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Canada's Cyle Larin, 17, celebrates his goal against the USA with teammate Richie Laryea, 22, during a World Cup qualifier in Hamilton, Ont. on Jan. 30.Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

For the first time in 36 years, Canada is sending a team to the men’s FIFA World Cup. It’s a monumental event – and even more overwhelming when you consider there are 31 other teams to keep track of when, I mean, if – Canada is eliminated. We’ve collected everything you need to know about being a World Cup 2022 fan. Here’s how you can watch the tournament, who you should root for, the games you should prioritize watching and players to keep an eye on (so you can sound knowledgeable when yelling at your TV screen).

Where can I watch the World Cup?

Canadian fans can watch the 2022 FIFA World Cup on TSN, and some matches will be available on CTV. This includes all three of Canada’s group stage matches. French-language coverage will be available on RDS.

Canada’s first match is against Belgium, on Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 2 p.m. ET.

What team should you root for?

If you haven’t chosen who to cheer for at the World Cup this year, Cathal Kelly examines every one of the 32 qualifying teams. If you’re into rooting for underdogs, well, Canada is the team for you. If you’re looking for a betting favourite, cheer for Argentina. If you’re into great uniforms, go with Serbia. From Groups A to H, he breaks down whether a team is likely to implode, is middle-tier or has a real chance at advancing in the tournament.

What group stage games should you watch?

During the group stage of the World Cup, 32 countries compete in groups of four for their spot in the knock-out rounds. The top two teams from each of the eight groups move on to the round of 16. If you’re already an avid fan, you may have your viewing schedule down pat but for beginners, we have a roundup of five group stage matches that are especially worth watching:

  • Senegal vs. Netherlands (Group A, Monday, Nov. 21, 5 a.m. ET): The Africa Cup of Nations champ will face off against a revived and talent-packed Netherlands.
  • Argentina vs. Mexico (Group C, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2 p.m. ET): Argentina – and Lionel Messi – are confident and renewed this year, while Mexico is very much beatable (just ask Canada), so expect Argentina to play with style.

Who is coaching Team Canada?

John Herdman began coaching the men’s Canadian soccer team in 2018, with the goal of helping the team qualify for the 2022 World Cup. The players did more than simply qualify, going on a 20-match tear over 12 months, which included a 17-game unbeaten streak. Simon Houpt delves into how Herdman took Canada’s men’s team to new heights.

Canada's coach John Herdman during a qualifying match against Mexico for the FIFA World Cup in Mexico City, on Oct. 7, 2021.The Associated Press

Which Canadian players should you pay attention to?

Canada was turned around by head coach Herdman, rising to the qualifying round in this year’s World Cup. It’s a huge achievement and the new generation of top talent on the team was a big contributing factor to that. Iain Boekhoff explains why Alphonso Davies will be key to Canada’s victory, and four other players expected to be worth watching.

Which players on other teams are worth paying attention to?

World-class talent will be abundantly on display at FIFA’s tournament. We have superstars such as Ronaldo and Messi playing for Portugal and Argentina, but there are also notable squad members playing the beautiful game from the Netherlands (Virgil van Dijk) and Belgium (Kevin De Bruyne) who have impeccable track records with their leagues and are sure to bring their talent to national efforts. Here are the seven to familiarize yourself with.