What Miami fans should know about the 2022 World Cup
Soccer's premier event, the FIFA World Cup, kicks off Sunday in Qatar and runs through Dec. 18.
Why it matters: Fans worldwide are hoping their country can bring the trophy home and claim bragging rights for the next four years.
- But we have plenty to cheer for here in Miami — with local talent taking the world stage and growing speculation that Inter Miami could welcome a soccer great as early as next year.
How it works: Thirty-two national teams are competing in this year's World Cup, which is taking place five months later than usual due to the scorching heat in the Middle East.
- The tournament begins with the group stage, in which each country plays the three others in its group to earn enough points to advance.
- The top two teams in each group will advance to the single-elimination round of 16, which begins Dec. 3.
Local players to watch: Inter Miami all-star right back DeAndre Yedlin will be representing the 305 in Qatar as the only member of Team USA with previous World Cup experience. He played for the U.S. in 2014.
- Argentine superstar striker Lionel Messi, who bought a condo in Sunny Isles Beach last year, is reportedly in discussions about signing with Inter Miami this summer.
Team USA: The American team, which has not played in a World Cup since 2014, is in Group B with England, Wales and Iran.
All three USA group stage matches kick off at 2pm ET.
- Monday: Wales
- Nov. 25: England
- Nov. 29: Iran
Teams to watch: Neymar-led Brazil is an early betting favorite to win the World Cup, which would be its first since 2002. However, European nations have won the last four tournaments.
- Defending champions France, led by young superstar Kylian Mbappé, will try to be the first team since Brazil in 1962 to win back-to-back titles.
- Argentina, England and Spain are also early favorites.
Fun fact: Only eight nations have won the World Cup, which was first played in 1930.
Game on: Qatar — which automatically qualified as the host nation — will kick off the tournament Sunday at 10am against Ecuador.
- View the full schedule.
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