December 6, 2022

Thirty-two teams from around the world will be fighting for the 2022 FIFA World Cup from November 20 to December 18.
How will your team perform in Qatar?
Scroll through the matches below to see our AI match predictions for all the games.

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Percentages rounded up
Al Jazeera collected more than 200 metrics measuring the performance history of the 32 teams competing at this year’s World Cup.
These include number of wins, goals scored, FIFA rankings and more, from matches played over the past century, totalling over 100,000 records.
We ran these through Google Cloud’s Vertex AI, which produces state-of-the-art models – adopting Google Brain – that use Efficient Neural Architecture Search (ENAS) to find the best prediction model. The data pipeline is built with GCP-BigQuery.
After every match, the model will be rerun to predict the outcome of the next game all the way through to the final.
Predicting match results isn’t easy. External factors like team morale or player fitness make a big difference to how the game goes.
Based on our simulations for the 2014 and 2018 World Cup tournaments, Kashef is about 71 percent accurate, with an area under the curve (AUC) of some 67 percent.
Who do you think is going to win the World Cup? Kashef, our AI robot, has been crunching the numbers to predict the results of each game, all the way to the finals.
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Kashef - our AI prediction robot
The 32 qualified teams have been placed in eight groups of four. The top two teams from each group will go on to the Round of 16, which begins on December 3.
Every night at 00:00 GMT Kashef reruns the predictions based on the day’s results. Scroll down for Kashef’s latest prediction of who will win the World Cup.
Sixty-four games will be played across eight stadiums, seven of which were built specifically for the tournament. Each stadium will have an entertainment and fan zone.
Taking the form of the traditional “bayt al-shaar” tent used across the region, it was designed by Middle Eastern design firm Dar al-Handasah and has a capacity of 60,000 people.
Al Bayt will host nine matches including the opening game.
Dubbed the “diamond in the desert”, the 40,000-capacity stadium was designed using an intricate, multi-faceted design reminiscent of gems.
It was inaugurated on June 15, 2020, in a virtual event that paid tribute to front-line healthcare workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
Located near Aspire Park and Villagio Mall, Khalifa International was the first venue ready for Qatar 2022.
The 40,000-capacity stadium is best known for its dual arches and wide canopy which helps keep the stadium cool for use year-round.
Designed by the late British Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, the building’s design pays tribute to the traditional dhow sailboats used for trading and transporting goods.
Al Janoub is located in Qatar’s second-most populous city, Al Wakra, about 20km (13.6 miles) south of Doha.
Al Thumama Stadium, less than 15km (9 miles) away from Hamad International Airport, is also inspired by Middle Eastern culture, in this case, the gahfiya – a traditional openwork skullcap worn by Arab men.
Its Qatari architect, Ibrahim M Jaidah, said in an interview that just like the gahfiya is “used to cover one’s head from the heat, the shape is also used to protect spectators from the sun”.
Stadium 974, aka Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, is considered the first completely dismantlable stadium in the history of the World Cup tournaments.
Designed by Fenwick Iribarren Architects, the 40,000-capacity stadium is named after Qatar’s international three-digit dialling code, +974, and also the number of shipping containers used to build it.
Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, popularly known as Al Rayyan Stadium, was designed by British firm BDP Pattern and inaugurated on December 18, 2020, to mark two years until the World Cup 2022 final.
Designed to emulate the sand dunes of the desert, the stadium is located next to the Mall of Qatar and can be reached by taking the green metro line.
Lusail Stadium is Qatar’s largest stadium and will host the tournament final on December 18, along with nine other matches during every stage of the event.
The stadium’s design – by British firm Foster + Partners – is inspired by the interplay of light and shadow that characterises the “fanar” lantern.
Did your team make it to Qatar this year? Select them from the drop-down menu to see how they’ve done over the history of the World Cup, from 1930 to 2018.
The post-war England team was favoured to lift the trophy as it made its World Cup debut.
The American team, meanwhile, were part-timers, including a dishwasher, a letter carrier and a school teacher. The mixed bunch only got to practise together for one day, then got on the boat to Brazil.
The final score was USA 1 – England 0 – one of the biggest upsets in the history books.
Hungary came to the World Cup in Switzerland as favourites and lived up to it by beating South Korea 9-0 and thrashing West Germany 8-3 in earlier matches.
The two sides met again in the final. Hungary scored two goals in the first half and were seemingly following the script until the opponents scored two.
They were tied until the 84th minute when Helmut Rahn scored his second goal and broke Hungarian hearts. The West German comeback against one of the best teams in football history was dubbed “The Miracle of Bern”.
It was surprising enough that North Korea was able to land its team in England for the World Cup.
Italy were held together on the pitch by midfielder Giacomo Bulgarelli. But he was injured during the match, reducing the Italian side to 10 as substitutions were not allowed at the time.
Seven minutes later, Pak Doo Ik scored a goal that won his team the match and knocked out the two-time world champions.
West Germany were the reigning European champions, former two-time winners and one of the favourites to win the World Cup.
Algeria were riding high, with strong performances leading up to the World Cup.
The Germans were complacent, to their detriment. In the 69th minute, Algeria’s Lakhdar Belloumi scored the winning goal.
Cameroon were the only sub-Saharan African country at the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
Although Argentina started well, the Cameroonians grew in confidence as the game went on without any damage against them.
Halfway into the second half, Francois Omam-Biyik latched on to a free kick and headed his side into a lead that would stand until the final whistle.
The opening game of the 2002 World Cup promised to be an interesting match. But what pundits and France did not anticipate was a meticulously planned Senegalese response to the French attack.
Add to that the pace of El Hadji Diouf and a 30th-minute goal from Papa Bouba Diop, and Senegal found themselves on top of the group at the end of 90 minutes.
France’s journey ended after another loss and a draw. Senegal went on to become the second African country to qualify for the quarter-finals.
It really looked like Brazil would be crowned champions for the sixth time at The 2014 World Cup.
But then they played Germany, who started scoring in the 11th minute and didn’t stop. In just six minutes of first-half play, Germany scored four more goals, stunning the Brazilians – team, fans and country.
After half-time, Brazil’s defences were breached twice, before they managed to score a consolation goal in the last minute. The final score was Brazil’s biggest defeat since 1920.
The opening game of Group B in the 2014 World Cup pitted the two finalists from the previous World Cup.
Spain’s Xabi Alonso opened the scoring in the 27th minute. But one minute before half-time, the Netherlands equalised with a stunning header from Robin van Persie.
The Dutch went on to score four more goals to hand Spain their second-biggest loss in a World Cup. Spain were knocked out of the group after another loss while the Netherlands finished the tournament in third place.
Some of the World Cup’s biggest upsets were when the defending champions were beaten in the first round and 2018 was no different.
Germany came into their final group match needing a win to progress. South Korea were playing for pride as they were all but out.
But deep into injury time, South Korea scored two goals, making it the first time since 1938 that Germany didn’t make it past the first stage.
Pick two teams to see how they compare across all international football matches over the past 100 years.
With either foot, Pele could produce the sort of magic that inspired generations. The Brazilian football icon lifted the World Cup three times: 1958, 1962 and 1970.
A prolific goal scorer, Pele remains Brazil’s leading goal scorer with 77 goals in 92 games.
Off the pitch, as one of the first truly global Black sports superstars, his outspoken support for improving the lives of the poor made him a national hero.
Argentina’s Maradona is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of football. His 60-metre dribble past five England players in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final led to the “goal of the century”.
Maradona made his first appearance for the national side aged just 16. He earned 91 caps and scored 34 goals for his country.
After his death aged 60 from cardiac arrest, such was Maradona’s popularity in Argentina that his coffin, draped in the national flag and bedecked with football jerseys, lay in state at the presidential palace as tens of thousands of mourners paid their respects.
“The Phenomenon” reinvented the role of striker while playing for Brazil in 98 matches and scoring 62 goals. He lifted the 1994 World Cup trophy at the age of just 17.
He scored twice in the 2002 World Cup final to add to his six in the competition earlier, once more lifting the trophy.
A fourth World Cup appearance saw Ronaldo score a then-record-breaking 15th World Cup goal.
One of the greatest, and most controversial, players of the game, Zidane won the 1998 World Cup for France at home, scoring twice in the final.
Injuries kept him largely out of France’s short-lived 2002 World Cup campaign, but he went on to be named player of the tournament at the 2006 edition – despite the infamous head butt that sent him off in the final. Thousands of fans lined the streets of Paris chanting Zidane’s name when the team returned home.
Having scored 31 goals in 108 matches for France, his talismanic leadership shaped the national team into something much greater than the sum of its parts.
Football for Dutch powerhouse Johan Cruyff wasn’t just a sport, but a blending of mind, body and artistry – an exercise in simplicity and beauty.
A creative playmaker with a unique understanding of the geometry of players’ pitch positions, he led his team like the conductor of an orchestra. The Netherlands never lost a game in which he scored. And he scored a lot – 33 goals in 48 international matches.
Cruyff led the Netherlands to the final of the 1974 World Cup, scoring twice against Argentina and knocking out then-champions Brazil.
No compilation of World Cup heroes could omit Franz Beckenbauer, one of only three men – along with Didier Deschamps and Mario Zagallo – to lift the World Cup trophy both as a player and a manager.
Despite playing as a defender, Beckenhauer scored 14 goals in his 103 appearances for West Germany, captaining the 1974 winning side.
After playing in the 1966 World Cup final loss to England, he got revenge four years later, scoring a searing goal to knock the English out and send West Germany to the semi-final.
It’s rare that you get prizes just for being a good guy, but Germany’s record goal scorer, the somersaulting Miroslav Klose, has a handful of them.
With a career hallmarked by fair play and decency – he famously refused to accept a penalty awarded to him during a club match because he knew the referee was mistaken – Klose scored in four world cups, finally lifting the trophy in 2014.
A physical powerhouse of a forward, his stature belied his speed. He scored 71 goals in 137 matches in a German shirt. He also scored 16 World Cup goals. No one has ever scored more.
Germany’s most-capped player, Matthaus scored 23 goals in 150 international matches. A box-to-box midfielder, he featured in five world cups, helping his side win the 1990 edition.
The only German to be named FIFA World Player of the Year, Matthaus holds the record for most World Cup games (25).
The bullish Diego Maradona called him the toughest opponent he had ever faced.
Puskas was captain of the Mighty Magyars, Hungary’s golden team, which flourished under the influence of Jimmy Hogan’s Total Football.
He scored 84 goals in 85 matches for Hungary and made four appearances for Spain. Hungary were so dominant under Puskas that the 1954 World Cup final was the only game they lost in the entire decade.
He scored 702 goals from 705 career games. The giant of European football was a vocal supporter of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and defected to Spain while on tour after the Soviet Army killed 2,500 of his countrymen while crushing the uprising.
English striker Jimmy Greaves was part of the 1966 World Cup-winning squad, but a savage injury inflicted by France’s Joseph Bonnel that required 14 stitches kept Greaves out of the final.
Greaves scored six hat-tricks in an England shirt, a record that still stands.
The 1966 campaign continues to be a focal point of English identity, the squad universally adored, and Greaves became a broadcaster, welcomed into the nation’s living rooms for decades.
The interactive visualisation below shows the results of every football match played between the 32 competing teams over the past 100 years.
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Produced by @AJLabs and Al Jazeera’s Digital PD&I team
Published: November 20, 2022
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