Five teams boast at least a baker’s dozen of footballers among the 32 national squads headed to Qatar. So, which European titan can claim the most?
European football typically takes a two-week pause every couple of months during the season for an international break. This year, however, players are taking an extended period away from their respective clubs due to the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Unlike in tournaments past, this year’s competition kicks off in November as opposed to the usual June timeline.
Starting this weekend up until club soccer resumes on Boxing Day (Dec. 26), some of the world’s best athletes are taking their talents to Qatar in hopes of achieving international glory. The rosters for all 32 teams have been officially revealed, and popular clubs across Europe are banking on multiple players returning with hardware and bragging rights to kick off the second half of their respective club seasons.
Ahead of Sunday’s opening match between host country Qatar and Ecuador (11 a.m. ET on Fox), Boardroom took a look at which of the top five European clubs have the most players representing them for the next month.
5 Most-represented European Clubs at the 2022 World Cup
5. Real Madrid: 13
The reigning Champions League victors have a baker’s dozen paying international footy in Qatar, including newly-crowned Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema. Other standout names include Germany’s Antonio Rüdiger and Luka Modric, who led Croatia to a World Cup finals appearance in 2018.
2022 WORLD CUP PLAYERS: Marco Asensio (Spain), Karim Benzema (France), Eduardo Camavinga (France), Dani Carvajal (Spain), Thibaut Courtois (Belgium), Eden Hazard (Belgium), Eder Militao (Brazil), Luka Modrić (Croatia), Rodrygo (Brazil), Antonio Rüdiger (Germany), Aurélien Tchouameni (France), Federico Valverde (Uruguay), Vinicius Jr (Brazil)
4. Manchester United: 14
Despite whatever drama is unfolding between Cristiano Ronaldo and United, it hasn’t stopped the club from producing standout players worthy of representing both club and country. Included among the 14 World Cup players are Ronaldo himself, fellow Portuguese teammates Bruno Fernandez and Diogo Dalot, and a sizable Brazilian delegation.
2022 WORLD CUP PLAYERS: Antony (Brazil), Casemiro (Brazil), Diogo Dalot (Portugal), Christian Eriksen (Denmark), Bruno Fernandes (Portugal), Fred (Brazil), Harry Maguire (England), Tyrell Malacia (Netherlands), Facundo Pellistri (Uruguay), Marcus Rashford (England), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Luke Shaw (England), Alex Telles (on loan to Sevilla, Brazil), Raphael Varane (France)
3. Manchester City: 15
United’s cross-town rivals have a slight edge on players currently training for the World Cup. A notable omission out of the 15 names? Summer pick-up Erling Haaland. Since Norway failed to qualify, the 22-year-old will be like most of us and watching the drama unfold from the comfort of home.
2022 WORLD CUP PLAYERS: Manuel Akanji (Switzerland), Nathan Ake (Netherlands), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium), Joao Cancelo (Portugal), Ruben Dias (Portugal), Ederson (Brazil), Phil Foden (England), Jack Grealish (England), Ilkay Gundogan (Germany), Aymeric Laporte (Spain), Kalvin Phillips (England), Rodri (Spain), Bernardo Silva (Portugal), John Stones (England), Kyle Walker (England)
2. Barcelona: 16
Out of the 16 players from the La Liga club heading to Qatar, nearly half are Spaniards.
Full lineup: Jordi Alba (Spain), Ronald Araujo (Uruguay), Sergio Busquets (Spain), Andreas Christensen (Denmark), Frenkie de Jong (Netherlands), Ousmane Dembélé (France), Memphis Depay (Netherlands), Ansu Fati (Spain), Eric Garcia (Spain), Gavi (Spain), Jules Koundé (France), Robert Lewandowski (Poland), Pedri (Spain) and, Raphinha (Brazil), Ter Stegen (Germany), Ferran Torres (Spain)
1. Bayern Munich: 17
Sitting at the top in both the Bundesliga and the number of players heading to the World Cup is Bayern Munich. In addition to Europe being well-represented among the 17 heading to Qatar, Senegal, Cameroon, and Morocco all have stars that play full-time for the German club.
2022 WORLD CUP PLAYERS: Kingsley Coman (France), Alphonso Davies (Canada), Matthijs de Ligt (Netherlands), Serge Gnabry (Germany), Leon Goretzka (Germany), Lucas Hernandez (France), Joshua Kimmich (Germany), Sadio Mané (Senegal), Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Cameroon), Noussair Mazraoui (Morocco), Thomas Müller (Germany), Jamal Musiala (Germany), Manuel Neuer (Germany), Benjamin Pavard (France), Leroy Sané (Germany), Josip Stanisic (Croatia), Dayot Upamecano (France)
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