Luke Shaw playing for England. Credit: Getty.
With the 2022 World Cup just over a year away, plenty of countries have already qualified for the tournament.
So far, 13 nations have secured their place in the first winter World Cup, which will take place over November and December next year. The hosts Qatar are obviously involved, while 10 European countries and two South American sides have already qualified.
Among those nations, there are plenty of current Manchester United players.
Which Manchester United players will be at the 2022 World Cup?
A lot can quickly change in football, and with two transfer windows between now and the World Cup United’s squad could look very different by the time the tournament rolls around.
The same applies to international squads, which could change significantly by November 2022.
But from United’s current roster, several players could be involved in Qatar next year...
Brazil: The five-time world champions have won 11 of their 13 qualifying matches and sit top of the South American table. Fred is a regular in their squad and looks likely to be involved at the World Cup, yet Alex Telles hasn’t been selected by Brazil since November 2020.
England: The Three Lions wrapped up their qualification campaign with a convincing 10-0 win over San Marino on Sunday, which means they’ll play in Qatar. Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw were the only United representatives in the latest squad, but Dean Henderson, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Jadon Sancho are very much in Gareth Southgate’s plans.
France: Les Bleus will be aiming to defend their status as world champions next year, and they didn’t lose a game in qualification. No United players were involved in France’s latest batch of games, with injury denying Raphael Varane and Paul Pogba the chance to participate. Anthony Martial has also been involved in recent squads and his last cap came in September.
Netherlands: The Dutch are back at the World Cup, but whether Donny van de Beek will be there is another question. He’s lost his place in Louis van Gaal’s side and will need considerably more game time in the next year if he’s to be included in the roster heading to Qatar next year.
Spain: While he’s lost his spot as No.1 on the international scene, David De Gea is still very much part of Luis Enrique’s squad. He’s been included in all three rosters over the autumn and was part of the Euro 2020 group, although the goalkeeper last played for Spain in October last year.
Which other players could still qualify for the World Cup?
There are still plenty of United players who could be at Qatar but are yet to secure their places. In Europe, Portugal, Scotland, Sweden and Wales have made it to the play-offs, where the winner of a two-legged tie will progress.
The four countries are all seeded and will play an unseeded nation, which significantly increases their chances of making it to Qatar as they’ll play a weaker-ranked nation.
That means Diogo Dalot, Bruno Fernandes, Cristiano Ronaldo, Scott McTominay, Victor Lindelof and Dylan Levitt still could be at the tournament.
In South America, Edinson Cavani’s Uruguay are in real danger of missing out as they sit seventh in the table, with the top four progressing and fifth place moving on to a multi-continent qualifier. There are four group games remaining in South America and Uruguay are one point off fourth.
Another Red Devil who could be in Qatar is Hannibal, with Tunisia making it to the African play-offs. They’ll face a yet undetermined country in a two-legged tie.
Which other countries have qualified for the World Cup?
The 13 sides who have currently qualified are Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Qatar, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland.
How does the World Cup affect fixtures?
The Premier League season will, unusually, be taking a break next year to accommodate the World Cup. The season starts on 6 August 2022 and ends on 28 May 2023.
The call-up period for the World Cup will start on 14 November 2022 and the Premier League will not resume until Boxing Day - eight days after the World Cup final on 18 December.