The 2026 World Cup will be held in North America, and we are kicking things off with these power rankings, updated every month until the tournament starts, using the latest bookie odds. 

  1. Brazil (6.5)

Brazil are always top of such lists but has disappointed for most of the century/ The latest wunderkind is a teenager called Endrick, who list up Brazil Serie A for Plameiras last year and is now Real Madrid-bound. If he gets a couple of seasons under his belt, the Selecao will be a scary prospect in 2026.. 

  1. France (6.5)

The best squad in Europe by far, and the Ligue 1 conveyer belt of talent shows no sign of letting up. Presumably, Mbappe will have moved to a more competitive league by 2026 and he should be stronger than he even is today.

  1. England (7.5)

Many of England’s best players should be reaching peak form by 2026, with Jude Bellingham expected to be in the peak of his career, and may have a couple of European trophies under his belt by then. They are a worthy third favourite and could win the whole enchilada. 

  1. Argentina (9.00)

Defending champions have had a tough time in recent tournaments, and we see Argentina following the same path as  Spain in 2014 and Germany in 2018. Messi will be 39 by the time the 2026 World Cup comes around and that’ll be too old to carry a workmanlike Argentina to victory. If you play Argentina, better to lay them on an exchange.

  1. Spain (10.00)

The tiki-taka specialists will be strong once again but a lot depends on how starlets like Gavi develop over the next few years. They should be good enough to make the semi-finals, depending on the draw.

  1. Germany (11.00)

Unless the Germans can unearth some goalscoring threats before 2026, this will be a  functional but competent team that couldn’t be reasonably expected to advance past the quarter-finals.

  1. Portugal (14.00)

Assuming a 41-year-old Ronaldo will not be a major force by the time 2026 comes around, it’s hard to see where the creative spark is going to come from. Jose Mourinho may well be coach by then and should get Portugal out of their group, but there’s little chance of them winning the trophy. 

  1. Netherlands (17.00)

Another over-rated country the bookmakers, Holland seem to have stopped producing top-level talent in recent years, with their best player (van Dijk) playing at centre-half.

  1. Italy /23.00)

Chiesa and Barella will be a the peak of their careers, and this Italy side will be shielded by typically grizzled defenders, marshalled by the excellent Luciano Spalletti. They look like dark horses to us and have some good value. 

  1. Belgium (24.00)

The golden generation will be well and truly buried by 2026, with Kevin de Bruyne the last to retire. The Red Devils were magical a decade ago but will be lucky to get out of the group stage in North America.