South America is known to be the home of some of the finest football players in history – Pele, Diego Maradona, Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Zico, Garrincha, Alfredo Di Stefano, Obdulio Varela Roberto Carlos, Ronaldinho, Enzo Francescoli, Romario and so many more! Here we will be outlining the most important information and news from the CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup to be held in Qatar.
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How Conmebol World Cup Qualifying Works
The CONMEBOL is the footballing association for the South American continent and has 10 member associations. These are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Each country’s national team will compete in a round robin qualifying league with home and away matches. This ensures each team will play 18 matches and fixtures are pre-set depending on the team position in a draw which takes place before any matches are played.
After all matches are played, the countries in the Top 4 places will qualify for the FIFA World Cup group stage. The country placing 5th will advance to an intercontinental playoff where they will face a team from the AFC (Asia), CONCACAF (North America) or OFC (Oceania) depending on the play-off draw. The play-off will consist of a home and away match and the winner, decided via the aggregate score, will make it through to the FIFA World Cup.
Conmebol Qualifiers table
Favourites to Qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2022
As things stand, Brazil and Argentina are the absolute favourites to make it through to the World Cup group stage since they started off their qualifying campaign without a loss in the first 10 matches. In their opening 10 matches, Brazil only failed to secure 3 points once, in a 0-0 draw to Columbia.
The men in yellow and blue have also managed to keep a great defensive record too as they registered 8 clean sheets in 10 matches, despite the fact they fielded 3 different goalkeepers. This means, they have the most goals scored and the least goals conceded at the moment.
Argentina are right in the middle between 1st place and 3rd place. They are 6 points from the top and 6 points ahead of the ones below them. Having not lost, and conceded less than a goal per game, they are on track to securing their place in the top 4.
Draws against Colombia, Chile and Paraguay (twice) have meant they are not currently challenging for first place however the match between Brazil and Argentina could quickly change that. The much awaited match was supposed to be played on 5th September but it was postponed after Brazilian health officials stormed onto the pitch in the first few minutes to stop a few Argentinian players who failed to abide by the COVID-19 quarantine rules upon entry into Brazil. The new date for the match has not yet been set.
Moving down the ranks, the battle for the remaining qualification slots will be a well disputed one since Ecuador, Uruguay, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Chile are all within a range of 6 points and most of the return head-to-head matches still to be played. In actual fact, Bolivia and Venezuela are still mathematically in contention for a place in the top 5 however their initial performances have respectively left them with 9 and 7 points after 11 matches, so the chances of them turning things around in the final 7 matches are quite slim.
In view of this, let’s have a look at the schedule of upcoming World Cup qualifying matches to be played:
Upcoming World Cup Qualifying Matches
Round 12 – 14th – 15th October 2021
Bolivia vs Paraguay – 14th October at 21:00 (UK Time)
Colombia vs Ecuador – 14th October at 22:00 (UK Time)
Argentina vs Peru – 15th October at 00:30 (UK Time)
Chile vs Venezuela – 15th October at 01:00 (UK Time)
Brazil vs Uruguay – 15th October at 01:30 (UK Time)
Round 13 – 11th November 2021
Brazil vs Columbia
Ecuador vs Venezuela
Paraguay vs Chile
Peru vs Bolivia
Uruguay vs Argentina
Round 14 – 16th November 2021
Argentina vs Brazil
Bolivia vs Uruguay
Chile vs Ecuador
Colombia vs Paraguay
Venezuela vs Peru
Round 15 – 27th January 2022
Chile vs Argentina
Colombia vs Peru
Ecuador vs Brazil
Paraguay vs Uruguay
Venezuela vs Bolivia
Round 16 – 1st February 2022
Argentina vs Colombia
Bolivia vs Chile
Brazil vs Paraguay
Peru vs Ecuador
Uruguay vs Venezuela
Round 17 – 24th March 2022
Argentina vs Venezuela
Brazil vs Chile
Colombia vs Bolivia
Paraguay vs Ecuador
Uruguay vs Peru
Round 18 – 29th March 2022
Bolivia vs Brazil
Chile vs Uruguay
Ecuador vs Argentina
Peru vs Paraguay
Venezuela vs Colombia
FIFA World Rankings
CountryFIFA World Rankings*
*FIFA Rankings are subject the change
Players to Watch Out For During Conmebol World Cup Qualifying
Neymar Jr – The Brazilian superstar has registered an impressive 6 goals and 5 assists in just 7 appearances! Crazy numbers! Apart from those he has created 5 other big chances which did not result in goals. His creativity and top notch dribbling skills have made him a difficult player to defend against, even for the best defenders. He has also registered the highest number of successful dribbles by any player during the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers – 46 in total which averages out at just less than 7 successful dribbles per match.
Lionel Messi – There was no way we could leave this guy out. After basically carrying La Albiceleste to the Copa America final, he has played all the world cup qualifying matches and is the team’s top scorer with 6 goals in 10 matches. He can also consider himself to be unlucky enough to be the player who’s hit the woodwork the most times in the competition (3). When playing against a player of his calibre, you can never know what he could pull out of his hat.
Marcelo Moreno – As the Bolivian captain, he may not be one of the most popular players in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers however he has got 8 goals to his name and that’s something no one else has at the time of writing. The 34 year old, who played for the Brazilian under-18 and under-20 sides, chose to represent Bolivia’s national team (his mother is Bolivian). He is one of those pure target men who always stands a chance of finding a goal if presented with the opportunity.
Giovani Lo Celso – The Tottenham player has had some great performances which surely caught Lionel Scaloni’s attention. The Argentine coach has deployed Lo Celso down both wings and the results have been great. He has managed to supply his teammates 5 assists and also created another 5 big chances. His first World Cup qualifiers goal is yet to come, but, with the likes of Lionel Messi and Lautaro Martinez up front, goals are bound to be scored in some way or another.
Juan Cuadrado – The experienced Colombian known for his crossing skills and fancy dance moves has been supporting his national team with consistent levels of performance up and down the right flank. His work rate is nothing short of exceptional as he continues to threaten opposition defence with dribbles which will get him into good spots from which he can cross the ball in for one of the Colombian attackers to get a shot on goal. In fact, he has already managed to generate 18 key passes (the 4th highest in the qualifying matches till now).
Alexis Sanchez – Despite not getting as many starts for Inter as he wishes, Alexis Sanchez is always ready whenever Chile needs him. He has started in 7 of the 11 matches played by Chile and has scored 3 and assisted 1. The positional fluidity he offers when it comes to playing as a wide attacker in a 4-3-3, a striker in a 4-4-2 or an attacking midfielder in a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-1-2 is something that coach Rivera likes. His influence on the team is important and he has also been given the captain’s armband more than once. When Arturo Vidal, Gary Medel and Alexis Sanchez are on the pitch at the same time, the team’s fighting spirit reaches peaks and there’s just no limit to Chile’s relentlessness then.
Federico Valverde – Playing in the middle of the field, he is known for his incredible work rate and is responsible for a great number of tackles and interceptions which normally result in changes in possession in Uruguay’s favour. To back this claim up, Valverde currently holds the medal for the most interceptions (22) and the 5th most tackles (22 – after Ecuadorians Estupinan and Gruezo, Peruvian Tapia and compatriot Rodrigo Bentancur). Statistically his performances might not stand out however his presence on the field does and that’s what really counts.
Teams Qualifying for Previous FIFA World Cups
Brazil is the only team in the CONMEBOL to have always qualified for the FIFA World Cup. On the other hand, Venezuela is the only team to have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup yet.
Unfortunately for the Venezuelans, it seems like they will not be in the 2022 one either. The below table shows the number of times each national team has managed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup group stages.
CountryNumber of times qualified before 2022
Bite-Size CONMEBOL FIFA World Cup Qualifying Facts
In 2018, Peru qualified for the group stage for the first time since 1982.
Paraguay failed to qualify for the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups after qualifying for 4 consecutive times.
Bolivia last qualified for the FIFA World Cup in 1994 and before that, the last time they qualified was in 1950.
Ecuador qualified for their first ever FIFA World Cup in 2002.
Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia are the 4 countries to have successfully qualified for the past 2 FIFA World Cups
Records in CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying Matches
Current Top Goalscorers in the Qualifiers
8 goals – Marcelo Moreno (BOL)
6 goals – Neymar Jr (BRA), Lionel Messi (ARG)
5 goals – Michael Estrada (ECU)
4 goals – Lautaro Martinez (ARG), Arturo Vidal (CHI), Angel Romero (PAR), Luis Suarez (URU)
Historic Records of South America
Most Goals in a CONMEBOL FIFA World Cup Qualifier – 5 by Ivan Zamorano (CHI) vs Venezuela in April, 1997*
Biggest Win in a CONMEBOL FIFA World Cup Qualifier – Brazil 8 – 0 Bolivia in July, 1977*
Highest Scoring CONMEBOL FIFA World Cup Qualifier – Chile 7 – 2 Colombia in August, 1965*
Country with the Most Victories in CONMEBOL FIFA World Cup Qualification – Argentina with 80 wins*
Country with the Most Defeats in CONMEBOL FIFA World Cup Qualification – Venezuela with 98 defeats*
Country with the Most Goals in CONMEBOL FIFA World Cup Qualification – Brazil with 262 goals*
Top 5 Players with the most goals in CONMEBOL FIFA World Cup Qualifying Matches
PlayerNumber of Goals*
Lionel Messi (ARG)27
Luis Suarez (URU)25
Hernan Crespo (ARG)19
Marcelo Salas (CHI)18
Edinson Cavani (URU), Ivan Zamorano (CHI)17
*Records are subject to change.
Previous CONMEBOL FIFA World Cup Winners
The FIFA World Cup has always been won by a UEFA or CONMEBOL country, till now. If we bring out our football history books, we can see that there have been 3 different CONMEBOL countries who have managed to win the World Cup. The FIFA World Cup has been held 21 times with the 2022 World Cup in Qatar being the 22nd one – a kind of lucky world cup so to speak.
12 of the previous editions were won by countries forming part of the European Association (UEFA) while the remaining 9 were won by CONMEBOL countries. The national teams which managed the prestigious feat are:
Brazil – 5 times – 2002, 1994, 1970, 1962, 1958
Argentina – 2 times – 1986, 1978
Uruguay – 2 times – 1950, 1930
Copa America Winners vs EURO Cup Winners
In September 2021, the CONMEBOL and UEFA agreed to organise a series of matches between the winners of the European Championship (organised by UEFA) and the Copa America (organised by CONMEBOL).
The first match is to take place some time in June 2022 between Italy (the winners of EURO 2020) and Argentina (the winners of Copa America 2021). The exact date in June and venue are still to be confirmed. The match will essentially be a friendly but will be something which football fans from all over the world would surely be eager to see, especially since the 2022 World Cup will be just a few months away.
Is this match important?
This match, despite not being an important one from a competitive point of view, is very important politically speaking since it outlines a working relationship between UEFA and CONMEBOL. FIFA was recently considering organising a world cup every two years but UEFA and CONMEBOL have both openly opposed the idea. The agreement for this very match is an important message from the two powerful associations in itself.
CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying FAQs
❓ What happens if a world cup qualifying match ends in a draw?
The game will end after 90 minutes and each national team will receive one point
⚽ Which South American team is the best?
Since 2006, Brazil have managed to end the qualification league in first place each time they participated. In 2014, they were exempt from the qualification process since they qualified automatically for the World Cup as hosts of the tournament.
⭕ How many teams are there in the CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying League?
There are 10 teams participating. 4 teams will qualify automatically.
❗ When will we know which teams have qualified for the FIFA World Cup?
The CONMEBOL world cup qualifying matches end on 29th March 2022 so the 4 teams automatically qualifying will be confirmed by then. The team finishing 5th will take part in an international playoff and will qualify for the world cup depending on the outcome of the playoff.
✅ Which countries form part of the CONMEBOL?
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela
👌 Which CONCACAF countries can qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup?
Mexico, USA, Panama, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Jamaica.
❔ When will Italy play Argentina?
The exact date is not announced yet but the match is planned to take place some time in June 2022.
ThePuntersPage Final Say
Football is the most followed sport in South America and the passion which local fans have for the beautiful game is unparalleled. This motivates the players who, in turn, give everything they’ve got on the pitch during hard fought matches. The atmosphere during any of these matches is normally electrifying and bookmakers and punters alike simply love these kinds of games so can expect loads of betting offers and boosted odds, especially towards the end of the qualification process.