After a long qualification process, the field for World Cup 2018 in Russia is all set. The 31 nations who have qualified to join the host country (Russia) will be able to book their summer vacations after the group stage draws are announced on December 1 in Moscow.
After a long qualification process, the field for World Cup 2018 in Russia is all set. The 31 nations who have qualified to join the host country (Russia) will be able to book their summer vacations after the group stage draws are announced on December 1 in Moscow. In the meantime, the countries that have sealed their birth for the extravaganza will celebrate the accomplishment and dream of winning the FIFA World Cup Trophy. It is going to a big tournament as the big nations would be coming with players at their peak however, one thing that Russia would miss is the four time World Cup winner Italy who failed to qualify for the tournament first time since 1958. The Azzurri lost a play-off with Sweden 1-0 on aggregate to spell the end of 69-year-old Giampiero Ventura’s (coach) 17-month tenure. Italy’s legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon also announced his retirement from international football after the exit. Here’s who is headed to the World Cup:
South America –
Brazil: The 2014 World Cup semi-finalists booked their place in the next World Cup back in March. They topped the table, after drawing 1-1 to Columbia.
Uruguay: Uruguay finished second in the 10-team group behind five-time World Cup winners Brazil.
Argentina: Argentina was in serious danger to miss the World Cup but Lionel Messi’s hat-rick guaranteed them a spot for the tournament.
Colombia: Colombia had a dream performance at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. They would like to repeat their performance next year too.
Peru: Peru beat New Zealand 2-0 to book the final World Cup 2018 spot. They last reached the World Cup in 1982.
Russia: Russia were the first to qualify for the World Cup as they are the host country. The team needs to put their best foot forward after getting knocked out in the group stage Confederations Cup.
Belgium: Belgium has been the first nation to get selected after they defeated Bosnia-Herzegovina and Greece in the qualifying stage.
England: After their U17 side won the World Cup in October, the senior team would like to get their hands on the senior World Cup. If this happens England would be the winner of all the football World Cup categories which include U17, U20, and senior tournament.
Germany: The defending champions would like to win the World Cup yet again only to silence the critics who think it was a fluke for them to win finals in Brazil. Germany sealed qualification for World Cup with a game to spare after Joachim Löw’s side beat Northern Ireland 3-1 in Belfast in early October.
Iceland: Iceland sealed a place in Russia with a 2-0 victory against Kosovo in Reykjavik, becoming the smallest nation ever to qualify for a World Cup finals.
Poland: Poland secured its spot in next year’s World Cup in Russia with a 4-2 win over Montenegro in European qualifying on October 8.
Spain: La Roja’s sealed their place in next year’s World Cup with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Albania on October 6.
Serbia: Aleksandar Prijovic scored after coming on as a second-half substitute to cement Serbia’s place in Russia with a 1-0 win over Georgia.
Portugal: The European champions Portugal qualified for next year’s World Cup with a convincing 2-0 win over Switzerland.
France: One of the favourites to win the World Cup, France qualified for next year’s tournament with a 2-1 victory over Belarus on October 10 to finish top of Group A.
Switzerland: Switzerland are heading to their 11th World Cup and their fourth consecutive world finals, their best run of appearances since stringing four together between 1934-54.
Croatia: Croatia are in the World Cup finals after a 0-0 away draw on Sunday night put them through with a 4-1 aggregate across the two legs of their qualifying play-off with Greece.
Sweden: Although their star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was absent from action, Sweden battled their way to the 2018 World Cup at the expense of Italy after hammering out a 0-0 draw in the second leg of their playoff.
Denmark: Christian Eriksen hat-trick helped Denmark secure Europe’s final qualification spot for the Russia World Cup with a 5-1 victory away to the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday.
North, Central America and the Caribbean –
Mexico: Mexico have remained unbeaten in their qualifying round and booked their spot for the World Cup by beating Panama 1-0.
Costa Rica: Costa Rica qualified for the 2018 World Cup finals after drawing 1-1 against Honduras in early October.
Panama: Panama defeated already qualified Costa Rica 2-1 to secure a place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia for the first time in the country’s history.
Nigeria: Nigeria beat a stubborn Zambia 1-0 to become the first African side to seal a place at next year’s World Cup in Russia.
Egypt: Egypt’s 27-year wait came to an end as Mohammad Salah scored a brace against Congo to help his side qualify for World Cup.
Senegal: Senegal qualified for next year’s World Cup with a 2-0 away win over South Africa that gave them an unassailable lead at the top of Group D.
Morocco: Morocco stunned Ivory Coast 2-0 to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Morocco is returning to World Cup after 20 years.
Tunisia: For Tunisia, the barren draw against Libya was enough to get them another World Cup ticket.
Iran: Iran, who drew against Syria 2-2 last night, made it to their overall fifth and second consecutive World Cup. They have, however, only managed one win in the tournament so far.
South Korea: This is going to be South Korea’s ninth successive appearance at the World Cup, having qualified after winning four out of ten games.
Japan: Japan is going to make its sixth consecutive appearance at the World Cup
Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia will be making an appearance at the World Cup for the first time since 2006.
Australia: Australia qualified for their fourth successive World Cup by beating a physical Honduras 3-1 at Stadium Australia in Sydney.