There are plenty of reasons to be excited about the World Cup, as there are no less than 30 players and four managers at Qatar 2022 who are either at FC Barcelona right now or have been in the past. Let’s examine them group by group.
Group A: Netherlands, Senegal, Ecuador, Qatar
Barca have two players in the Dutch squad, Memphis and Frankie de Jongwhile the team is coached by Louis van Gaal, who has managed the Catalan giants twice. There is also Luuk de Jongwho made such a valuable contribution to the Barça cause last season, as well as his PSV team-mate xavier simonswho spent nine years of his youth at La Masia.
There is also a connection with Barca in the host country. Qatar is coached by Felix Sanchez Bashailing from Catalonia and former coach of Barca’s U19 team.
Group B: England, USA, Iran, Wales
It is one of only two groups without current Barça players, but Sergino Destwho is now at AC Milan, is part of the United States squad.
Group C: Argentina, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia
Robert Lewandowski is obviously the star of the Poland team, but we also have two familiar faces in other teams. Auntie Martinowho managed Barca in the 2013/14 season is now in charge of Mexico, and Argentina have someone who obviously needs no introduction – Leo Messi.
Group D: France, Denmark, Tunisia, Australia
Ousmane Dembele and Jules Joude are Barça’s representatives for defending champions France, and the Blues also have a former Barça striker Antoine Griezmannwho is now back at Atlético Madrid.
Andrea Cristensen will wear the Denmark shirt. The Danes also benefit from the services of the former Barca striker Martin Braithwaitewho now plays for local rivals Espanyol.
Group E: Spain, Germany, Japan, Costa Rica
No less than six Spanish players have graduated from La Masia, namely Eric Garcia, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Gavi, Ansu Fati and Dany Olmo (the latter now from Leipzig). With Pedri and Ferran Torres also in the team, there is Barça blood everywhere in a team which is also led by the former Barça player and coach Luis Enrique.
Meanwhile, the current first team is also represented in Group E by Marc Andre ter Stegen in the German goal, while the Japanese winger Takefusa Kubonow from Real Sociedad, spent four years at La Masia.
Group F: Belgium, Croatia, Morocco, Canada
There are no Barca players currently in Group F, but there are youngsters Abde Ezzalzouliwho is on loan from Barça to Osasuna this season and is part of the Moroccan squad.
Group G: Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia, Cameroon
Raphinha is Barca’s only current player in the Brazilian squad, but there are also two former Blaugranas to watch, Neymar Jr. and the veteran Dani Alves.
There are some relations with Barça in the Cameroonian team. Goalkeeper André Onananow from Inter Milan, spent five years at La Masia, and centre-back Martin Hongla played for Barca on loan from Granada in 2018.
Group H: Portugal, Uruguay, South Korea, Ghana
As well as the central defender of Barça Ronald AraujoUruguay’s roster also includes veteran striker Luis Suarezwho is now back in his native country playing for Nacional.
Also, the South Korean midfielder Paik Seung-ho came through the ranks at La Masia, playing for Barca B, and is now on the books at K-League side Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.