The 2022 FIFA World Cup is now just under a week away, and the participating nations are finalizing their squads for the tournament. Bayern Munich have a heavy contingent heading to Qatar, representing eight different countries. Let’s have a look at who’s going to be playing for who.
Germany: Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller, Joshua Kimmich, Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sané, Leon Goretzka, Jamal Musiala
Naturally, Germany will have the largest chunk of Bayern players going to Qatar. Despite recent injury concerns, every one of the usual seven-man contingent made the final cut. Veterans Manuel Neuer and Thomas Müller are expected to lead a young, eager, and rejuvenated Germany squad to a highly overdue successful tournament. Germany’s midfield duo of Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka has been in fine form all season, and wingers Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sané are coming into their element just in time for the World Cup. But the most intriguing prospect on Germany’s team is starlet Jamal Musiala, who has been Bayern’s best player this season by far.
Germany start their World Cup against Japan on the 23rd of November, and face Spain in the biggest match of the group stage on the 27th, before closing out the group against Costa Rica on the 1st of December. Former Bayern coach Hansi Flick will be looking to steer Germany back to the top of the world after recent disappointing results.
France: Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano, Lucas Hernandez, Kingsley Coman
France’s Bayern quartet also board the plane to Qatar in the form of three defenders and one attacker. Dayot Upamecano has been stellar this season, and he will be looking to replicate his form in his first ever World Cup. Lucas Hernandez, meanwhile, has just returned from injury, but he still looks as good as ever. Benjamin Pavard is having an iffy season, but will be hoping that this World Cup will be a major turning point. The same can be said for Kingsley Coman, whose form has taken a dip just as his fellow Bayern wingers are getting better.
Defending champions France will hope that the so-called ‘champions’ curse’ will not befall them as they start their title defense against Australia on the 22nd of November. Next up, on the 26th, is Denmark, who have given France a run for their money in the past Nations League games. Finally, the French close out their group – and the month – against Tunisia.
Netherlands: Matthijs de Ligt
Bayern’s new star center back has just recovered from an injury; literally, as he made his comeback in Bayern’s last game of the year against Schalke. As one of the best young center backs in the world, and a regular for the Dutch national team, De Ligt will be making his World Cup debut under former Bayern coach Louis van Gaal. The Netherlands missed out on the last World Cup in Russia, and they will be hungry for redemption.
Thankfully for the Dutch, their group could not have been easier. Despite being in Pot 2, they were drawn with the worst top seeded team: hosts Qatar, whom they face in their last group game on the 29th of November. Before that, they play Senegal on the 21st, and Ecuador on the 25th.
Senegal: Sadio Mané
New Bayern signing Sadio Mané made Senegal’s final World Cup squad, but has a major question mark hanging over his head. The Ballon d’Or runner-up was injured in Bayern’s penultimate game of the year against Werder Bremen, and was initially considered to be out of the World Cup. However, some reports are saying that he will be fit to play at least part of Senegal’s tournament. Indeed, Senegal are pulling out all the stops to ensure that Mané returns to the pitch as soon as possible, even going as far as to employ witch doctors(?!). Whether it actually works remains to be seen.
Should Mané be fit to play Senegal’s opening game, he would be reunited with teammate Matthijs de Ligt as the African champions play the Netherlands. Their next game is against hosts Qatar on the 25th of November, and they end the group stage against Ecuador on the 29th.
Canada: Alphonso Davies
It is a very special occasion for Alphonso Davies as his country made the World Cup for the first time in 36 years. Davies suffered a late injury scare against Hertha Berlin a few weeks ago, but was thankfully declared fit to play for his country. The young left-back is currently recovering well as he hopes to give his countrymen and women something to cheer a lot about.
Canada’s start to the World Cup, however, is going to be difficult as they face Belgium in their opening game on the 23rd of November, and it doesn’t get much easier as they face World Cup finalists Croatia four days later. Their last game is against Morocco on the 1st of December.
Morocco: Noussair Mazraoui
The former Ajax right back has been a pleasant surprise for Bayern as he put in good performances week in week out for the Bavarians. Now, he trades Bayern red for the red of his country, who is playing in a second consecutive World Cup. Incidentally, he is in the same group as his teammate Alphonso Davies, whom he plays on the last matchday.
Croatia: Josip Stanišić
It turns out that Group F is a haven for Bayern, as three out of the four countries have Bavarian representatives. In this case, it’s full back Josip Stanišić. Having risen through the Bayern ranks rapidly in the past year, the youngster has also become a regular for Croatia, and particularly impressed in the Nations League when he pocked Kylian Mbappé. Now, in his first ever major tournament for Croatia, he will be hoping to do even better in a very formidable group. All matchdays are the same as Canada and Morocco.
Cameroon: Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting
Finally, Bayern’s very in-form striker will turn to the national team and hope to replicate his already hot form into something scorching hot. Choupo-Moting was instrumental in Cameroon reaching the World Cup, and with the form that he’s in, it’s not too far-fetched to wish that he makes his mark on the tournament. Cameroon may not be favorites to advance from their group, but with a striker who’s made Robert Lewandowski’s absence unnoticeable, anything can happen.
Choupo will play fellow German speakers Switzerland on the 24th of November, and then another European team in Serbia on the 28th. Finally, a huge clash against favorites Brazil awaits on the 2nd of December.
Notable omissions: Malik Tillman (USA), Ryan Gravenberch (Netherlands)
Bayern loanee Malik Tillman, currently playing for Rangers, will not join the United States in Qatar. The same goes for Dutchman Ryan Gravenberch, who has found playing time hard to come by against the likes of Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, and Marcel Sabitzer.
Looking for more chatter on Germany’s World Cup squad, the Bayern Munich contingent, who was left out, and who was a surprise inclusion? Check out our Weekend Warm-up Podcast, which features a deep dive on Hansi Flick’s squad ahead of their tournament in Qatar: