FIFA Ranking: 41
Canada have appeared in only one World Cup, in 1986, having failed to qualify for other editions of the tournament. They lost their group stage matches against France, Hungary and the Soviet Union and failed to score a goal.
How they qualified:
After a 36-year drought, Canada reached the World Cup for the second time with an emphatic 4-0 win over Jamaica on a frigid March afternoon in Toronto. They were the first CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football) country to book a spot in the 2022 finals.
After securing qualification, Canada were embroiled in a labour dispute with the national governing body. Players boycotted a friendly against Panama in June in Vancouver over a disagreement about World Cup prize money, among other issues. Their friendly against Panama was scheduled to replace one with Iran, which was called off by Canada Soccer over widespread opposition from politicians and the families of the Canadians who died aboard a Ukrainian passenger plane shot down near Tehran in January 2020 by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
Look to build foundation with World Cup appearance
Canada have a seemingly small task in Qatar to improve on their last appearance at the World Cup – score.
They have appeared at the finals once before, in 1986, when they crashed out at the group stage with losses to France, Hungary and the Soviet Union and failed to find the net.
Canada’s return to the World Cup should be seen as a success in itself, a sign that the North American ice hockey powerhouse is no longer an outsider when it comes to men’s soccer.
Led by leading player Alphonso Davies of Bayern Munich, Canada were the first Concacaf country to book a spot in the 2022 finals. But despite their improvement, a knockout stage appearance in Qatar could prove out of reach.
Although they have evolved greatly since the 1986 debacle, Canada will face second-ranked Belgium, an ageing but still impressive team, in Group F and will also take on 2018 finalists Croatia plus Morocco, who were unbeaten in African qualifying.
Manager John Herdman said the World Cup in Qatar represents an opportunity to build a foundation for the 2026 edition, which Canada will host with the United States and Mexico.
Canada’s preparation for the tournament, however, was hit by a labour dispute in which players boycotted a friendly against Panama in June over a disagreement about World Cup prize money, among other issues.
That friendly was scheduled to replace a match against Iran, which was called off by Canada Soccer over widespread opposition from politicians and families of Canadians who died aboard a Ukrainian passenger plane shot down near Tehran in January 2020.
Canada, who have risen from 72nd in 2020 to 41st in the world rankings, comfortably beat hosts Qatar 2-0 in a September friendly but then lost 2-0 to 14th-ranked Uruguay.
They face Japan in their final warm-up on Nov. 17 in Dubai and meet Belgium in their World Cup opener six days later.
Team announced :