Even some of these dark horses were able to beat the big countries in the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
You only have to look at the way Russia hosted the 2018 World Cup to see that the hosts can be a dangerous dark horse. Russia advanced to the last eight of the 2018 World Cup, after eliminating Spain in the round of 16.
Qatar will work hard to try and emulate that achievement, but they are certainly a footballing nation on the rise, despite having little legacy in their footballing history.
It will be interesting to see how Qatar act with their youth team in the 2022 World Cup, if they can talk a lot at the Asian level with their youth team, then they can also be dark horses in the 2022 World Cup, the biggest tournament of football which makes them a First Middle Eastern country to host the World Cup.
FIFA Rating: 9
Arguably one of the most impressive teams during the UEFA qualifying phase, Denmark booked their place with eight wins from eight matches, scoring 27 goals and conceding nil in the process.
Having gone through without dropping points or conceding a goal, coach Kasper Hjulmand said his team were ‘delighted to be the dark horses of the World Cup’.
And not surprising, given Denmark’s fiery move to the semifinals of EURO 2020 last year amid the unsettling events of their opening tournament.
FIFA Ranking: 13
The US’s reputation as a leader in sports – from basketball and ice hockey to baseball and athletics – is undeniable.
However, it is ‘football’ that has so far eluded America on the big stage.
If not 2022, USMNT has a golden generation ahead of the 2026 World Cup, at home!
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