Fact CheckSports

Qatar 2022: This circulating image is NOT Spain’s final squad for the tournament

Claim: Social media users are sharing an image they purport to be the final squad presented by Spain for the 2022 World Cup.

DUBAWA’s independent investigation found that the list was created using a platform introduced by transfermarkt.com. 

Full-text

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is just days away, and participating National teams have begun to release their final squads for the tournament.

The likes of Brazil, Germany, Japan, England, Portugal, and Cameroon have all released their 26-man squad for the competition, which kicks off on Sunday, November 20.

With social media fans anticipating the squad for their favourite teams, DUBAWA has observed a viral infographic with names of Spanish players purporting to be the final list of selected players for the Qatar 2022 World Cup. This viral infographic is on various social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.

At the bottom of the infographic is the logo of a German-based website that focuses on player transfers and market values.

The image that has gone viral on social media [Photo credit: Multiple Sources].

Some of the accounts found to have shared this image and made the claim can be found here, here, and here.

Verification

Our first point of call during the investigation was the official social media handle of the Spanish National Team. We checked their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages, and no post suggested they had announced their 26-man squad for the competition – at the time of filing this report.

We also visited the Twitter profile of transfermarkt.com, the organisation whose logo was on the viral photo, where there was no such picture on their timeline. 

It was then found that in October, transfermarkt.com introduced a new tool that allows users to put together their 26-man squad for the tournament. They called it the World Cup squad-building tool.

“Here is how it works. You click here or on the banner below, select your country and then pick your 26 players (three goalkeepers and 23 outfield players). Once you have made your selection, Transfermarkt will generate your squad, and you will receive a graphic that you can share on social media. But that isn’t all! You will also be given basic stats such as the average age of your squad, the overall market value, and the number of leagues you have selected players from,” transfermarkt.com explained in a post.

DUBAWA Ghana tried the platform using the same player names in the viral photo, and the same design was generated, with the only difference being the language in which it was presented.

This design was generated using transfermarkt.com’s World Cup squad-building tool. 

Conclusion

Our independent investigation has found that the viral image was created using an online tool. Moreover, at the time of filing this report, the Spain National team was yet to release its final 26-man squad for the 2022 World Cup.

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