Qualifying for the 2018 FIFA world cup was not a walk in the park. It involved numerous tournaments that were put together by the six FIFA confederations to come up with the 31 out of the 32 teams that would participate in the much awaited for event. With the great games set to commence in less than two weeks, the fields have all been set up. The different World Cup qualifiers 2018 are doing practices as each team hopes to emerge as the winner and take the trophy home. Each participating country was placed in pool A or Pool B and so on depending on their performances in various matches, apart from Russia, which was automatically put in Pool A because they are the host of World Cup 2018.
Among the World Cup Qualifiers, teams include Brazil, Spain, England, Belgium, and Germany, while the United States, Italy, and Chile failed to secure a spot in Russia. For this upcoming event, history was made for the first time as all the national and eligible teams registered for preliminaries apart from Indonesia and Zimbabwe who were disqualified before playing their first game. Some countries like South Sudan and Bhutan made their qualifications debut to the FIFA World Cup. The winning team will take home the world cup trophy.
The FIFA World Cup to be held in Russia
The matches to qualify for World Cup have come to an end with 31 countries set to participate if happens after every four years. Among them is Brazil who have won the game five-times and Germany as the defending champions. Other Countries include Serbia, Japan, Senegal, Saudi Arabia, Costa Rica, Colombia, Belgium, Australia, Iceland, and Argentina. Nigeria from Africa also pulled its efforts together to ensure they managed to go to Russia. Iran, Morocco, Mexico, Portugal, Poland, Peru, Panama, France, England, Egypt, Uruguay, Denmark, Croatia, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, and South Korea will also be playing. In spite of getting there, questions like who are the managers who masterminded their winning, and who will be the star performers cannot go without asking.
FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifiers Europe
These are the European FIFA world cup 2018 qualifiers teams
They are not only the hosts; they will be the fourth Russian team to compete in the World Cup with Stanislav Cherchesov’s being their manager. Although the Soviet Union had ever finished fourth in the games that were held back in 1966 before other countries broke off. They again appeared in the United States in 1994. With their efficient and highly qualified goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev who has managed to win over 100 caps, it is probable he will be in charge of being the captain. His entire career has been at CSKA Moscow, and the team has nothing on him apart from many praises. All of Russia’s 2017 Confederation Cup was played back home. Their coach Cherchesov will go to any extent to ensure the team wins. The former Russian goalkeeper and former Soviet Union member have targets of reaching semi-finals in the coming summer.
The team is currently holding the 11th position globally. In 2008 and 2012, they were the European champions and world champions in 2010. They also maintained position one for five years from 2008 to 2013. Their leading player is Isco who is Real Madrid’s attacking midfielder. In his 23 appearances of international matches, he has managed to score 23 goals while for the seven games played by Spain he has achieved six goals. Their coach is Jolen Loptegui who was appointed back in 2016, and he has remained steadfast in ensuring his team plays to win. Although he has never coached a club at any significant senior tournament, he has scooped the trophies for European Champions with Spain’s under 19s and under 21s.
They are currently the reigning European champions after defeating France 1-0 back in 2016 in the Euro final. They have been FIFA World Cup qualifiers many times with their bets one being the 1996 one when they finished third. In 2006, the team managed to get to the semi-finals, but unfortunately never made it out of the group phase in 2014 in Brazil. We don’t have to divulge so much about their player number seven Christiano Ronaldo who plays for Real Madrid. He has four titles to his name of being termed four times consecutively as the world’s best player. During Portugal’s World Cup qualification campaign, he scored 15 goals for them. Other key players are Bruno Alves a Scottish Premiership player and Nelson Oliveira a Championship player for Norwich.
Other highly paid footballers playing in the Premier Leagues that are set to play for Portugal during the 2018 World Cup qualifiers include Jose Fonte, Renato Sanches, Cedric Soares, Bernardo Silva, and Adrien Silva who plays in Manchester United Football Club.
The number one team globally and four-time winners with three in West Germany managed to get a spot in the World Cup 2018 games. The defending champions have among them some of the best players playing for renowned football clubs from across the globe. Apart from Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller, they also have the talented Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos who will keep other teams on their toes. He has won two Champions League titles with one being the FIFA Club World Cup titles and La Liga title. In 2014, he was on the forefront in ensuring Germany won the World Cup. Other players who play in the Premier League and will be present include Leroy Sane, Ilkay Gundogan, Emre Can, Antonio Rudiger, and Shkodran Mustafi. Having worked as an assistant coach for two years before being given a promotion, Joachim Low who is the coach is focused on winning this year’s trophy as well. Through him, they won last year’s Confederation Cup, and the former World Cup held four years ago. Although the international clean sweeps have slipped through his fingers, he is at the top of things. What we can do is wait for the upcoming performance.
Since their exceptional performance at the World Cup in 1966, they only managed to get to the semi-finals in 1990. During the last World Cup draw, they were kicked out of the game when they were still at the group stage. It was the only time they had been eliminated after completing only two matches. Harry Kane will be the player to look out for during their game as he is almost in the same place with Lionel Messi. Last year he scored 27 goals making him one of the best players in the world. In spite of England losing twice under his management, Gareth Southgate is still in charge of the team. The entire team players are members of the Premier League.
Since 2010, this is their fifth time, and they will be playing with other countries in the 2018 World Cup draw. In 2010, they were defeated in the group stages with their exemplary performance being in 1998 before the champions Brazil kicked them out in the quarterfinals. Christian Eriksen the midfielder who plays for Tottenham Hotspurs will be leading his team in winning the trophy. The former player of Ajax has not only scored 18 goals in 74 caps, but he also sets the right strikes for his team members. Other notable Championship players who will be participating include Martin Braithwaite, Lasse Vibe, Andreas Bjelland, Henrik Dalsgaard, and Jonas Knusden. The players in the Premier League will not be left behind, and they are Pierre Emile Hojbjerg, Mathias Jorgensen, Andreas Christensen, Jonas Lossl, and Kasper Schmeichel of Leicester City.
After Denmark failing to reach the Euro games in 2016, Morten Olsen was replaced by 64-year-old Age Hareida who has been a defender for Norwich and Manchester City. In his coaching career, he has won the Norwegian and Danish Leagues once, and twice in the Swedish League.
The team was signed into FIFA not very long ago which was in 1993 June. Because they signed a bit late, they did not compete in the games that were held the following year in the United States. However, in 1998 they successfully qualified for finals in France after defeating the eventual winners and hosts France in the semis. The players Zvonimir Boban, and Davo Suker among others pursued all avenues to ensure Croatia won the game. Blessed with vision and super touch, Luke Modric who plays for Real Madrid is the force behind the team winning this year’s tournament in Russia. While paying for his current club, he has successfully won thrice in the Champions League. The two Premier League players Nikola Vlasic of Everton and Dejan Lovren of Liverpool will also push for the team’s win.
Their coach is none other than Zlatko Dalic who replaced Antec Cacic in October 2017. With him, Croatia has won a game against Ukraine and 4-1 against Greece. This year’s World Cup is sure to face stiff competition from all the participating teams.
Their best finish ever was way back in 1986, and since then, they have failed twice to qualify for two tournaments that have been held previously. The player we all need to watch out for is Chelsea’s sure-footed player Eden Hazard. Not only does he have an eye for passing the ball, but Hazard is also capable of changing the pace even when at an arm’s reach. The most feared players from the Premier League Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United Football Club will be in action. Others include Simon Mignolet, Kevin Mirallas, Moussa Dembele, Nacer Chadli, and Christian Benteke among others. With such big football names present, the game is worth watching. The former coach for Everton and Swansea Roberto Martinez will ensure the team goes to the finals and if possible win the World Cup trophy.
His significant achievement was in 2013 when Wigan won the FA Cu. The coach will ensure a win of the team during this year’s World Cup in Russia. He has also coached Everton and Swansea with prowess.
The team has participated in the World Cup 10 times with this year being its 11th one. They hosted the tournament in 1954 and had gotten to the quarterfinals three times. In 2014, they lost to Argentina in the extra 16 minutes. Their manager is Vladimir Petkovic has been managing the team since 2014. In 2013 as Lazio manager, he won the Coppa Italia.
The World Cup being held in Russia will be Sweden’s 12th time to participate in the game although it will be first since 2006. In 1994 they finished third while in 1958 they got to the finals although they lost to Brazil. They will have players from Championships and Premier League. Their new coach Janne Andersson was appointed in 2016, and we hope the team will make it to greater heights with him in charge.
Serbia will appear for the 12th time for World Cup in Russia. During the 2010 and 2006, they did not go past the group stage. Appointed in May 2016, Slavoljub Muslin is a highly qualified coach who has done enough practice with the team. This will be his first time playing at a national level. Lazar Markovic of Liverpool and Nemanja Matic of Manchester United are also playing in the group.
When hosting the World Cup in 1998, France won the World Cup with a landslide. They have successfully reached the finals in the following games 8 years later and we are sure their performance this year wouldn’t be any different. When hosting the Euros in 2016, they were the runners-up, and they managed to get to the quarterfinals in the 2014 World Cup.
Other countries from Europe that would be participating in the World Cup are Iceland and Poland.
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South America World Cup Draw 2018
Argentina has won the World Cup three times in 1986 and 1978. The team continues to perform exceptionally with being runners up three times. The years were 2014 in Brazil, in 1990 and 1930. This year they have a spot at the World Cup qualifiers tables. Lionel Messi will be on the team and he hopes to help the team win the cup. Their coach is Jorge Sampaoli who has coached Chile previously.
It is without a say that they are the champions of World Cup having won in 2002, 1994, 1970, 1962, and 1958. History was made when Germany defeated them 7-1 in the semi-finals when they were hosting the game. Their key player Neymar, the most expensive footballer in the word will be playing.
From South America World Cup qualifiers table, other participating teams from South America are Peru, Colombia, and Uruguay.
North, Central America and the Caribbean World Cup qualifiers
The teams participating from these continents are Costa Rica, Mexico, and Panama
2018 World Cup qualifiers in Asia
For the AFC, Australia will be participating in the games for the fourth time. Other teams include Japan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea.
The 2018 World Cup Qualifiers Africa
It has been among Africa World Cup qualifiers for some time. Egypt played its last match with Ghana though they had already qualified for the 2018 World Cup being held in Russia. Since 1990, they have once again managed to secure a berth for themselves after winning against Congo 2-1 in Alexandria. Other teams include:
Being their sixth time to appear in the World Cup, we hope they will perform well and make the African continent proud. The former Chelsea’s midfielder captain John Mikel Obi will is the best player with 18 caps. Their coach is Gernot Rohr who has coached many teams globally. His best teams are Bordeaux and Bayern Munich and with such exemplary performances we hope for the best.
After 20 years, the team has managed to make it to the World Cup this year. In spite of a win, a defeat and a draw in the 1998 World Cap win did not make them to go past the group stage. They are being coached by Herve Renard, a Frenchman with Medha Benatia of Juventus being their main player. We are glad they have managed to be world cup qualifiers 2018 Africa
Currently, they are at position 30 in FIFA’s rankings globally just a place after Netherlands. They have not participated in the 2014 and 2010 World Cup and this year they went to all lengths to secure themselves a space in Russia. Mohamed Salah who plays for Liverpool as in the front to ensure their win against Congo. Former coach for Inter Milan and Valencia from Argentina Hector Cuper is their manager.
It is their first time to qualify for the World Cup since 2002 after reaching the quarter finals before being defeated by Turkey 1-0. The player to look out for Sadio Mane who plays for Southampton with their coach being Aliou Cisse who has played for Birmingham city Senegal, and Pompey.
It will be their very first time to play in the World Cup since a tournament that was held in Germany in 2006. Their main player is Aymen Abdennou who has for Valencia and right now for Marseille in France. Their coach is Naabil Maaloul from Tunisia.
2018 FIFA World Cup qualification groups
The much awaited for 2018 World Cup draw is just around the corner. Below is the breakdown for the 8 groups that will be in the tournament according to the Independent.
- Group A- The hosts were lucky to avoid some of the best known teams like Germany and Brazil. The group consists of Russia, Uruguay, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. Although Egypt with Egypt’s Mohmad Salah, the match will be a tough one.
- Group B- It will be the third game in the tournament with teams like Iran, Spain, Morocco, and Portugal giving each other a run for the trophy. Morocco is one of the best teams from Africa while Spain being the winners of the 2010 World Cup.
- Group C- The teams playing in this group are Denmark, Peru, Australia, and France with France starting the game. Denmark hopes that Christian Derik will be at his best.
- Group D-The group consists of Nigeria, Croatia, Iceland, and Argentina who with the help of Lionel Messi they could scoop the highly acclaimed trophy. Nigeria will be facing Argentina for the fifth time in all of their six tournaments present at the World Cup.
- Group E- The group consists of Sebia, Costa Rica, Switzerland, and Brazil, with the other three countries doing their best to remain in a qualifying place.
- Group F- South Korea, Sweden, Mexico, and Germany will be playing in this pool. S of now, apart from the favorites of the tournament, Germans are also the reigning champions. Despite Zlatan Ibrahimovich not being there for Sweden, they are well-organized and ready to face the other teams.
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- Group G- In this pool the teams are England, Tunisia, Panama, and Belgium. Belgium has come out with a record-breaking campaign for them to qualify for the World Cup. On the other hand, despite England not playing with some of the biggest names in the football history, considering it an easy team is wrong. Tunisia on the other hand have come up with unique attacking flairs that are unpredictable.
- Group H- Finally, the group consists of Japan, Colombia, Senegal, and Poland without a former World Cup winner. People may think of it as the weakest group but it could surprise many people.
All roads are leading to Russia where the World Cup will be held in a few days. There are 32 teams playing in 12 venues. The opening and closing match will be played at the Luzhniki Stadium with a total of 65 matches being played this time round. Each designated stadium has a capacity as the games will be played in different cities around Russia. We wish all the participating countries the best.