When does the World Cup start? Qatar 2022 dates, stadiums and qualifiers – and tournament golden boot winners

Harry Kane will be vying to become the tournament’s top scorer should England qualify for the 2022 World Cup after winning the golden boot award at Russia 2018

With the long-awaited Euro 2020 tournament almost upon us, international football has taken centre stage once more.

The European Championships will be held in the summer of 2021 after it was pushed back a year at the height of the global Covid pandemic.

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It means the time between the delayed Euros, which will mark the 60th anniversary of the tournament, and the next World Cup will be shorter than usual.

Harry Kane will be vying to become the tournament’s top scorer should England qualify for the 2022 World Cup after winning the golden boot award at Russia 2018. (Pic: Getty)

Here’s when the next World Cup will take place, where, and the qualifying groups and fixtures to be played out before then…

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When do the Euros start 2021? Tournament dates, groups, fixtures, kickoff times ...

Where is the 2022 World Cup being held?

Qatar has been chosen as the host country for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The Middle Eastern country, east of Saudi Arabia on the Persian Gulf coastline, won the most votes from FIFA in December 2010.

It will be only the second time the World Cup has been held in Asia following the 2002 tournament in South Korea and Japan.

When does the 2022 World Cup start?

Qatar 2022 will be the first World Cup to be held through the winter due to the scorching hot weather experienced in the summer months.

The first game of the 2022 World Cup will kick off on Monday 21 November, with four group stage fixtures scheduled each day until Friday 2 December.

The round of 16 will start on Saturday 3 December, with two matches planned per day over four days, to Tuesday 6 December.

Quarter finals are planned for Friday 9 December and Saturday 10 December before the two semi final games on Tuesday 13 December and Wednesday 14 December.

The third place play off will take place on Saturday 17 December and the final will kick off on Sunday 18 December to decide the winner of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The dates will interrupt the domestic 2022/23 club seasons across Europe, including the Premier League, if the leagues continue in the usual August to May format.

What are the 2022 World Cup stadiums?

The 2022 World Cup will take place over three host cities in Qatar - Doha, Al Dhakira and Al Wakrah. The stadiums are as follows:

Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium - Capacity: 40,000. Opened: 18 December 2020.

Al Bayt Stadium - Capacity: 60,000. Opened: TBD.

Al Janoub Stadium - Capacity: 40,000. Opened: 2019.

Al Thumama Stadium - Capacity: 40,000. Opened: TBD.

Education City Stadium - Capacity: 40,000. Completed: 2020.

Khalifa International Stadium - Capacity: 45,416. Opened: 1976 (renovated in 2017)

Lusail Stadium - Capacity: 80,000. Opened: TBD.

Ras Abu Aboud Stadium - Capacity: 40,000. Opened: TBD.

The final of the 2020 World Cup will take place at Lusail Stadium.

What is the qualifying process for Qatar 2022?

The qualification process for all European countries will continue in September 2021.

Three fixtures from the qualifying groups stage have already been played in March 2021 prior to the postponed Euro 2020 tournament, which begins on 11 June.

There are three more international windows for the qualifiers to be played in early September and the second weeks of October and November for qualification from the group stage.

A total of 55 nations are competing in 10 groups for 13 places at the Qatar World Cup.

Who are the World Cup golden boot winners?

The top scorer at the World Cup is known as the golden boot winner.

In 2018, Harry Kane became only the second Englishman to win the award with six goals. Gary Lineker also scored six goals when he took the honour in the 1986 World Cup.

2018 – Harry Kane (England) – 6

2014 – James Rodriguez (Colombia) – 6

2010 – Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Thomas Muller (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), David Villa (Spain) – 5

2006 – Miroslav Klose (Germany) – 5

2002 – Ronaldo (Brazil) – 8

1998 – Davor Suker (Croatia) – 6

1994 – Oleg Salenko (Russia), Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria) – 6

1990 – Salvator Schillachi (Italy) – 6

1986 – Gary Lineker (England) – 6

1982 – Paolo Rossi (Italy) – 6

1978 – Mario Kempes (Argentina) – 6

1974 – Grzegorz Lato (Poland) – 7

1970 – Gerd Muller (Germany) – 10

1966 – Eusebio (Portugal) – 9

1962 – Florian Albert (Hungary), Garrincha (Brazil), Valentin Ivanov (Soviet Union), Drazan Jerkovic (Yugoslavia), Leonel Sanchez (Chile), Vava (Brazil) – 4

1958 – Just Fontaine (France) – 13

1954 – Sandor Kocsis (Hungary) – 11

1950 – Ademir (Brazil) – 8

1938 – Leonidas (Brazil) – 7

1934 – Oldrich Nejedly (Czechoslovakia) – 5

1930 – Guillermo Stabile (Argentina) – 8