Germany have become the first nation to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after running out comfortable 4-0 winners against North Macedonia in UEFA Group J.
Hansi Flick’s side booked their spot in the Middle East for next season’s showpiece tournament, having cruised through their qualification campaign with relative ease.
Now, they can look forward to discovering who they will face just over a year from now, as they look to recapture their Brazil 2014 success eight years on after a frustrating Euro 2020. Editors’ Picks
How did Germany qualify?Heading into Monday’s match in Group J, Flick and company needed only to defeat their hosts in Skopje and hope that Armenia dropped points against Romania elsewhere.
On the road, the visitors held up their end of the bargain, with goals for Chelsea duo Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, plus a first finish for Jamal Musiala, seeing off any chance of a second upset after their reverse loss in March.
With the Tricolours elsewhere managing to pick up a win against the Mountaineers, it confirmed Germany’s place – and helped Flick clear his first major test in charge of the national team.
Who else has already made Qatar 2022?Outside of the European nations who have officially staked their flag at next year’s tournament, the only other side to be in the hat are the hosts – Qatar themselves.
It is customary for the host nation to receive an automatic passage through to the finals, and they usually spend the qualification cycle playing a spate of friendlies.
For what will be their maiden appearance at the tournament however, Felix Sanchez’s side have actually run a schedule in tandem with UEFA qualifying Group A.
They have played the spare side from the quintet consisting of Portugal, Serbia, the Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg and Azerbaijan during the international breaks this year.
The bigger pictureEven if no other sides manage to book their spots before club football returns this weekend, a whole host of nations will have officially confirmed their berth by the end of November.
Next year’s tournament will represent the intended final staging of the World Cup in its current format too, with the 32-team system set to be expanded by the time it next comes around in 2026.
On that occasion, a triple-hosting bid from the United States of America, Mexico and Canada will take the competition across its widest geographical spread in history, following Russia 2018.