World Cup trophy

Which Reds have qualified for the World Cup?

Wednesday 17 November 2021 11:00

With the final international break of 2021 over, the World Cup qualifying picture now looks much clearer as we build up to next year's finals in Qatar.

There are still many important play-off fixtures due to be played and a new window in January will help conclude the non-European sections that suffered fixture problems in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, we now know which Reds can hopefully start thinking about participating in the global event at the back end of 2022.

How Maguire broke an England record


Harry scored again for the Three Lions on Monday and, in doing so, achieved a new landmark.


England breezed through Group I, clinching the top spot with emphatic victories over Albania (5-0) and San Marino (10-0), with our skipper Harry Maguire opening the scoring in both games. Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford missed out due to fitness issues, while a number of others will hope to make Gareth Southgate's squad, including Dean HendersonJesse Lingard, Jadon Sancho and Mason Greenwood, who have all won caps under the current boss.

France sealed their spot with an 8-0 hiding of Kazakhstan in Group D, albeit without their three Reds in Raphael Varane, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial. The trio will all look to be in Didier Deschamps's squad as Les Bleus aim to retain the trophy.

David De Gea's Spain did well to qualify by edging Sweden out in Group B by winning their final two fixtures, although our keeper was an unused substitute on both occasions. Donny van de Beek will be determined to regain his Netherlands place after Louis van Gaal's men held off Norway's challenge to reach the finals after missing out on the 2018 tournament.

Further afield, Fred has been a key figure throughout qualifying for Brazil, who are already assured of their place in Qatar, even though the South American section has still to be finalised. Alex Telles will be keen to earn a recall and join him in the squad.


Victor Lindelof's Sweden pushed Spain all the way but had to settle for runners-up spot and a place in one of the four-team pools to decide the last three qualifiers from Europe. Anthony Elanga's outstanding form for the Under-21s could lead to him being promoted to the senior squad by the time the finals come around.

Scott McTominay was absent from Scotland's fine wins over Moldova and Denmark due to illness but will hopefully be a key figure in March when the side bid to reach their first World Cup this century. The Tartan Army will be able to roar their team on at Hampden Park with the Scots seeded and guaranteed a home semi-final.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Dalot and Bruno Fernandes all suffered late heartbreak when Aleksandar Mitrovic headed home to make it 2-1 to Serbia on Sunday, inflicting a rare home qualifying defeat on Portugal. The Euro 2016 winners are to be seeded in the draw for March's crunch games but could still face Italy in a potential final, with one of them missing out on the tournament.

Wales are also in the play-offs. They named Dylan Levitt in their most recent squad but the midfielder, on loan at Dundee United, had to withdraw.

Tunisia, who could include Hannibal in their plans next year, safely progressed into the last 10 of the African qualifiers, with five of the nations able to book a slot in Qatar.


Uruguay, who had to do without Edinson Cavani during this set of fixtures, are involved in a tussle to clinch one of the four slots that will seal qualification from the South American section.

La Celeste were beaten 3-0 in Bolivia on Tuesday, leaving them seventh in the table, although they are only one point behind Colombia in the final automatic qualification spot with four games to play.

Third and fourth will join Brazil and Argentina at the finals, while the fifth-best side will go into the intercontinental play-offs, following the conclusion of the group in early 2022.

Fred and Brazil have already booked their spot at Qatar.


Ivory Coast succumbed to Cameroon in their final group game, surrendering top spot in the table to the Indomitable Lions and subsequently being eliminated from the competition. Cameroon can instead look forward to being in the 10-team play-offs, which is bad news for Eric Bailly, who played in Yaounde, and Amad.

Ethan Galbraith is breaking into the Northern Ireland picture but, despite an impressive performance to hold Italy to a 0-0 draw, Ian Baraclough's side finished third, some way behind the Azzurri and Group C winners Switzerland.