that is not anticipated to alter 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 lately, reaching the semis in 2018 and the ultimate of final 12 months’s European Championship. England’s window would possibly now have closed, although. They head to Qatar driving a six-match winless streak. 

Why the Cowboys? An extremely fashionable group, full of extremely gifted gamers, backed by an infinite fan base that is determined for them to re-capture their former glory. To be honest 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 in need of that may suffice.

France: Los Angeles Rams

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

Why the Rams? If final 12 months’s Rams season was the great model of Les Bleus, then this 12 months may 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 12 months. Hopefully that is not a nasty 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 City Chiefs

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

Why the Chiefs? Yearly we discuss ourselves into some newer, sexier group. And but, over the course of the final 10 World Cups, Germany has completed first, second or third on seven events. They’re all the time within the combine. You’ll be able to say comparable issues concerning the Kansas City Chiefs, who’ve appeared in four-straight AFC Championship Video games. Wager towards them at your individual peril.

Ghana: Chicago Bears

Ghana’s profile: The Black Stars return to the most important 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 had been a missed penalty kick away from turning into the primary African group 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 towards it, provided 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 out of the blue 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 group in a gaggle that comprises England, america and Wales. Do not sleep on Workforce Melli, although. This 12 months’s model, thought of a golden technology by their followers, can punish any group 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 price by profitable three of its final 4 video games. Are the Commanders able to a run? In all probability not. They’re nonetheless a greater group 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 all the time difficult 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. 

Why the Patriots? It is nonetheless difficult to regulate expectations for the post-Tom Brady Patriots. New England is not prone to make a deep run this 12 months, however they’re positively defensively organized, and that may make them robust to beat on any given afternoon.

Mexico: Green Bay Packers 

Mexico’s profile: Like England, Mexico has an infinite and passionate fan base who’ve sky-high and infrequently unrealistic expectations for a nationwide group that by no means truly wins something. El Tri does all the time qualify for the World Cup, although, and so they do all the time advance, having reached the knockout stage seven straight instances. In addition they all the time lose instantly once they get to the spherical of 16. Mexico, which is able to subject its weakest squad in latest 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 Green Bay Packers have a wealthy historical past of profitable championships. However right here up to now decade, they’re fairly nice at reaching the knockout spherical and failing to advance, and that is their weakest group in fairly a while. Sounds rather a lot 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. Will probably be laborious to advance from a gaggle that additionally comprises Belgium, Canada and Croatia, however they do boast three gamers who’re regulars at prime 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 group about how finest to put it to use — to the purpose that it bought the top coach fired. That already sounds rather a lot just like the Indianapolis Colts. While you add in the truth that each groups are unlikely to make the knockout spherical, it sounds nearly good.

Netherlands: Cincinatti Bengals

Netherlands’ profile: Probably 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 means, 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 group identified for high-flying offense, that wears orange, that has been to the Huge Sport 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 longer term 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 recreation. With scoring alternatives laborious to come back by on the World Cup, Lewandowski is able to profitable a match for his nation all by himself. 

Why the Ravens? Very like Lewandowski, Lamar Jackson is likely one of the most gifted and achieved gamers at his place within the recreation at this time. 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 stress, nevertheless it all comes right 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 embody 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 getting older legend will get all of the publicity, however there are half a dozen different gamers which can be essential to the group’s success. Portugal with Cristiano Ronaldo remind me lots of Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Each groups will want their GOAT to attain their targets, however the Bucs are going to wish extra from the likes of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Devin White and Lavonte David if they are going to flip their season round.

Qatar: Arizona Cardinals

Qatar’s profile: Dwelling subject benefit is not any joke: each earlier World Cup host, aside 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 simple, because the hosts had been drawn into a gaggle that additionally included the Netherlands, Ecuador and African champions Senegal.

Why the Cardinals? They put on crimson, they’re primarily based in a desert, they’re taking part in host to the championship this 12 months, they’re in a gaggle with no less than 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 12 months, they’re going to 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 america and the host nation. 

Why the Steelers? Let’s have a look at. A middling group that we are able to comfortably rule out of the championship dialog, however remains to be certain to get pleasure from enthusiastic fan assist from a big fan base. Appears like a becoming description for this 12 months’s Pittsburgh Steelers, who’ve a way more storied historical past than Saudi Arabia, however simply aren’t able to compete this 12 months.

Senegal: Minnesota Vikings

Senegal’s profile: Within the span of some months earlier this 12 months, Senegal received the African Cup of Nations after which certified for the World Cup, beating a great Egyptian group 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 akin 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 lots of expertise readily available, and Senegal has been gifted a gaggle that does not look too laborious to win. That appears like an apt description for the Minnesota Vikings, who positively have a great group — however who positively 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.

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 aim shall be considerably tougher to attain if they do not have Son Heung-min, their captain and finest participant, out there in Qatar. Son suffered a critical facial harm Nov. 1, however is anticipated to play.

Why the Browns? We’re all hoping Track 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 appears like a group that is not able to advancing, largely due to the absence of its finest participant. Whereas the circumstances are wildly totally different, it sounds rather a lot 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 High 10 finisher once they competed as Yugoslavia, they have not loved the identical type of success below the Serbian flag, failing to advance in three tries. They do boast two prime 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 most effective younger gamers at their place within the league in Brian Burns and D.J. Moore. That is not adequate to assist Carolina to a profitable file, similar to it is laborious to think about Serbia getting previous the likes of BrazilSwitzerland and Cameroon.

Spain: Philadelphia Eagles

Spain’s profile: With all-planet gamers at nearly each place, Spain is a darkish horse to win all of it in Qatar. The virtually completely 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 12 months. 

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

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 12 months, 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 a lot 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 executed a lot to show that they are price taking critically. Switzerland has overwhelmed Spain and Portugal in the previous couple of months, simply because the Giants boast spectacular wins towards 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 larger than twenty fourth of their final 4 journeys, with their finest exhibiting (ninth general) again in 1978. 

Why the Texans? Somebody’s certain to convey up the rear, primarily due to an absence of star energy. Tunisia is the Houston Texans — though no less than the Texans have the posh of taking part in in a awful division, whereas Tunisia has the unenviable activity of taking part in 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 dwelling 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. Powerful within the deal with and led by elite scorers Edinson Cavani and Darwin Núñez up prime, Uruguay shall be a tricky out for anybody.   

Why the Raiders? The becoming parallel right here feels just like the Las Vegas Raiders — a gifted group with a proud historical past that hasn’t managed to copy the success of a long time previous. The distinction is that this 12 months’s Raiders, constructed round Derek Carr, Davante Adams and Darren Waller, have been one of many largest 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 could possibly be a brief one. Wales has misplaced 5 of their final seven matches heading into the event. Their lone victory, in June towards 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 essential participant, hasn’t been wholesome sufficient to play repeatedly 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 appears like Justin Herbert is being requested to do all the pieces himself. And similar to Gareth Bale, he hasn’t even been totally wholesome in his personal proper. It is too quickly to rule the Chargers out, however the vibes aren’t good shifting into the second half of the season.

Learn extra:

David Helman covers the Dallas Cowboys for FOX Sports activities. He beforehand spent 9 seasons overlaying the Cowboys for the group’s official web site. In 2018, he received a regional Emmy for his function in producing “Dak Prescott: A Household Reunion” concerning the quarterback’s time at Mississippi State. Observe 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 employees author with ESPN and Yahoo Sports activities and he has lined United States males’s and girls’s nationwide groups at a number of FIFA World Cups. Observe him on Twitter @ByDougMcIntyre.

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