Editor's Note: I don't know how I didn't include Costa Rica on this list. Must have been Concacaf bias. Also don't I look silly putting Saudi Arabia and Tunisia on here.
People always try to predict the favorites and the winners of tournaments, but we’re switching it up and trying to guess which teams will crash and burn at the 2022 World Cup. The worst World Cup teams show up, mess up and go home after three games.
In every World Cup there’s at least one team that drops three stinker performances in-a-row and gets sent home with 0 points and a horrid goal difference.
In 2018 that team was Panama with a negative nine goal difference. Rewind to 2014 and it was Cameroon with minus eight goals to their name. Before them it was North Korea in 2010 getting their asses kicked with no points and minus 11 goals.
Arguably the worst World Cup performance in history belongs to Zaire in 1974 when they lost all three games to Yugoslavia, Brazil and Scotland and finished with a negative 14 goal difference.
I don’t think any of the teams in the 2022 edition will compete with Zaire, but there are certainly a couple teams due to have a brutal tournament.
Worst World Cup Teams 2022
I have four teams as leading candidates for being the worst team in Qatar. Those nations are:
- Saudi Arabia
Group Opponents: France, Denmark and Tunisia/Australia
Tunisia and Australia both had unimpressive qualifying campaigns and are miles behind their fellow group-mates France and Denmark. Australia and Tunisia play each other in each of their second group stage matches. I could see these two drawing each other and both finishing with one point.
Group Opponents: Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia
This is my favorite team to put in the worst performance. The reasoning has more to do with Cameroon’s opponents than how bad the team is. I think Cameroon could defeat Tunisia or Australia.
I know that Cameroon can’t beat Brazil, Switzerland or Serbia. Unfortunately for Cameroon I foresee zero points and a negative eight goal difference in their future.
That won't be so different from Cameroon's previous two World Cups. In 2010 they were the second-worst team in the tournament with zero points and a negative three goal difference. In 2014 they followed that up by being the worst team at the World Cup with no points and a negative eight goal difference. I expect more of the same in 2022.
Group Opponents: Argentina, Poland and Mexico
Other than a Round of 16 appearance in 1994, Saudi Arabia has never impressed at the World Cup. The Saudis qualified for the 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Cups and failed to win a single game across all three for a combined negative 22 goal difference.
They wouldn't qualify again for another 12 years and the 2018 edition was nearly as disappointing with another negative five goal difference performance. They did win a meaningless game vs. Egypt on the final day of the group stage.
Long story short: Saudi Arabia never does anything at World Cups.
If you’re more of a visual learner, then I offer you my 2022 World Cup tier list for how teams will perform.