Brazil lands No. 1 FIFA ranking ahead of 2022 Qatar World Cup originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Brazil is officially the team to beat at the 2022 World Cup.
The five-time tournament champions earned the No. 1 spot in FIFA's final rankings ahead of this year's event in Qatar. They are followed by Belgium, Argentina and defending champion France, respectively. Further down in the list, the U.S. men's national team landed at No. 16.
World Cup success has been hard to come by for Brazil since it won its last title in 2002. The country was bounced in the quarterfinals three of the last four tournaments, including 2018 in Russia. Their best result over the last 20 years came at the 2014 event on home soil, but their run came to a crashing end with an infamous 7-1 loss to Germany in the semifinals.
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If its recent results are any indication, Brazil appears poised to make a run at its sixth World Cup title. The team beat Ghana 3-0 in an international friendly on Sept. 23 and followed that up with a 5-1 win over Tunisia in its final World Cup tune-up on Sept. 27. Richarlison scored three goals across the two games, while Neymar contributed a penalty kick goal against Tunisia.
Looking ahead to Qatar, Brazil will begin the 2022 World Cup with a Group G match against Serbia on Nov. 24. They will also face Switzerland and Cameroon in the group stage before likely advancing to the knockout rounds.
Here is where all 32 World Cup teams fell in the final FIFA rankings:
Saudi Arabia: 51
Costa Rica: 31
South Korea: 28