The World Cup always sees the best and fittest players, although there are often exceptions. The same goes for the World Cup in Qatar, where the best footballers in the world traveled. Obviously, the best from the countries qualified, because, as we know, footballers like Haaland or Salah stayed at home because their national teams, Norway or Egypt, did not qualify.
But which club brings the most players to this World Cup? The answer might surprise you, given that it’s – ironically – a team that failed in the Champions League for the second year in a row. Yes, we’re talking about FC Barcelona.
The Blaugrana have 17 players called up for the World Cup, more than any other team. Interestingly, though, the Catalan side came first just two days before the start of the competition when Luis Enrique called up full-back Alex Balde to replace Valencia’s Gaya. Until then, Bayern Munich had been the team with the most players called up, 17, but Sadio Mane had to leave Senegal’s squad three days before the start. So, one less at Bayern and one more at Barcelona meant that the two sides swapped places.
Bayern remains with 16, which puts them in second place, tied with Manchester City, who have the same number of players called up. The next place is also a surprise, with Al Sadd of Qatar, the former team of Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez. There are 15 Al Sadd players who will play in the World Cup.
Finally, the next places are taken by Manchester United, with 14, and Real Madrid, with 13 players at the World Cup in Qatar. This is how the rankings look:
17 – Barcelona
16 – Bayern Munich
16 – Manchester City
15 – Al Sadd
14 – Manchester United
13 – Real Madrid
Until this World Cup, Juventus was the team with the most footballers sent to the World Cup all-time: 128. As Italy didn’t make it to the finals this time either – the second edition in a row – the number of Bianconeri footballers going to Qatar is less than it would have been with Squadra Azzurra among the qualified teams. Di Maria, Paredes, Danilo, Bremer, Alex Sandro, Rabiot, Szczesny, Milik, Vlahovic, Kostic and McKennie are the “Old Lady” footballers who made it to Qatar. This brings Juve’s all-time total of players sent to the World Cup to 139.
By championships, the Premier League is sending the most players to this edition of the World Cup, 136!
Top leagues with most players at the 2022 World Cup:
1. Premier League – 136
2. La Liga – 83
3. Bundesliga – 75
4. Serie A – 68
5. Ligue 1 – 54