Association football or soccer is considered as the most popular sport in the world and it is no surprise that its major international tournament is the most prestigious all over the globe too.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 is deemed as the most coveted sporting event on the planet. With over a billion audiences from all regions and expenses that reach a great height—it is also highly anticipated.
The main event takes place once every four years and in between, the qualification process is being held. The competition takes all of the best national teams to battle for supremacy and get the championship title.
The qualification for the World Cup is a long process. Sometimes, this process takes place in the years before a World Cup edition is being held.
Each confederation or continental football governing bodies hold their own qualification tournaments to determine which teams will be qualified. The confederations are—UEFA (Europe), CONCACAF (South America), AFC (Asia), CONMEBOL (Central America), CAF (Africa), and OFC (Oceania).
The winners from those confederations will be granted a place in the final competition. The teams that did not receive an automatic entry in the final game will battle in a playoff system. The playoffs will be played in two legs and the winners will join the rest of the qualified teams to make the 32 teams needed in the finals.
In the recent World Cups, the competition proper was played by eight groups of four teams. In that setup, all the teams within each pool will compete with each other once. Selections mean that the holders, the host country, and the rest of the highest ranked teams are sprinkled across the groups.
The top two sides from each respective pool will battle it out to determine which one will be granted the championship title. This means that the winning team from Group A will face the runner-up of Group B and vice versa.
The first World Cup was held in 1930 in the South American country of Uruguay, the next tournament was held in Italy. Since then, nations from Europe and South America were chosen to host the event.
This cycle was changed when the World Cup was introduced for the first time in North America in the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. The event was first held in Asia during the 2002 World Cup co-hosted by Japan and South Korea.
The most victorious nation in the history of the World Cup is Brazil, having won the championship title five times (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002).
Ever since the first edition was held in 1930, the FIFA World Cup has never been won by any country outside the continents of Europe and South America. This strongly suggests that both regions are considered powerhouses in world football.
Since 1998 until now, the format being used to select the number of teams to compete for the final tournament is 32 teams. This will change in the 2026 edition, as the number of teams will be expanded to 42.
The South American nations of Brazil and Argentina are considered by many as rivals when it comes to football. Both nations have produced two of the greatest football players of all time—Pele and Diego Maradona. They were considered as the Messi and Ronaldo of their time.
The FIFA World Cup is the most prestigious event in football and billions of money are being spent to make this event memorable to many football players and fans. Perhaps, the allure of the World Cup will not wane for a while. This billion-dollar industry will endure for a very long time.