Brazil have sealed their qualification to the 2022 World Cup, continuing their record of being the only country to play at every World Cup finals since 1930.
Next winter’s tournament in Qatar will be Brazil’s 22nd World Cup, having secured one of CONMEBOL’s four automatic places with a 1-0 win over Colombia on Thursday night.
Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta scored the only goal of the game in Sao Paulo, giving Brazil their 11th win from the first 12 games. Their only dropped points so far came in 0-0 draw in Colombia last month. The Selecao have also conceded just four goals throughout the campaign so far and have averaged more than two goals per game as well.
Brazil still have six games left to play, but their monster 18-point cushion over fifth place Colombia means they can no longer finish lower than fourth in the final standings. That is therefore good enough already to make them the fourth confirmed team in Qatar.
As well as the hosts, Germany and Denmark have also booked their place at this stage of qualifying. Eight more European nations will be confirmed qualifiers by the end of the November international break, while the CAF, CONCACAF and AFC campaigns still continue.
Argentina are also in a strong position to qualify for Qatar, while Ecuador also have a small cushion over the rest in third place in the current standings and could reach only their fourth ever World Cup. Chile occupy the last automatic place, but are under pressure from Colombia – who hold the inter-confederation playoff place – Uruguay and Peru.
Even Paraguay and Bolivia, just four points off the automatic places, are not out of it.
Brazil were similarly dominant within South America in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup and, having qualified directly as hosts for 2014, haven’t failed to finish top of the CONMEBOL division since the qualification process for the 2002 World Cup.