Special Report

The Clubs That Sent the Most Players to This Year's World Cup

Naomi Baker / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicked off with a stunning 1-2 upset in the fifth match of the tournament on Nov. 22 when underdog Saudi Arabia defeated Argentina, one of the world’s greatest national football teams. In an extraordinary comeback in the second half, striker Saleh Al-Shehri, 29, and winger Salem Al-Dawsari, 31, delivered two goals within five minutes, ending Argentina’s 36-game winning streak. The game will go down in soccer history as one of the biggest World Cup upsets, up there with North Korea defeating Italy in 1966 or Senegal’s victory over France in 2002. (These are the best men’s national soccer teams of 2022.) 

Al-Shehri and Al-Dawsari both play for the Riyadh-based Al-Hilal football club, making them among the World Cup footballers who play for both a club and a national team from the same country. Other players that didn’t need to switch back to their home country for the World Cup include the highly promising 18-year-old newcomer Pablo Martín Páez “Gavi” Gavira, who is taking a break from playing for Barcelona to join his countrymen on the Spanish national team.

This year’s World Cup is taking place in the middle of the league football season in order to avoid the insufferable heat and humidity of summertime in Qatar, the first Arab country to host a World Cup. Jung Woo-young didn’t have to travel far to join his national team; the 32-year-old South Korean striker normally plays for Al Sadd, a club in the Qatar Stars League.

One notable player who switched countries for the World Cup is Real Madrid’s Luka Modrić. The technically adept midfielder is the captain of the Croatian national team, which famously finished in third place at its first World Cup in 1998 following the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the early ‘90s when Modrić was in his early teens. And then there’s Manchester City’s Rúben Dias. The highly skilled 25-year-old defender is playing for his home country, Portugal.

In all, there are 830 players in this year’s tournament. With 54 players represented, England’s Premier League has the highest number of club footballers participating in this year’s FIFA World Cup, followed by Spain’s La Liga, with 42 – and La Liga’s Barcelona team has the most players on the pitch in 2022: 17. (Here’s a list of the all-time top goal scorers at the World Cup.)  

Here are the clubs with the most players in this year’s World Cup

To compile a list of the football (soccer) clubs with the most players in the 2022 World Cup, 24/7 Tempo reviewed information on each of the 32 national teams participating in the tournament from the official site for FIFA, the governing body of international soccer. 

Source: Alex Pantling / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

13. Borussia Dortmund
> Number of players: 11
> League: Bundesliga (Germany)
> Notable players: Jude Bellingham, Thomas Meunier

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Source: Alexandre Schneider / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

12. Juventus
> Number of players: 11
> League: Serie A (Italy)
> Notable players: Ángel Di María, Dušan Vlahović

Source: Alex Caparros / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

11. Paris Saint-Germain
> Number of players: 11
> League: Ligue 1 (France)
> Notable players: Neymar, Lionel Messi

Source: Michael Regan / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

10. Tottenham Hotspur
> Number of players: 11
> League: Premier League (England)
> Notable players: Harry Kane, Hugo Lloris

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Source: Matthias Hangst / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

9. Atlético Madrid
> Number of players: 12
> League: La Liga (Spain)
> Notable players: Antoine Griezmann, Álvaro Morata

Source: Francois Nel / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

8. Al-Hilal
> Number of players: 12
> League: Pro League (Saudi Arabia)
> Notable players: Saleh Al-Shehri, Salem Al-Dawsari

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Source: Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

7. Chelsea
> Number of players: 12
> League: Premier League (England)
> Notable players: Raheem Sterling, Thiago Silva

Source: Alex Caparros / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

6. Real Madrid
> Number of players: 13
> League: La Liga (Spain)
> Notable players: Júnior Vinícius, Luka Modrić

Source: Naomi Baker / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

5. Manchester United
> Number of players: 14
> League: Premier League (England)
> Notable players: Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford

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Source: Harry Trump / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

4. Al Sadd
> Number of players: 15
> League: Stars League (Qatar)
> Notable players: André Ayew, Jung Woo-young

Source: David Ramos / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

3. Manchester City
> Number of players: 16
> League: Premier League (England)
> Notable players: Rúben Dias, Rodri

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Source: Catherine Ivill / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

2. Bayern München
> Number of players: 16
> League: Bundesliga (Germany)
> Notable players: Manuel Neuer, Alphonso Davies

Source: Aitor Alcalde / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

1. Barcelona
> Number of players: 17
> League: La Liga (Spain)
> Notable players: Gavi, Pedri

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