Chile-Uruguay the pick of the fixtures on Matchday 1
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Relive the draw on FIFA.com and YouTube
CONMEBOL's ten national teams now know their paths to reach the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, following the preliminary draw for the South American qualifiers on Tuesday 17 December.
Held at the Bourbon CONMEBOL Convention Hotel in Luque, Paraguay, Competitions Director Hugo Figueredo was the master of ceremonies for the draw. Alejandro Dominguez, the president of South American football’s governing body, gave the only speech of the event, while former Paraguayan international Roque Santa Cruz, a veteran of three World Cups, presided over the selections.
The first team to be drawn by Santa Cruz was Bolivia, who were represented at the draw by their Venezuelan coach, Cesar Farias. The Bolivians will face none other than Brazil in their opening match.
The four other coaches to join Farias at the draw were Tite (Brazil), Ricardo Gareca (Peru), Reinaldo Rueda (Chile) and Rafael Dudamel (Venezuela).
Also present were former Argentina international Roberto Fabian Ayala, now a member of the Albiceleste coaching staff under national team boss Lionel Scaloni, and Justo Villar, technical director at the Paraguayan Football Association (APF).
The qualifiers will get under way in March 2020 and end in November 2021, with 4.5 places up for grabs at Qatar 2022. The first four teams will qualify directly for the world finals, while the fifth will contest an intercontinental play-off in March 2022.
What they said
“Brazil don’t feel like they’re the favourites. We’re under pressure but we’re used to that. In the last competition we didn’t move into the qualifying places until the sixth round of games. It’s a long and winding road and we’ll just have to wait and see how the players are performing with their clubs. It’s a very demanding competition tactically and technically, but it’s also a mental challenge too.” [[flag-bra-xs]] Tite, Brazil coach
“We’re looking good at the moment but we’ll have to see what kind of shape the boys are in at the start. We’re in a different position to where we were when the last qualifiers began. We’ve got more experience now, although we need more than that. Getting off to a winning start would be good, but it’s vital to stay focused the whole tournament and to put in a good sprint finish.” [[flag-per-xs]] Ricardo Gareca, Peru coach
“We’ll take a long hard look at the fixtures, but I think we’ve ended up with a pretty good path. Teams with players competing in the top leagues will have a bit of an advantage, and understanding how they are will be important. The challenge for us is to rediscover our form and take Chile back to the World Cup." [[flag-chi-xs]] Reinaldo Rueda, Chile coach
Qatar 2022: South American qualifiers draw
The FIFA World Cup trophy is displayed during the draw of the South American Qualifiers for Qatar 2022
President of CONMEBOL Alejandro Dominguez speaks during the draw of the South American Qualifiers for Qatar 2022
“A draw like this is good for the qualifiers because it removes any kind of suspicion. We kick off against Colombia and Paraguay, which just goes to show the demands of a competition that we are preparing well for. We’re looking forward to it and we’re passing that feeling on to the fans. We’ve got the personnel and the players to back that excitement up.” [[flag-ven-xs]] Rafael Dudamel, Venezuela coach
“We have to make the most of our home games. I’ve been on the other side and I know exactly what it means to play in La Paz. If we can stay organised in every sense of the word, both on and off the pitch, I’ve got no doubt we can have a good qualifying competition.” [[flag-bol-xs]] Cesar Farias, Bolivia coach
“These qualifiers are really tough. You have to play everyone and the calendar is what it is. It would be good to get off on the right foot but it’s a long old road. We need to be competitive and to enjoy it.” [[flag-arg-xs]] Roberto Ayala, assistant to Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni
“It’s the home games that will decide who qualifies and that’s one of the areas where we came up short in the last qualifying competition. It will be crucial to kick off with a home win.” [[flag-par-xs]] Justo Villar, technical director at the APF