When Is The Next Soccer World Cup?

World Cup – two words that make every single soccer enthusiast excited. But when and where is the next FIFA World Cup – the most prominent sports competition after the Olympic Games.

For 2022, FIFA decided to hold the World Cup in Qatar – the first-ever international soccer competition held in the Arab world. We’ve already seen a world cup played in Asia – back in 2002 when the tournament was hosted by two countries – Japan and South Korea.

FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar will be a somewhat unique one. That will be the first time a tournament is played in November, not during the traditional May-June or June-July period (the latter being the more popular option).

The kickoff game will be played on the 21st of November, when Senegal will take on the Netherlands. The hosts, Qatar, will play their first game a bit later that day against the group A  underdogs – Ecuador.

The tournament’s final game will be played on the 18th of December, where the two best teams in the knockout phase will face each other to claim the title of the best soccer national team in the world.

This edition will be the last held in the old format since it will feature 32 teams. Starting from 2026, a World Cup will feature 48 nations.

The current Champions, France, alongside Brazil, is at the moment listed as the number one favorite to win the tournament. However, this will in no way be an easy task because since 1962, not a single national team other than Brazil has managed to defend the World Cup successfully. A couple of other national teams also considered strong favorites are Spain, England, Argentina, and Belgium. 

When is the next soccer world cup?

When it comes to the underdogs, there are still several national teams that could not only give the favorites a hard time but potentially make a solid result. For example, the Senegalese national team has several world-class stars like Sadio Mané, who plays for Liverpool, and Kalidou Koulibaly, who plays for Napoli, who can lead the Lions of Teranga to the best result an African team has ever managed.

The Old Continent, or more simply, Europe, has several teams that can shine. One of those dark horses is Serbia, led by Juventus rising star Dušan Vlahović; the striker with the most goals in the history of the English Championship (second division), Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrović, and the Ajax Amsterdam Captain, Dušan Tadić.

Asia will also have a strong competitor – South Korea. The tigers of Asia, led by Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min, will try to potentially surprise everyone and make the same or maybe even a better result as in 2002 when they won fourth place.

What should I know about FIFA World Cup before tuning in?

A competition that will celebrate its 100-year history in less than a decade has a lot to offer to both new and old fans. We will take a look at the previous hosts, winners, and the schedule so you can make sure to follow your favorite nations and players.

Previous Hosts

Let’s take a brief look at the history of previous FIFA World Cup hosts:

The country in the first column is the host, while the second, third, and fourth columns represent the winner, the runner-up, and the third-place winner, respectively.

Year Host Winner Runner-up Third-place
2018 Russia France Croatia Belgium
2014 Brazil Germany Argentina Netherlands
2010 South Africa Spain Netherlands Germany
2006 Germany Italy France
2002 South Korea, Japan Brazil Germany Turkey
1998 France France Brazil Croatia
1994 United States Brazil Italy Sweden
1990 Italy West Germany Argentina Italy
1986 Mexico Argentina West Germany France
1982 Spain Italy West Germany Poland
1978 Argentina Argentina Netherlands Brazil
1974 West Germany West Germany Netherlands Poland
1970 Mexico Brazil Italy West Germany
1966 England England West Germany Portugal
1962 Chile Brazil Czechoslovakia Chile
1958 Sweden Brazil Sweden France
1954 Switzerland West Germany Hungary Austria
1950 Brazil Uruguay Brazil Sweden
1938 France Italy Hungary Brazil
1934 Italy Italy Czechoslovakia Germany
1930 Uruguay Uruguay Argentina United States


If we look at the groups, we will notice that not all are quite complete yet. There are still three games that need to be played for the final list of the nations to be completed.

For example, group B consists of England, Iran, and the USA, while the final member will be decided in June when Scotland will meet Ukraine. The winner of that game will play the final match against Wales in the same month and will get the chance to compete in Qatar.

We have another similar example in Group D, where UAE will play against Australia. The game that will also be played in June will let the winning team play against Peru for the final place in Group D.

The third playoff game will pair Costa Rica and New Zealand in a game that will be held in June as well.

Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands.

Group B: England, Iran, USA, Wales/Scotland/Ukraine.

Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland.

Group D: France, Peru/Australia/UAE, Denmark, Tunisia.

Group E: Spain, Costa Rica/New Zealand, Germany, Japan.

Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia.

Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon.

Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea.

We can see that the group of death here is definitely group G, which features not only the best South American and African teams but also two strong European sides like Serbia and Switzerland. On top of that, group G will match up with group H in the knockout stages, and we might even be able to see a matchup between Brazil and Portugal in the round of 16.

World Cup 2022 schedule

Like in every World Cup, you don’t have to worry about missing a single group-stage game since all of them are played at a different time. But, of course, that is also the case for every game played in the knockout stage.

Depending on the time zone, you might have to wake up a bit earlier (or a bit later). For example, soccer enthusiasts in the UK will have to brace themselves for quite unusual matchday fixtures – some games starting even at 10 am.

When it comes to US and Canadian fans, some group stage games start as early as 5 am. We assume only the most devoted soccer enthusiasts in Northern America will wake up at the crack of dawn to watch matchups like Morocco vs. Croatia.

Some key dates that you should focus on

Group stage: from the 21st of November to the 2nd of December

Round of 16: from the 3rd to the 6th of December

Quarter-finals: from the 9th to the 10th of December

Semi-finals: the 13th and 14th of December

The final: the 18th of December