After three years of qualifying with more than 870 games played, the top-ranked football players and their fans all over the world held their breath on December 1, 2017. On Friday, the draw for the World Cup 2018 took place at Moscow State Kremlin Palace and specified the rivals in the future championship.
The total of teams from 32 countries were divided into four pots which included eight participants. The distribution of world cup qualified teams list 2018 was following:
The seven strongest teams according to FIFA’s World rankings and Russia (as a host country) were assigned to the first pot. Among the elite tier were five-time winners from Brazil, defending champions from Germany, the team from Argentina which was 2014 World Cup runners-up, as well as European champions from Portugal. Eight teams with the lowest results entered into the pot 4.
The drawing procedure resulted in eight groups of four rivals. But it was prohibited to include more than two UEFA countries in a group. Also, one group was not allowed to have more than one participant from the same confederation except the members of European football’s governing body UEFA which provided the highest quantity of qualifiers with their 14 teams.
Among the leaders of the contest, the first rank should be given to Germany which is defending champion and has all chances to retain the title. Joachim Löw’s team was peerless in qualifying games. They won their all ten matches and scored 43 goals in total.
The team from Brazil, which is five-time champions, was the first South American representative to qualify for World Cup 2018. They remain undefeated and won ten of all their 12 final qualification contests.
The bookmakers also give high chances to Argentina. Taking into account that Lionel Messi joined the ranks of this strong team, Argentina remains one of the leaders of the championship, along with the previous favorites and World Cup holders France, Spain, and Portugal. Belgium team had a great qualifying campaign that resulted in the top position in their group.
This year, we will have the chance to see two debutants – Iceland and Panama. Being the smallest nation with the population of 335,000, Iceland’s inclusion into the championship is not a surprise, as they successfully made the quarterfinals on the Euro 2016 and beat England. As for Panama, they did not succeed to qualify for the final round of the qualifying game of World Cup 2014. This year, they were knocked out in the fight of 12 teams in the Gold Cup quarterfinals.
The matches within World Cup 2018 will be played in Russia from June 14 until July 15, 2018. So, let’s sit tight and wait for the most anticipated and exciting event in the world of football.