Cymru discover potential 2022 FIFA World Cup opponents
International
3 April 2022

Cymru discover potential 2022 FIFA World Cup opponents

The draw for the finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup took place in Doha on Friday and confirmed Cymru's potential opponents after the successful European play-off winners were drawn in Group B alongside England, Iran and the United States.

2022 FIFA World Cup

Group B

  • England
  • USA
  • Iran
  • Cymru/Scotland/Ukraine

Following the play-off semi-final victory over Austria last month, Rob Page's side will now play either Scotland or Ukraine in June for the remaining place for the finals that will take place in Qatar in November and December. Cymru qualified for successive EURO finals in 2016 and 2020, but have not competed on the world stage since 1958 when Jimmy Murphy's side reached the quarter-finals.

“Our full focus is on qualifying,” said Page following the draw. “We've given ourselves a great opportunity with the Austria result. It's exciting to see what the challenges ahead could be, and everyone is going to talk about the England game, of course, as it's a mouth-watering, tie but Iran and the USA will also be good opposition as they are there for a reason. But we need to concentrate on qualifying first.

“Our approach will be exactly the same in June, but we've waited years and years for this opportunity. I think where we've come from in the last two or three years is phenomenal. We've continued this momentum and we've seen progression and growth. The World Cup is the only one missing now, as 1958 is a long time to wait. If and when we are successful, and we get there, we will throw absolutely everything at it.”

Here's a closer look at Cymru's potential opponents at the 2022 FIFA World Cup -

ENGLAND

FIFA World Ranking: 5th

Best World Cup Finish: Winners (1966)

Manager: Gareth Southgate

A former defender, Southgate played for Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough while also earning 57 caps for his country between 1995 and 2004. Took charge of the national team in September 2016 and guided England to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and the final of EURO 2020.

Star Player: Harry Kane

A striker with Tottenham Hotspur, Kane is just four goals short of Wayne Rooney's all-time England goalscoring record having scored 49 goals in 53 appearances for his country after making his debut in 2015.

 

UNITED STATES

FIFA World Ranking: 15th

Best World Cup Finish: Quarter-Finals (2002)

Manager: Gregg Berhalter

The former Columbus Crew manager took charge of the national team in December 2018 and has won the CONCACAF Nations League and Gold Cup since his appointment. During his playing career, Berhalter had a brief spell in England with Crystal Palace.

Star Player: Christian Pulisic

The versatile Chelsea attacking midfielder headlines a talented generation of United States players. Pulisic has scored 21 goals in his 48 international appearances including a hat-trick against Panama last month.

 

IRAN

FIFA World Ranking: 21st

Best World Cup Finish: Group Stages (1978, 1998, 2006, 2014, 2018)

Manager: Dragan Skočić

The Croatian coach played for Rijeka and Spanish side Las Palmas as a midfielder during his playing career and has managed clubs in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran and Croatia before being appointed Iran manager in February 2020. Skočić has won 15 of his 17 games since taking over the national team.

Star Player: Sardar Azmoun

An impressive striker who has scored 40 goals in 60 international appearances for Iran. Recently confirmed that he will make a summer move to German outfit Bayer Leverkusen from Russian side Zenit Saint Petersburg.