Which Reds could be at the World Cup?

Tuesday 14 June 2022 10:15

Young Manchester United midfielder Dylan Levitt became the latest current Red to book his place at the 2022 World Cup on Sunday.

Levitt may not have been on the pitch but the 21-year-old was still able to take part in the jubilant celebrations as Wales qualified for the tournament finals for the first time in 64 years, with a 1-0 victory over Ukraine at the Cardiff City Stadium.

But which other Reds could be involved when the first-ever winter World Cup takes place this November and December in Qatar?

What the World Cup means for 2022/23


The tournament in Qatar is going to have an unprecedented impact on next season's domestic football.

Dylan can look forward to a potential meeting with England in Al Rayyan on 29 November: Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho all took part in qualifying for the Three Lions and will hope to be selected for the tournament, as will goalkeeper Dean Henderson who has one cap to his name so far.

Iran and the United States are the other two sides in Group B.

In Group A, Donny van de Beek will be setting his sights on returning to the Netherlands squad in time to take on hosts Qatar, Ecuador and Senegal.

Van de Beek, who spent the second half of last season on loan with Everton, played twice in the World Cup qualifiers, scoring in the 7-0 thrashing of Gibraltar.

Reigning world champions France face Denmark, Tunisia and Australia in Group D.

Raphael Varane is fast approaching a century of caps for Les Bleus, while Anthony Martial will hope to be back in Didier Deschamps’s thoughts, after featuring five times in the successful qualifying campaign.

Hannibal will want to stop France in their tracks and it could be a third senior tournament already for the teenager, who took part in last year’s Arab Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations in January.

Hannibal in action for Tunisia.

David De Gea hasn’t been selected in Luis Enrique’s latest squad but our no.1 will be hard to ignore if he maintains the form that saw him named Players’ Player of the Year for 2021/22.

La Roja are in a tough-looking Group E with Germany and Japan, with the fourth side yet to be confirmed – Costa Rica play New Zealand on Tuesday 14 June in the CONCACAF/OFC play-off.

The last four World Cup winners have all been from Europe and Brazil may be best-placed to end that run.

The Selecao have, of course, lifted the famous trophy a record five times and came through the notoriously tough CONMEBOL qualifying without losing a game.

Fred and Alex Telles have been regularly called upon by head coach Tite and can look forward to clashes with Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon in Group G.

Players' Player of the Year announced


David De Gea received the most votes from his team-mates after another consistent season between the sticks.

Finally, a quartet of Reds could take part in Group H, where Portugal and Uruguay are joined by Ghana and South Korea in an intriguing-looking pool.

Cristiano Ronaldo could equal a record by playing in his fifth World Cup finals tournament, while Bruno Fernandes’s brace helped down North Macedonia in March’s play-off final to secure qualification.

Diogo Dalot has made his senior breakthrough in the past year, since being called into the European Championship squad late last summer.

That’s also the case for Facundo Pellistri. The winger hasn’t been involved too much while on loan at Alaves this season, but already has three assists under his belt in just five games with La Celeste.

How Ronaldo could make history in Qatar


Cristiano is in line to set a new World Cup record with Portugal, after being selected in Fernando Santos's squad.

United's record for most players involved at a single World Cup stands at 14.

That number of Reds were picked for the 2014 tournament in Brazil, with Robin van Persie going furthest as the Netherlands finished third under Louis van Gaal.

Eleven of our squad travelled to Russia in 2018, and judging by the list above we could well achieve double-figures representation again this winter.