• In Europe, the ten qualifying groups for Qatar 2022were drawn
  • Players and coaches reacted to this draw
  • Deschamps: “I’m not going to jump to the ceiling”

Two years from now, the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar ™ will be in full swing. On the same date, the poster for the quarter-finals of the main event will be known. But before looking at the eight teams that will still be in the running to win the holy grail in 2022, it is first time to think about the 32 selections that will have the chance to participate in the competition. In Europe, 13 places will be allocated at the end of a preliminary round which will take place from March 2021 to March 2022.

On Monday 7 December 2020, the UEFA preliminary draw was held in Zurich with the help of Daniele De Rossi and Rafael van der Vaart. Here is what fate reserved for the 55 selections of the Old Continent.

Group A : 🇵🇹Portugal – 🇷🇸Serbia – 🇮🇪Republic of Ireland – 🇱🇺Luxembourg – 🇦🇿Azerbaijan

Group B : 🇪🇸Spain – 🇸🇪Sweden – 🇬🇷Greece – 🇬🇪Georgia – 🇽🇰Kosovo

Group C : 🇮🇹Italy – 🇨🇭Switzerland – Northern Ireland – 🇧🇬Bulgaria – 🇱🇹Lithuania

Group D : 🇫🇷France – 🇺🇦Ukraine – 🇫🇮Finland – 🇧🇦Bosnia-Herzegovina – 🇰🇿Kazakhstan

Group E : 🇧🇪Belgium – 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿Wales – 🇨🇿Czech Republic – 🇧🇾Belorussia – 🇪🇪Estonia

Group F : 🇩🇰Denmark – 🇦🇹Austria – 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿Scotland – 🇮🇱Israel – 🇫🇴Faroe Islands – 🇲🇩Moldavia

Group G : 🇳🇱Netherlands – 🇹🇷Turkey – 🇳🇴Norway – 🇲🇪Montenegro – 🇱🇻Lettonia – 🇬🇮Gibraltar

Group H : 🇭🇷Croatia – 🇸🇰Slovakia – 🇷🇺Russia – 🇸🇮Slovenia – 🇨🇾Cypre – 🇲🇹Malta

Group I : 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿England – 🇵🇱Poland – 🇭🇺Hungrie – 🇦🇱Albania – 🇦🇩Andorra – 🇸🇲Saint-Marino

Group J : 🇩🇪Germany – 🇷🇴Romania – 🇮🇸Iceland – 🇲🇰North Macedonia – 🇦🇲Armenia – 🇱🇮Liechtenstein

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the draw took place behind closed doors, but many coaches and players immediately reacted on social networks, via the websites of the Federations or during virtual press conferences. FIFA.com selected a few.

“Overall an interesting group. We will be the big favorite in the race, and naturally our requirement is that we win this group. Iceland in recent years has been talked about in big tournaments, with a nice atmosphere everywhere they play. It’s a team which is also very well organized, which plays fast, refreshing, forward-looking football. The Romanians have a team I think very young, especially players who have shone in the last European U-21 Championship. They were in the semi-final against Germany. They have some interesting players in their ranks “- Joachim Löw, Germany coach (Group J)

“There is a great story around this England-Poland. It’s like a spell, we fall on them all the time. There are also some historic encounters with the Hungarians. Tomaszewski’s match is obviously legendary in the English football history. I have heard of this match many times. All those nights against England are occasions for these countries to make history. Whenever England faces an opponent, it is always an opportunity for these nations not only to play well but also to put themselves on the map with Premier League clubs. There is a lot of motivation when you play against us “- Gareth Southgate, England manager (Group I)

“Once again it has been proven that I am generally unlucky in the draws, although it is also true that we could have been in a more difficult group. The English, semi-finalists of the last FIFA Cup World, are currently fourth in the FIFA Ranking, while the Poles are in 19th place and have Robert Lewandowski who has finished top scorer in most of the World Cup qualifiers he has participated in. I also think Albania is one of the strongest teams in the fourth hat “- Marco Rossi, Hungary coach (Group I)

“I think it will be a fight between us and Switzerland, who could easily have been among the seeds. They were one of the best teams in the pot 2. But the upside is that it is a country that is close and that the trip will be short. On paper, Northern Ireland may seem a simpler opponent than Switzerland, but all matches are difficult. Even with Bulgaria, it has never been difficult. easy matches. We shouldn’t underestimate anyone because a draw is enough to complicate our lives “- Roberto Mancini, Italy coach (Group C)

“A difficult group, but a group of five which is positive. There are Eastern European teams which will be tough to play, which are physically powerful like Bulgaria. We obviously know the qualities of the team. Italy and also Switzerland, which we played in the play-offs three years ago. We know that in one game, we can beat the best teams. We will have to be consistent and do it over several games. ‘be in March “- Ian Baraclough, Northern Ireland coach (Group C)

“It’s a good draw for Denmark for a lot of reasons. The other teams have quality and talent, Austria and Scotland in particular are growing teams with a lot of potential. But we have a strong team and we want to beat them. It was also a good draw geographically, because we don’t have to travel too far, or in completely different time zones. I really hope we can have fans for our home games would be great for the supporters as well as for the players “- Kasper Hjulmand, Denmark coach (Group F)

“Meeting Sweden again? I don’t see it as a disadvantage, nor as an advantage. We just got tired of meeting. We met in the Nations League group stage, we are going to meet again. meet there … I don’t think it enchants either them or us. We accept it, it will be difficult, because it has been in previous matches “- Luis Enrique, Spain coach (Group B) (Sweden and Spain were in the same qualifying group for UEFA EURO 2020)

“This is not a death group. There is no death group. In each group, the seed is the favorite in my opinion. Of course, Turkey and Norway are serious clients. Turkey is a great footballing nation with very good young people. As for Norway, they have a good team with Erling Haaland or Martin Ødegaard. Montenegro and Latvia are well organized. We will have to work on our goal difference against Gibraltar.” – Frank de Boer, Netherlands coach (Group G)

“The matches against Wales will be fun to prepare from an emotional point of view. In sporting terms, it will be two very difficult games. Wales are a competitive team with quality players. The Czech Republic are quite close to Wales. They are a well-balanced and hard-working team. Belarus, which we will face for the first time, have also shown that they have qualities. Not to mention Estonia, which we know well. and which had given us problems at home during qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. These are nations that are fighting and we must expect to be jostled “- Roberto Martinez, Belgium coach (Group E)

“A good neighbor, a country that lives football, we feel it every day, at any time on television, or in every contact with this country. An interesting, young team, which has experienced very good development. We will also see each other. at the European Championship in Rome. They are certainly favorites, but we are also good enough to compete “(note: about Italy)

“A five-team squad is good. It gives us more space in the planning with only two games to play in the first two qualifying periods. It’s an interesting squad with some exciting games. We know it well. Spain since we had them in the EURO qualifiers. Besides, we will face them again at EURO “- Janne Andersson, Sweden coach (Group B)

“Portugal are the big favorites of this group. If we weren’t favorites now, what would we do? We have to go first. I think Portugal’s goal must be to reach this World Cup in good conditions and with the confidence that he can earn it “- Fernando Santos, Portugal coach (Group A)

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