Which Players in Qatar Have Won a World Cup?

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France is on a mission to win another World Cup title in Qatar, but there are other players chasing a second trophy on soccer’s biggest stage.

Only 21 players in history have won two World Cups, and Pelé is the only player in history to win three. No one has been able to capture a second title since 2002, when Ronaldo and Cafu pulled off the feat with Brazil.

Along with French champions, a handful of players from other recent winners are looking to earn a second World Cup crown. While some returning victors have a long way to go in their international careers, others could be stepping on a World Cup pitch for the final time in 2022.

These are the players who are back with a chance to lift the World Cup trophy a second time:

France

  • Alphonse Areola
  • Ousmane Dembélé
  • Olivier Giroud
  • Antoine Griezmann
  • Lucas Hernández
  • Hugo Lloris
  • Steve Mandanda
  • Kylian Mbappé
  • Benjamin Pavard
  • Raphaël Varane

Six players appeared in all seven World Cup matches France played on its way to a title in 2018, and five of them are back on the roster to defend their crown in Qatar.

That group includes Giroud, Griezmann, Hernández, Mbappé and Varane. Lloris, France’s goalkeeper in six of those contests, is also back this year, along with another regular starter from 2018 in Pavard. Dembélé appeared in four matches while making two starts in 2018.

Mandanda got one game in goal during the 2018 tournament, while Areola was the third keeper on that French squad and did not get any playing time in Russia.

Injuries will keep three players from 2018 off the team in Qatar, including two stars. N’Golo Kante and Presnel Kimpempe will miss the 2022 World Cup because of hamstring injuries, while Paul Pogba was ruled out on Oct. 31 due to a knee injury.

Samuel Umtiti and Blaise Matuidi are among the other notable players from the 2018 World Cup squad who will not be returning in 2022.

With its strong contingent of returning players, France once again enters the World Cup as a major threat to win it all.

Germany

  • Matthias Ginter
  • Mario Götze
  • Thomas Müller
  • Manuel Neuer

Three major standouts from Germany’s 2014 roster will be back in the World Cup eight years later.

Müller won the Silver Boot and Silver Ball after scoring five goals and adding three assists at the 2014 World Cup. Neuer was just as good in goal for Germany on its way to a title, earning the Golden Glove award as the tournament’s best keeper. Last and certainly not least, Götze etched himself into World Cup history with his game-winning, extra-time winner against Argentina in the tournament final.

Müller and Neuer traveled to Russia to defend the nation’s World Cup title in 2018, while Götze was left off the roster. Germany was expected to contend for a second straight title, but the team was surprisingly eliminated in the group stage.

Ginter is the final holdover from the 2014 team. He was selected to that team at 20 years old and once again was put on the roster in 2018. He did not play in either of the last two tournaments, and he could have a chance to get some World Cup playing time in Qatar.

As for players who have not won a World Cup title, Marco Reus came close to being a part of Germany’s 2014 run, but he was replaced due to an ankle injury suffered in a match less than a week before the tournament kicked off. The Borussia Dortmund midfielder got to make his World Cup debut in 2018.

Joshua Kimmich, Antonio Rüdiger and İlkay Gündoğan are among the other experienced players on Germany’s squad for the 2022 World Cup, but none of them were with the team in Brazil for the 2014 event.

Germany is one of the contenders to dethrone France this year. The team will play another one of those favorites, which is also a recent champion, in its second group stage game on Nov. 27 …

Spain

  • Sergio Busquets

Busquets is the only player from Spain’s 2010 championship squad to make the trip to Qatar.

The 34-year-old midfielder has made his mark on the Spanish national team for a decade-plus. He started 13 of Spain’s 14 World Cup matches from the last three tournaments, including all seven contests in 2010. Busquets also started all six matches in the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament, another event where Spain came out victorious.

Busquets is the last connection between the current roster and Spain’s golden era. Xavi and Iker Castillas made their last World Cup appearances in 2014, while Andrés Iniesta made his in 2018. 

Two other pillars from Spain’s 2010 team were on the verge of playing in 2022. Gerard Piqué announced his retirement from international play after the 2018 World Cup, though he reportedly contemplated a late return to the national team in time for this year’s tournament, before making an abrupt retirement from FC Barcelona on Nov. 3. Sergio Ramos, the most capped player in the country’s history, is off Spain’s World Cup roster for the first time since 2002.

Spain and Germany are joined by Costa Rica and Japan in Group E. While the two European squads are favorites to win the group, a slip-up by either side could make the Nov. 27 tilt all the more crucial in the road back to a World Cup title.

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