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World Cup 2022 Odds: Will there be a first time winner in Qatar?

8 countries have won the World Cup - could a new country join the party in 2022?
8 countries have won the World Cup - could a new country join the party in 2022?
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The 2022 World Cup promises to be unique. Not only does football’s most momentous tournament take place in uncharted land (Qatar), but it’s switched its traditional June/July schedule for November/December. Could the new surroundings and different time of year combine to produce a new victor?

When it comes to World Cup winners there’s only been one first-time winner in the 21st Century.

Congratulations, if you guessed Spain. La Roja memorably got their mitts on the trophy in 2010 during a period of dominance in which they also scooped back-to-back European Championships.

Before Spain, it was France who tasted glory for the first time in 1998, and prior to that Argentina in 1978.

In fact, only eight different countries have won the World Cup since its inauguration in 1930. Of that triumphant octet, a hefty six have won on multiple occasions, with Brazil hogging six gold trophies.

Could we see another country open up a new slice of history at the Lusail Stadium on Sunday 18th December? Perhaps the Netherlands, Portugal, or Belgium?

Bookmakers Paddy Power have YES priced up at 15/8 and NO odds-on at 4/11.

It’s a cluster of former champions that dominate the upper echelon of the World Cup Winner Odds, including Brazil, France, Argentina, England and Spain. But, if there’s a new champion in 2022, who could it be?

We’ve analysed the betting market, and picked out the top five candidates according to the odds…

Will there be a first time winner at the 2022 World Cup?

No
WIN PROB: 83%
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1/5
Yes
WIN PROB: 22%
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7/2
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7/2
Odds correct as of 2022-11-30 21:47 Odds subject to change.

Portugal

Portugal won the first major trophy in their history in 2016 when they were crowned European Champions. Their best performance on a global stage was 3rd in 1966, however, that’s only one of two times in their history that they’ve made it past the last-16, winning just one game in each of their last three showings. 

Portugal nearly didn't even make it to the 2022 World Cup, holding their nerve to negotiate their passage via the play-offs. A Seleção don’t head to Qatar as one of the favourites for glory - you can back them at 14/1 with bet365 - but if their exceptionally talented array of stars can gel, then they have every chance of stamping their name into the history books.

After all, Portugal’s stellar squad boasts some of the Premier League's best players including Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, João Cancelo, Rúben Dias, and Diogo Jota. There’s so much potential in this squad, it’s just ridiculous. Finding a way to get the best out of all this talent will once again be the task of manager Fernando Santos.

Portugal World Cup Winner Odds

Portugal
WIN PROB: 8%
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Odds correct as of 2022-12-01 13:10 Odds subject to change.

Netherlands

After an eight-year absence, the Netherlands are back, and so is Louis van Gaal who led his country to the 2010 final where they were pipped in extra-time by Spain.

Three times the Netherlands have reached the World Cup final, and three-times they've had to settle for a runners-up medal.

Well, there are growing hopes that their long wait for global honours will come to an end in Qatar. There are plenty of reasons to be encouraged: Oranje are yet to lose in 15 matches with Van Gaal at the helm, they recently thrashed Belgium 4-1 and put four past Denmark too, and are down to the final four of the Nations League.

The Flying Dutchmen may not boast the exceptional individual talent that we are usually accustomed to - Memphis Depay is a 28/1 outsider in the Top Goalscorer Odds - however, under veteran Van Gaal they are functioning quite brilliantly as a cohesive team and should have few problems in Group A alongside Qatar, Ecuador and Senegal.

Netherlands World Cup Winner Odds

Netherlands
WIN PROB: 5%
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Odds correct as of 2022-12-01 13:10 Odds subject to change.

Belgium

“Belgium” and “Golden Generation” have been muttered in the same sentence for years and years now, yet despite the obvious quality within the squad, the European side has yet to taste success: They finished 3rd at the last World Cup, have reached the quarter-finals of the last two Euros, and came 4th at the 2021 Nations League.

Any team with Kevin De Bruyne supplying Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku will be considered a serious threat, even though there are concerns that Belgium haven’t clicked of late. They lost twice to Netherlands in the Nations League - including a 4-1 home defeat - and have been held by the likes of Wales and Ireland in the last year.

You’d be a moose to rule out Kevin and co though.

Belgium World Cup Winner Odds

Belgium
WIN PROB: 1%
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Odds correct as of 2022-12-01 13:10 Odds subject to change.

Denmark

Denmark will no doubt have the “dark horses” tag pinned on them as the World Cup draws closer. Yet, to many, they aren’t dark horses but contenders.

Denmark enjoyed that memorable run-through to the Euro 2020 semi-finals, which they’ll use as momentum next month. Collective spirit, organisation, and a never say die attitude mean the Danes will be a tough opponent for anyone. Just ask defending champions France who has lost twice to Kasper Hjulmand’s side in the last few months.

They’ll therefore be confident when they face France once again in Qatar, and will be favourites to despatch fellow Group D opponents Australia and Tunisia.

Denmark World Cup Winner Odds

Denmark
WIN PROB: 0%
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Odds correct as of 2022-12-01 13:10 Odds subject to change.

Croatia

World Cup finalists in Russia, could Croatia go one step further four years later in Qatar?

In truth, it's difficult to envision Zlatko Dalić's side having another memorable run. They will be expected to compete with Belgium for the top spot in the group, but even if they secure the spoils it's highly likely that Spain or Germany will await in the last-16.

However, over the years the Croatians have often made a mockery of pre-tournament predictions. Not only did they reach the final four years ago, but they also came 3rd in 1998, and reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2008, while they’ve just made it through to the Nations League finals. Some exceptional performances for a population of fewer than 4 million people.

With the majestic Luka Modric still pulling the strings, could the 50/1 shots carve out a spectacular win?

Croatia World Cup Winner Odds

Croatia
WIN PROB: 1%
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Odds correct as of 2022-12-01 13:10 Odds subject to change.

Anyone else?

You may have noticed that the above five countries are all European, a continent that has dominated the World Cup winners field since 2006 through Italy, Spain, Germany, and France.

If a South American country goes all the way then it’s highly likely to be either Brazil or Argentina - or maybe even two-time winner Uruguay - which leaves us with Ecuador, who have only once made it out of the groups, out at 150/1.

As for Central America, there’s USA and Mexico at 100/1 and 150/1 respectively. 

Senegal leads the African charge in the betting at 90/1, followed by Morocco (200/1), Cameroon (250/1), and Ghana (300/1).

Then in Asia, you can find Japan at 250/1 and South Korea at 400/1. Who knows what we can expect from hosts Qatar on their debut, with Félix Sánchez’s side available at 499/1 with SBK.

World Cup Groups

World Cup Winner Odds

Brazil
WIN PROB: 28%
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9/4
Argentina
WIN PROB: 15%
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France
WIN PROB: 15%
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5/1
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5/1
Spain
WIN PROB: 10%
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8/1
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7/1
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7/1
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7/1
England
WIN PROB: 10%
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8/1
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6/1
Portugal
WIN PROB: 8%
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Germany
WIN PROB: 7%
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Netherlands
WIN PROB: 5%
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Croatia
WIN PROB: 1%
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Belgium
WIN PROB: 1%
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Uruguay
WIN PROB: 1%
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United States
WIN PROB: 1%
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Switzerland
WIN PROB: 1%
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Senegal
WIN PROB: 1%
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Morocco
WIN PROB: 1%
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Serbia
WIN PROB: 0%
1
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Poland
WIN PROB: 0%
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Mexico
WIN PROB: 0%
Australia
WIN PROB: 0%
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Ecuador
WIN PROB: 0%
Denmark
WIN PROB: 0%
Ghana
WIN PROB: 0%
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Japan
WIN PROB: 0%
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Iran
WIN PROB: 0%
Tunisia
WIN PROB: 0%
South Korea
WIN PROB: 0%
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Costa Rica
WIN PROB: 0%
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Cameroon
WIN PROB: 0%
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Saudi Arabia
WIN PROB: 0%
Wales
WIN PROB: 0%
Qatar
WIN PROB: 0%
Canada
WIN PROB: 0%
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Show More
Odds correct as of 2022-12-01 13:10 Odds subject to change.
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