Dani Olmo (Spain) and Joško Gvardiol (Croatia) already have the World Cup fever after their nations qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar this week. Yussuf Poulsen (Denmark) and Lukas Klostermann (Germany) had already secured a place at the finals during the last international break in October.
Emil Forsberg (Sweden) and Andre Silva (Portugal) have to go through the European play-offs if they wish to earn a place at the World Cup, and Amadou Haidara (Mali) still has one final round of qualification remaining.
Qualified for the World Cup
Dani Olmo (Spain)
Dani Olmo and Spain finished as Group B winners after a decisive 1-0 win over Sweden. Olmo started for the Spanish national side who only needed a draw to win the group. His brilliant long-range effort cannoned off the crossbar and into the path of Alvaro Morata, who tapped in the rebound for what turned out to be the winner for “La Furia Roja”.
Joško Gvardiol (Croatia)
Joško Gvardiol played the entire 90 minutes as 2018 World Cup runners-up Croatia finished Group H in first place after winning a crucial match against Russia 1-0 on the last matchday.
Yussuf Poulsen (Denmark)
Denmark were already confirmed winners of Group F, but had a chance to make history by winning all ten of their qualifying matches. Yussi had to be substituted off due to injury in Denmark’s 3-1 win over the Faroe Islands, and so wasn’t part of the Danish squad as they suffered a 2-0 defeat in Glasgow.
Lukas Klostermann (Germany)
Lukas Klostermann and Germany sealed World Cup qualification back in October. “Klosti” played every minute of Germany’s 4-0 victory over North Macedonia, but due to injury, he missed their most recent outings against Liechtenstein (9-0) and Armenia (4-1).
In the play-offs or final qualifying round
Emil Forsberg (Sweden)
Sweden’s defeat to Spain meant that Emil Forsberg and his side will need to qualify for the World Cup via the European play-offs. They had already dropped out of first place on the penultimate matchday after losing 2-0 against underdogs Georgia. Forsberg started both of Sweden’s last two qualifying matches.
André Silva (Portugal)
André Silva and Portugal also let first place in Group A slip in the 90th minute of their final qualifier against Serbia, who scored late on to win 2-1 in a winner-takes-all qualifier and guarantee themselves a spot at the World Cup. Silva came off the bench in Lisbon in this game, and started Portugal’s goalless draw against the Republic of Ireland several days before.
Amadou Haidara (Mali)
The Malian national team completed a flawless round of qualifying as they beat Rwanda 3-0 and Uganda 1-0 to cap off an excellent second qualifying round which saw them top the group. “Doudou” is now in the final play-off round of African World Cup qualifying, which sees the ten group winners from the last round take part in play-off matches against a fellow group winner to decide which five of those teams will play at the finals next winter.
Tyler Adams (USA)
For Tyler Adams and the USA, World Cup qualification is still very much in full swing. After eight of their 14 qualifying matches of this round, USA sit in second place, one point behind Canada, and are on track to qualify. “Ty” played every minute of both USA’s 1-1 draw against Jamaica and their 2-1 victory over Costa Rica.
Konrad Laimer (Austria)
Konrad Laimer and Austria missed out on World Cup qualification via the conventional route, but they do have another opportunity to reach the finals in Qatar thanks to their performance in the UEFA Nations League in autumn 2020. They were the sixth best-ranked team in the competition, which earns them a place in the World Cup play-offs. Hopefully Konni Laimer will be available for these two vital games for Austria, as he missed their final two international matches of 2021 due to injury.
Dominik Szoboszlai, Peter Gulacsi und Willi Orban (Hungary)
Dominik Szoboszlai, Peter Gulacsi, Willi Orban and the Hungarian national team have failed to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. They finished outside of the qualifying and play-off spots in Group I but they did go out on a high with a 2-1 win over Poland and a 4-0 victory vs. San Marino. “Szobo” bagged a brace against San Marino, but he then had to leave the squad due to injury. Gulasci and Orban missed this international break altogether due to their own injury problems.