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The World Cup countdown is on. Here at Roadtrips, we know just how exciting it is to be in the World Cup host country. We can’t wait to get to Qatar with our guests and experience the incredible atmosphere.

If you don’t know much about the event, or you just want to brush up on your World Cup facts, check out our ultimate guide below.


What is the World Cup?

2022 world cup packagesThe World Cup is an international soccer tournament contested by senior men’s national teams from various countries. It is one of the most popular international sporting competitions and over 3 billion people tuned in to watch the 2014 tournament.

Fans travel from all over the world to follow their favorite teams as they compete against some of the most talented players in soccer.

The World Cup is made up of teams from six different continental zones – Africa, Asia, Europe, North and Central America and the Caribbean, Oceania, and South America.

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How often is the World Cup?

The World Cup, the most prestigious soccer tournament in the world ,is played every four years. This schedule allows time for the qualification tournaments and play-offs to take place, for the 32 national teams to play off in the month-long tournament.

How did the World Cup start?

The first World Cup took place back in 1930, and was proposed by Jules Rimet, who wanted to create an international competition between men’s football teams (at the time, soccer was not a part of the Summer Games). The tournament consisted of thirteen invited teams and took place in Uruguay, who also won the tournament.

Why is the World Cup every four years?

The four-year gap between each World Cup tournament allows time for the qualification fixtures to be played. While many of us would love to see the World Cup happen every year, I’m sure we can all agree it’s too big of an event and too special to be rushed! 

The World Cup has been played every 4 years since its inaugural tournament in Uruguay in 1930, and played every 4 years since, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of World War II.

In 2018, for the first time in the history of the World Cup, all 211 member nations entered the qualification process for the World Cup. With Russia automatically qualifying as the host country, the remaining 210 nations competed for the remaining 31 places during 872 matches.

How many World Cups have there been?

There have been a total of 21 World Cups: the first was in 1930 and the most recent in 2018.

Who won the World Cup in 2018?

France defeated Croatia 4-2 in the 2018 Final to claim their second World Cup title. The last time France won the World Cup was in 1998, when they also served as host country for the tournament.

How is the World Cup different to soccer at the Summer Games?

The World Cup tournament is longer and contains more matches and teams than the Summer Games. To compare, the 2018 World Cup consisted of 32 national teams and a total of 64 matches. At the 2016 Summer Games, there were 16 teams and 32 matches.

The other big difference between the two events is the age limit for the Summer Games tournament. The Summer Games regulations require players to be under 23 years of age, with each team allowed three overage players.

What country has won the most World Cups?

Brazil has one the most World Cups with five. Italy and Germany are close behind with four each.

How many times has the USA won the World Cup?

team USA Despite soccer’s growing popularity in the USA, their national team has never won a World Cup. Or perhaps we should say, not yet?

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What are the World Cup qualifying groups?

As part of the World Cup qualifying process, the teams are divided into confederations based on geographic region. There are six confederations in total and each has their own process for qualifying.

When are the World Cup qualifiers?

The 2022 World Cup qualifying matches began on June 6, 2019 and will continue until their scheduled conclusion in June 2022. More details on the World Cup qualifiers schedule can be found here.

When does 2022 World Cup qualifying start?

Qualification games for the 2022 World Cup began on June 6, 2019, with matches between AFC (Asian Football Confederation) teams.

How many teams go through in World Cup Qualifiers?

A total of 211 teams began the qualification process for the 2022 World Cup. As of January 2021, there are still 185 teams still in contention. A total of 32 teams will make it through the qualifying matches to earn a spot in the 2022 World Cup tournament.

How does World cup qualifying work?

The World Cup Qualification process is a complicated operation that takes place over a few years and differs for each confederation. To give a very simplified explanation, teams within each confederation play each other (some confederations divide their teams into World Cup qualifying groups) over a number of rounds, before moving on to a playoff to determine who qualifies for the World Cup. A more detailed description of the process including a World Cup qualifiers schedule can be found here.

How does USA qualify for the World Cup?

The process for qualifying had to be reworked due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new path to the World Cup for Team USA is different from past tournaments. Because USA is ranked in the top five teams in the confederation, they have a bye for the first two rounds of competition, and jump right to the final qualifying round. The final round will feature the top five teams plus the top three teams from the first two rounds. These eight teams will play each other twice (home and away), to determine the top three teams that will qualify for the 2022 World Cup. If USA ends up in 4th place after the final round, they still have one last chance to qualify in the inter-confederation playoffs, where four teams who just missed out qualifying within their confederations will play each other for the final two World Cup qualifying spots.

List of all World Cup Winners

  • 1930 in Uruguay : Uruguay def. Argentina 4-2
  • 1934 in Italy: Italy def. Czechoslovakia 2-1 (ET)
  • 1938 in France: Italy def. Hungary 4-2
  • 1950 in Brazil: Uruguay def. Brazil 2-1
  • 1954 in Switzerland: West Germany def. Hungary 3-2
  • 1958 in Sweden: Brazil def. Sweden 5-2
  • 1962 in Chile: Brazil def. Czechoslovakia 3-1
  • 1966 in England: England def. West Germany 4-2 (ET)
  • 1970 in Mexico: Brazil def. Italy 4-1
  • 1974 in West Germany: West Germany def. the Netherlands 2-1
  • 1978 in Argentina: Argentina def. the Netherlands 3-1 (ET)
  • 1982 in Spain: Italy def. West Germany 3-1
  • 1986 in Mexico: Argentina def. West Germany 3-2
  • 1990 in Italy: West Germany def. Argentina 1-0
  • 1994 in USA: Brazil def. Italy 0-0 (3-2 PKs)
  • 1998 in France: France def. Brazil 3-0
  • 2002 in Japan: Brazil def. Germany 2-0
  • 2006 in Germany: Italy def. France 1-1 (5-3 PKs)
  • 2010 in South Africa: Spain def. the Netherlands 1-0 (ET)
  • 2014 in Brazil: Germany def. Argentina 1-0 (ET)
  • 2018 in Russia: France def. Croatia 4-2

Where is the World Cup in 2022?

qatar world cup dohaThe next World Cup is the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which will begin on November 21 and culminate with the World Cup Final on December 18. The tournament takes place every four years.

Why is the 2022 World Cup in the winter?

Qatar’s subtropical desert climate results in very hot summers, with highs averaging between 90 and 110 degrees. As the temperature often exceeds these averages, it’s far from ideal — and even downright dangerous — for playing soccer. As part of their winning bid for hosting the World Cup, Qatar agreed to stage the tournament in November and December, where typical temperatures are in the 70s and 80s.

How are World Cup host countries chosen?

Countries who are interested in hosting the World Cup must first submit an application, in which they must outline why they would be the perfect location and include their plans for stadiums, transport and accommodation for soccer fans. The host country has minimum expectations to meet to qualify and if they meet them a vote is then cast to determine the next host.

The tournament will take place across a number cities in USA, Canada, and Mexico. The 2026 World Cup will also see the number of teams in the tournament increase from 32 to 48.

How and why did Qatar get to host the World Cup?

The World Cup host is determined by a bidding process. Qatar was one of eleven nations who indicated an interest by the February 2009 deadline. Six nations would later withdraw their bids, leaving five countries remaining when the voting process began: Qatar, USA, South Korea, Japan, and Australia. There were a total of four rounds of voting, with one country eliminated each round. On December 2, 2010, it was announced that Qatar would host the 2022 World Cup.

What is it like in Qatar?

Qatar will make a wonderful host for the 2022 World Cup. Though it may be small, it boasts some incredible contrasts and impressive sights. You’ll find beautiful beaches (Qatar has 563 km of coastline along the Persian Gulf), incredible architecture in the urban centers, and fascinating landscapes including stunning sand dunes, limestone rock formations, and gorgeous mangroves.

For the World Cup, visitors will benefit from Qatar’s small size. All the world cup venues will be clustered within a small area, none more than 55 kilometers (35 miles) from Doha. This will make it easy for fans to travel to multiple matches in different stadiums, while basing themselves in one location (rather than traveling around from city to city, staying in multiple hotels).

While Qatar can be very hot in the summer, during the World Cup in November and December the weather will cool down, though we’ll use that term loosely as average highs are in the 70s and 80s fahrenheit.

As is usual when traveling outside of your home country, you’ll also find both differing customs and common practices but with some preparation and a willingness to be flexible, travelers will easily be won over by Qatar’s charm.

I'm In! How Do I Get to Qatar?


What will the Qatar World Cup stadiums and cities be like?

The 2022 World Cup stadiums will be some of the most impressive yet. Of the eight confirmed stadiums, only one (Khalifa International Stadium) is currently open, after having undergone a renovation in 2017. The remaining stadiums are either under construction or still in the planning stages and they will most definitely impress visitors.

List of Qatar World Cup stadiums

  • Lusail Stadium, Lusail
  • Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
  • Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
  • Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
  • Khalifa International Stadium, Doha
  • Education City Stadium, Doha
  • Al Thumama Stadium, Doha
  • Stadium 974, Doha

What will the dress code be like in Qatar for the World Cup?

Qatari men and women typically dress in traditional clothing, which is quite modest. While foreigners are not expected to uphold the same standards, it is appreciated and recommended that visitors are sensitive to the values of the local people, by wearing clothing that covers the shoulders and knees.

Will the Qatar World Cup venues be air conditioned?

The 2022 World Cup Stadiums will be state-of-the-art and use cooling technologies to ensure that both the players and the spectators stay cool and comfortable.

Do I need a visa for Qatar?

Most visitors will not require a visa to enter Qatar. Currently, 80 different countries, including the USA, Canada, and Mexico, are permitted visa-free entry for stays of up to 30 days. A valid passport is required for entry. We recommend reviewing the requirements before you travel to ensure you have the most up-to-date entry information. Our pre-travel concierge team can assist with any questions regarding travel documentation and requirements.

What is the format of the World Cup tournament?

world cup teams matchesPrior to the tournament, a draw is used to split the 32 teams into eight groups, consisting of four teams each. The four teams in each group will play each other once, with the winner and runner-up advancing to the next stage: the knockout stage, also referred to as the round of 16.

Winners of the knockout stage will then proceed to the quarterfinals, with the winners advancing to the semi-finals, and eventually the Final or third-place match.

This will change with the introduction of 48 teams in 2026, when the number of matches will jump to 80, and an additional knock-out round will be added.

How many matches are played in the World Cup?

There will be a total of 64 matches in the 2022 World Cup.

How many teams play in the World Cup?

Since 1998, there have been a total of 32 national teams represented in each World Cup. This will again be the case in Qatar in 2022.

Moving forward, even more teams will have the opportunity to experience soccer’s biggest tournament. It has been announced that 48 teams will compete in the 2026 World Cup tournament in the USA, Mexico, and Canada.

What do you get for winning the World Cup?

In addition to the pride and fame that comes along with becoming a national hero, the winning team is awarded the World Cup Trophy. While the team gets to enjoy the much-imagined celebration with the trophy after the final, they don’t get to take it with them. Instead they’re sent home with a replica.

How was the World Cup made?

The current World Cup trophy has been presented to winning teams since 1970, though a replacement had to be made after the original was stolen in 1983 and never found. The trophy, which was made in Italy, is made of 18-carat gold and weighs in at 13.5 pounds.

What happens if there is a tie?

If there is a tie at the end of a World Cup group stage match, the result is a draw and the teams each receive one point. Once the tournament moves into the knockout rounds, two 15-minute periods of extra time will be played. At the end of the 30 minutes, if the match remains tied, the teams will go to penalty kicks (best of five). If that still doesn’t determine the winner, the penalty kicks will continue one at a time until the tie is broken.

How long is the World Cup final game?

Like the other matches in the tournament, the World Cup final consists of two 45-minute halves, followed by possible stoppage time. If the game is tied after this, two 15-minute overtime periods are played. If the game remains tied after OT, the game will be decided by penalty kicks.

What is the format of a World Cup match?

World Cup matches consist of two 45-minute halves with a running clock. Following each half, the referee may add stoppage time, to make up for time lost due to injuries, penalties, and anything else that disrupts the play. If they game is tied following the 90 minutes and stoppage time, extra time may be played as described above.

How big is a World Cup soccer field?

world cup soccer field sizeWorld Cup soccer fields are not all the same, but must fit a specific set of guidelines set out by the governing body. If you picture a the playing field as a rectangle, the longer lines are called “touch lines” and the shorter ones are called “goal lines”. The touch lines must be the same length and between 100 and 110 meters. The goal lines must also be the same length and between 64 and 75 meters.

What is a “Group of Death”?

The group of death in the World Cup is a group which is particularly competitive, because the number of strong teams in the group is greater than the number of qualifying places available for the next phase of the tournament.

What is the Women’s World Cup?

Like the men’s version, the Women’s World Cup takes place every four years. The next Women’s World Cup will take place from July 20 to August 20, 2023, hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

The Women’s World Cup follows a similar format to the men’s tournament. A total of 32 teams (expanded from 24 in 2019) will earn a spot in the tournament with the host country guaranteed a spot. A draw is used to divide the teams into eight groups of four.

When is the World Cup Draw?

The World Cup Draw took place April 1, 2022. You can view the tournament details on our World Cup Schedule page.

Countries that have won the soccer World Cup (from 1930 to 2018):

WinnersNumber of Championship Wins
1. Brazil 5 times champions (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
2. Germany 4 times champions (1954, 1974, 1990, 2014)
3. Italy4 times champions (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006)
4. Uruguay2 times champions (1930, 1950)
5. Argentina2 times champions (1978, 1986)
6. France2 times champions (1998, 2018)
7. England1 time champions (1966)
8. Spain1 time champions (2010)

Interesting World Cup Facts

The World Cup is one of the world’s most widely viewed sporting events and takes place every four years to determine the world champion. The World Cup tournament will take place in Qatar from November 21 to December 18, 2022. Here is a list of 28 fun and interesting World Cup facts to get you into the soccer spirit for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar:

  1. The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will mark the first time the tournament will be held in this county.
  2. The 2022 World Cup will be Qatar’s first World Cup appearance. This is the first time the host nation will make their World Cup debut in the same year since the second World Cup in 1934.
  3. A total of 3.5 billion people (almost half of the world’s population) tuned in to watch the 2018 World Cup.
  4. This is a 9% increase on the 3.2 billion people who watched the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
  5. The World Cup has been played 21 times. Brazil holds the most titles with five. Italy and Germany are close behind with four each.
  6. For the first time in the history of soccer, the 2002 World Cup was held in two different countries: South Korea and Japan.
  7. The oldest goalscorer in the World Cup was Roger Milla, who was 42 in 1994 when he scored a goal for Cameroon against Russia.
  8. It is rumored that India withdrew from the 1950 tournament as they were not allowed to play barefoot.
  9. All of the venues for the 2022 World Cup are within a 55 km radius of each other, making it the most compact World Cup since the inaugural tournament in 1930.
  10. One of the venues for the 2018 World Cup, Fisht Stadium in Sochi, was the same stadium that hosted the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2014 Winter Games.
  11. The first World Cup was played in 1930. Uruguay was both the tournament’s host and winner that year.
  12. The World Cup trophy went missing for 7 days in 1966 when it was stolen just prior to the tournament.
  13. The distance between the easternmost host city in the 2018 World Cup (Ekaterinburg) and the westernmost host city (Kaliningrad) was over 1,500 miles. For comparison, that’s about the same distance as Moscow to London, England.
  14. The 2022 World Cup will be the first winter World Cup in the northern hemisphere. The tournament will take place in November and December to avoid the intense heat of the Qatari summer.
  15. The average attendance per game at the 2018 World Cup was over 47,000 fans!
  16. The highest scoring game in the World Cup history was in 1954 when Austria defeated Switzerland 7-5.
  17. The Italians have had the most number of draws in the World Cup history with 21.
  18. Of all the countries that have appeared in the World Cup, Indonesia has played the least number of matches – just one in 1938.
  19. Mexico has the most World Cup losses (27), though they do also have 16 wins and 14 draws.
  20. While 32 teams will qualify for the 2022 tournament, the number will jump to 48 in 2026.
  21. The most goals ever scored by one player in a World Cup match is an impressive five, by Oleg Salenko of Russia.
  22. The World Cup winning country is rumored to see a baby boom 9 months after the World Cup. In fact, Hyundai even created a commercial based on this fact.
  23. Lusail, the city that will host the 2022 World Cup Final is a multi-billion dollar planned city that didn’t exist prior to 2006.
  24. One of the 2022 World Cup host stadiums will be built using recycled materials in a modular design so that it can be dismantled and repurposed after the tournament.
  25. Qatar is the smallest country to host a World Cup tournament.
  26. France, who won the 2018 World Cup, trailed for only 9 minutes in the entire tournament.
  27. At the 2018 World Cup, Raphael Varane became the 9th player to win the World Cup and the Champions League in the same year.
  28. Belgium scored the most goals of any team at the 2018 World Cup, with sixteen.

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Roadtrips is in no way associated with FIFA, the Organizing Committee for the FIFA World Cup, Qatar 2022, MATCH Services or MATCH Hospitality. The term World Cup is used only for the purpose of properly describing certain events and without the specific permission of FIFA. Roadtrips travel packages and services are not affiliated with FIFA. FIFA’s official ticket site is