Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. Return to the Spotlight in CONMEBOL 2026 World Cup Qualifiers

The upcoming Qatar 2022 Winter World Cup has created a shorter timeframe for the United States, Mexico, and Canada to prepare for the 2026 World Cup. Therefore, it wouldn’t be surprising to witness the return of CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying on our screens this fall, only a year after Argentina claimed victory over France in the 2022 tournament.

Fortunately, the challenge of CONMEBOL qualifying has been slightly eased with the expansion of the field to 48 teams for the 2026 World Cup. This means that six teams will automatically qualify, and a seventh team will have the opportunity to reach the six-team inter-confederation playoff tournament.

Brazil and Argentina have both started their campaigns impressively with the dynamic duo of Lionel Messi and Neymar at the forefront of their respective teams. This sets the stage perfectly for their highly anticipated encounter in Rio de Janeiro this November.

Messi made his return to the field for Argentina after recovering from a muscular injury he sustained during a game for the reigning world champions last month. This injury caused him to miss four games for Inter Miami as they were officially eliminated from playoff contention in the MLS. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner came off the bench and played for 37 minutes in Argentina’s 1-0 victory, thanks to Nicolas Otamendi’s goal in the 3rd minute.

And as we gear up for the Asian qualifiers in October and the African qualifiers in November, these games mark the official start of the journey to qualify for the 2026 World Cup (yes, it’s hard to believe!). Below, you can find the table, schedule, and scores for all CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers as South America determines who will emerge as the 11th winner from its confederation, joining the likes of Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina as world champions.

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