The South American qualifiers in numbers

  • Draw for Qatar 2022 South American qualifiers to take place on 17 December

  • Interesting facts and stats from arguably the toughest qualification competition

  • Draw will be live streamed on

On Tuesday 17 December, South America will move a step closer to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ when the draw for the South American qualifying competition takes place at CONMEBOL headquarters in the Paraguayan city of Luque at 10:00 local time (14:00 CET).

The event, which will be streamed live on, will determine the sequence of games for the 18 matchdays that will decide the region’s 4.5 berths for Qatar 2022.

The qualifiers themselves get underway in March 2020, but to whet your appetite for the draw, we bring you a statistical summary of one of the most exciting and difficult qualifying tournaments in world football.

The number of South American qualifying fixtures played – excluding intercontinental play-offs – since the first one was contested in 14 February 1954: a 4-0 win for Paraguay over Chile en route to that year’s FIFA World Cup in Switzerland.
The number of goals netted by Brazil, who top the scoring charts in the region’s qualifiers. If that were not impressive enough, A Seleção reached that figure despite having played just 110 games, the fewest of any CONMEBOL side. Their scoring average stands at 2.18 goals per game.
The number of qualifying matches played by Paraguay and Uruguay, the two South American countries with the most fixtures, including intercontinental play-offs.
The number of wins Argentina have recorded during World Cup qualifying, the most of any of the region’s sides. Colombia, meanwhile, have registered the most draws – 46 – and Venezuela the most defeats – 90.
The number of World Cup qualifiers played by Ecuador's Ivan Hurtado, who holds the CONMEBOL record. The former defender took part in five qualifying competitions between USA 1994 and South Africa 2010, participating in two World Cups: Korea/Japan 2002 and Germany 2006.
QUITO, ECUADOR - MARCH 27: Ivan Hurtado of Ecuador in action during the 2006 World Cup Qualifier South American Group match between Ecuador and Paraguay at the Atahualpa Stadium on March 27, 2005 in Quito, Ecuador. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
The number of consecutive matches in which Brazil went unbeaten – a South American record. The sequence began in 1954 and lasted until 1993, when the Auriverde went down to Bolivia in La Paz.
The number of times Colombia have faced Paraguay – the most-played fixture in the history of these qualifiers.
The number of goals racked up by the all-time top-scorers in the qualifiers, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. The Argentinian has played in 45 games, while the Uruguayan needed one less, 44. Argentinian Hernan Crespo (19) and Chilean Marcelo Salas (18) are next in the table.
Argentina's Lionel Messi.
The most goals scored in a South American qualifying game, so far happening on three occasions: in Chile’s 7-2 defeat of Colombia in 1965, Argentina's 6-3 away win against Ecuador in 1960, and Peru's triumph over Venezuela by the same score in 1965.
The number of consecutive editions of the South American qualifiers, including that beginning next March for Qatar 2022, in which a mini-league format across 18 matchdays will have been used. The current format was first introduced ahead of the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France.

The South American FIFA World Cup qualifying draw will be streamed live on and FIFA on YouTube. Restrictions to certain countries may apply.