Which Man Utd stars will be playing in the 2022 World Cup?

As ever, Manchester United will have a sizeable contingent of their players representing their countries at a major tournament despite the Red Devils’ recent downfall.

A selected quintet of the world’s heavyweights, including Brazil, England, France, the Netherlands and Spain, have already reached next year’s World Cup finals.

In the meantime, Portugal and Scotland will train their sights on locking down a place at the Qatar showpiece when they meet their opponents in the play-offs.

Let’s take a look at the Man United players that will or could represent their national teams at the upcoming final tournament.

England

Despite his thoroughly disappointing performances this season, Harry Maguire remains indispensable in the national team under Gareth Southgate.

The Red Devils captain has played a prominent role in England’s stroll through the World Cup qualifying campaign and should retain his starting berth until Qatar 2022 football betting bonanza.

Alongside Maguire, Luke Shaw has been another trusted ally for Southgate, nailing down the left-back position as his own at Euro 2020 and the subsequent World Cup qualifiers.

Marcus Rashford has also cemented his place in the national team despite his sporadic game time at the summer’s European Championship.

In addition to long-term England stalwarts, three more current Red Devils stars have plenty of time to prove their credentials to the Three Lions gaffer.

Jadon Sancho has been in and out of Southgate’s squad since swapping Borussia Dortmund for Old Trafford in the summer and will face an uphill task of recovering his place in the national team.

Jesse Lingard, who returned to the England squad on the back of his eye-catching six-month loan at West Ham United last season, is another genuine candidate to make the final cut.

However, the winger’s bit-part status at the Theatre of Dreams is unlikely to help his cause, and a potential winter departure looks to be on the cards.

Last but not least, widely regarded as the hottest young prospect in the Premier League, Mason Greenwood is likely to stake his claim for England’s World Cup squad.

The prodigious forward has developed into a first-team regular at Old Trafford, and if he continues to amaze, he may well convince Southgate to hand him the call-up.

France

Raphael Varane and Paul Pogba were part of the French national team to win the 2018 World Cup in Russia and unless injuries hinder their progress, their participation at Qatar 2022 is a near-certainty.

Both players are currently unavailable to injuries, with the latter withdrawing from Didier Deschamps’ training camp due to a thigh issue earlier in November.

While the household duo looks likely to regain their spots in Les Bleus’ star-studded team, underperforming forward Anthony Martial seems to be on the verge of missing out on the upcoming World Cup finals.

The ex-Monaco starlet was on the cusp of making France’s 2018 World Cup squad before picking up an injury that sidelined him from the tournament.

Martial has since tumbled down the pecking order at Old Trafford, effectively losing his place in Deschamps’ set-up in the process.

Netherlands

After failing to qualify for ‘Russia 2018,’ the Netherlands have reached next year’s showpiece after stringing together seven straight World Cup qualifiers without defeat under Louis van Gaal.

The former Man United manager, who returned to the Dutch national team for the third time, has already informed the Red Devils fringe midfielder Donny van de Beek about his current status at the ‘Flying Dutchmen.’ 

Van Gaal told the ex-Ajax whizz-kid that he needs to secure regular first-team football in order to fight his way back into the national team following his underwhelming spell at Old Trafford.

Van de Beek has been a peripheral figure in Manchester since arriving from Ajax in summer 2020 and will face the formidable task of persuading the Netherlands boss to bring him back to the team.

Spain

David de Gea has rediscovered his form at the start of the 2021/22 campaign after nearly surrendering his place between the sticks to Dean Henderson down the tail-end of last season.

The experienced goalkeeper has been a rare bright spot in Man United’s otherwise lacklustre domestic campaign so far despite having already conceded an average of 1.75 goals per Premier League game this term.

Though he’s been regularly handed Luis Enrique’s call-ups for Spain over the past few months, de Gea is now a second-choice shot-stopper at the national team.

Indeed, the Athletic Bilbao up-and-comer Unai Simon has dethroned his Man United counterpart since Euro 2020 and continues to be Enrique’s first choice in goal.

Brazil

One of the most dominant World Cup qualifying campaigns in recent CONMEBOL history has seen Brazil ensure automatic qualification for Qatar 2022 with six games to spare.

Fred has been irreplaceable in Tite’s double-pivot alongside Liverpool’s Fabinho, featuring in virtually every Brazil’s outing in the ongoing World Cup qualifiers. 

The left-footed midfielder has blown hot and cold at Man United, but his international showings have been a stark contrast to his topsy-turvy performances at club level.

Meanwhile, there seems to be not even a glimmer of hope for an out-of-sorts left-back Alex Telles to book his ticket for Qatar 2022 as the 28-year-old continues to be a benchwarmer at Old Trafford.

Atletico Madrid’s Renan Lodi and Alex Sandro of Juventus are Tite’s preferred options for a left-back position, and it’s likely to stay that way until the tournament.

Portugal and Scotland

Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot squandered a prime opportunity to seal their place at next year’s showpiece in Qatar.

Heading into the final matchday of the World Cup qualifiers, Portugal harboured a slender one-point lead over Serbia in Group A and had their destiny firmly in their hands.

However, even though the Selecao took an early lead in their ‘winner-takes-all’ encounter against Dragan Stojkovic’s side, Dusan Tadic and Aleksandar Mitrovic sent the Euro 2016 champions to the dreaded play-offs.

As for Scotland, a runner-up finish in World Cup qualifying Group F means the Tartan Army’s hopes of reaching their first final tournament since 1998 will have to take a detour.

Scott McTominay, who featured for Scotland at Euro 2020, will be a significant cog in Steve Clarke’s side as they look to negotiate their second play-offs for major tournaments in a row.

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