The FIFA World Cup has existed since 1930 and yet has only produced eight different winners. In fact, 1934 was the last time both finalists were competing in their first final. Given this dominance by a select few teams, here is a look at some of the dark horses for Qatar 2022 from nations who have never won it.
Portugal are one of the first names that come to mind when thinking about some of the world’s best who have never won the tournament. The likes of Luís Figo, Eusébio and, of course, Cristiano Ronaldo, are all (currently) without a World Cup winners’ medal to their name. While Ronaldo’s influence may be on the wane, Portugal was still able to secure qualification for Qatar 2022. They did so the hard way, however, winning the qualifier play-off against giant killers North Macedonia by 2-0.
Betfair currently have A Seleçāo at 12/1 at Betfair to get their hands on the famous trophy. They also offer free football tips on this and other tournaments, such as the Premier League, Champions League and Championship. For Portugal, they will be looking to add to recent triumph in Euro 2016 and the inaugural Nations League in 2019 with success in Qatar 2022. They kick off their campaign against Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea in Group H.
Qatar? It’s this way 👉🗺 #TeamPortugal #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/FSNRtMtfhH
— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) March 29, 2022
Unlike Portugal, the Netherlands qualified top of their group, winning seven out of ten matches and finishing two points above second-placed Turkey. Boasting some of Europe’s finest young talent, along with experienced heads such as Memphis Depay and Virgil van Dijk, the Oranje will have been disappointed at their early exit in the round of 16 of Euro 2020 at the hands of the Czech Republic.
Louis van Gaal’s men will be looking to bounce back in Qatar, with Betfair giving them the same odds as Portugal at 12/1. The Oranje will need to shake their World Cup curse, however, as they hold the unwanted record of playing the most finals without winning the tournament, in 1974, 1978 and 2010. They feature in Group A against the hosts Qatar, along with Senegal and Ecuador.
A relatively unknown nation on the football scene just a few years ago, Denmark announced their renaissance in some style in Euro 2020. De Rød-Hvide showed resilience and togetherness to take themselves all the way to the semi-finals, where they narrowly lost to England in extra time.
This form in the European Championships appeared to tap into their iconic 1992 win, which was the nation’s first major tournament title. While this luck has not quite translated to the world stage – their highest finish being the quarter-finals – Kasper Hjulmand’s side breezed through qualifying, topping their group with nine wins out of ten. At 30/1 they would be the ultimate dark horses to go on and win the tournament, but don’t be surprised if they make it at least to its latter stages. They feature in Group D alongside Tunisia, Australia and the holders, France.
8 #WCQ games
27 goals scored
0 goals conceded
🇩🇰 Denmark didn’t just reach the #WorldCup, but reached it in extraordinary style 🤩 pic.twitter.com/lXSigrVxRA
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) October 12, 2021
Given the unprecedented nature of this year’s tournament, both in its location and time of year, the World Cup 2022 seems set up for surprises. This could be the perfect environment in which a new nation may thrive and bring back national football’s most coveted prize.