Meet the 32 nations vying for Fifa World Cup glory in Qatar

It’s nearly time for kick-off in the biggest showpiece in world sport, with 64 pulsating matches whittling down the global line-up to a sole winner of the 2022 Fifa World Cup.
Since 1998, the Fifa World Cup has averaged three billion people watching parts of each tournament. An estimated four billion are expected to tune in to the Qatar 2022 edition.
More than 180 territories have bought the live-action TV rights, generating over $4.6-billion for Fifa. Close to $800-million will be dished out in prize money.
To say Qatar 2022 will be a huge event is an understatement.
However, where it really matters for the players is on the patches of green grass in the newly built stadiums, with 32 countries fighting for the biggest trophy in soccer.
Here is a brief look at the 32 teams participating:
Group A
Qatar
When Qatar plays Ecuador in the showpiece opener on 20 November, an 18-year, multi-billion-dollar national project to build a respectable – and possibly competitive – football team will be put to the test.
Qatar played a string of friendlies in September, losing to Canada and Croatia’s Under-23s and drawing with Chile. In recent weeks, they have won friendlies against Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras.
The mixed results suggest that the Gulf Arab state are no heavyweights and might not stand much chance against their other Group A opponents, Senegal and the Netherlands.
Ecuador
Ecuador may be big outsiders at the World Cup but their young team cannot wait for the world’s eyes to be on them when they face hosts Qatar in the first match.
“La Tri” are making an impressive fourth World Cup appearance from the last six.
They will be confident of beating even more unfancied Qatar and inflicting a first defeat on hosts in a World Cup opener.
Netherlands
The Netherlands hope to turn their status as World Cup “nearly” men into champions as they take a 15-match unbeaten run to Qatar.
The Dutch have been runners-up three times and, though they missed out on the last tournament in Russia four years ago, are one of the form teams in 2022.
Senegal
African champions Senegal carry the continent’s best prospect of breaking barriers.
Senegal are one of three African nations to have reached the World Cup quarterfinals.
The team is boosted by a contingent of French-born players, including goalkeeper Édouard Mendy, defender Abdou Diallo and midfielders Pape Gueye and Nampalys Mendy.
But stalwarts such as captain Kalildou Koulibaly, Sadio Mané and Idrissa Gana Gueye will provide the driving force.
Group ...