2022 World Cup: List of Qualified Teams for Qatar, Updated Standings, Playoff Brackets


“Qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is reaching its conclusion, as countries compete to fill the remaining spots in this year’s showcase on the sport’s greatest stage. … It was determined on Nov. 26 which regions will be paired for the playoffs, whose format has changed. Another wrinkle to qualifying is the expulsion of Russia due to its nation’s invasion of Ukraine. .. Nevertheless, the draw for the 2022 World Cup will occur on April 1, with the March 31 FIFA ranking being used to determine the pots. …”
SI
FIFA World Cup: Which teams have qualified to Qatar 2022? Full list of all 32 nations

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Analysing Europe’s free-kick takers: the good, the bad and the brilliance of James Ward-Prowse


Harry Kane
“My favourite would probably have to be Roberto Carlos, against France in 1997. Others might refer to Cristiano Ronaldo against Portsmouth in 2008, maybe Paul Gascoigne against Arsenal in 1991, or draw from the back catalogues of David Beckham, Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho or Juninho Pernambucano. Yes, we’re talking about free kicks. We love them — or rather, we love it when they fly into the back of the net. It feels as though fans’ expectations are often quite high when you see a player line up a direct free kick but, across Europe’s top five leagues, the average conversion rate of a direct free kick has been just six per cent since 2016-17. …”
The Athletic