After drawing 1:1 against Slovenia on Saturday, the Croatia national football team secured a place in the second strongest group in the 2022 World Cup draw.
The draw for the World Cup will be held in Doha on Friday, April 1. The 2022 World Cup will be hosted by Qatar from November 21 to December 18 this year.
The International Football Federation (FIFA) has indicated that strong draw groups will be formed according to its ranking, which will be published on March 31. Since the qualifications are still not over on all continents and because Croatia is currently 15th in the FIFA rankings, one point from two games against Slovenia and Bulgaria was enough for Zlatko Dalić’s side on this mini-tour in Doha.
Thus, Croatia’s goal was achieved already in the first match against Slovenia, and now Croatia can anticipate the draw a bit more relaxed.
Croatia has thus avoided some powerful teams by securing Pot 2.
Namely, Croatia cannot meet Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and Uruguay. Mexico and the United States should be added if those two national teams confirm their spot at the World Cup in the remaining two CONCACAF rounds. Potential opponents from Pot 1 are Qatar, Brazil, Belgium, France, Argentina, England, Spain, and Portugal, unless North Macedonia shocks them in the remaining qualifier.
In Pot 3, Croatia is most likely threatened by Sweden, Egypt, Japan, Iran, Serbia, Morocco, Korea, and Poland. The last group will include Ecuador and Saudi Arabia for sure.
Thirty-two national teams will play in eight groups of four teams at the World Cup. The top seeds in the draw will be the host Qatar plus the top seven ranked national teams in the FIFA rankings, announced on March 31. It will be the last World Cup with 32 national teams, and from 2026, 48 national teams will participate. Europe will have 13 representatives in Qatar, and there can be a maximum of two national teams from the same continent in each group.
Recall, the current World Champion is France (and Croatia the 2018 finalist), while we will not watch the current European champion Italy at the World Cup this year.
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