In less than 100 days the football fraternity will put their focus on Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. After the successful World Cup in Brazil now is the time for Russia to showcase their ability to host the largest sporting event on earth
With all the top teams having already booked their tickets to Russia, let’s review the qualifying 32 teams and their confederations.
The Australian football team is well known as the Socceroos. The Socceroos are making their 5th World Cup appearance. The Socceroos will be looking to improve their world cup record of 2006 in Germany where they finished 16th and definitely improve from their last showing in Brazil 2014 World Cup finals when they did not go through to the second round.
To achieve this the Socceroos which are currently ranked 39 in the FIFA rankings, will need to look for inspiration from their strikers Mathew Leckie, Tomi Juric and their evergreen veteran play-maker Tim Cahill.
Australia is in Group C with France, Denmark and Peru.
Well known by their nickname Team Melli. Team Melli was the first team to qualify after the host Russia for the Word Cup. Team Melli is ranked number 32 by FIFA and has appeared in a World Cup 4 times since 1978, however, they have never past the first stages. With Carlos Queiroz at the helm, the Iranians will be looking to improve on their past word cup achievements. Sardar Azmoun who ply’s his trade in Russia will be looking to assist with goals and also help the team settle in Russia
Iran is in Group B with Portugal, Spain and Morocco.
With 5 times appearances the Samurai Blue is one of the teams which always brings a different element into the tournament. Japan is ranked 55 in the FIFA ranking and has progressed past the group stages twice in a world cup. The Team will be led by their consistent captain Makoto Hasebe from Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany Bundas League. Other players to watch are Shinji Kagawa from Dortmund who is a very skilful player and Shinji Okazaki from Leicester City in the English premier league who is also very dangerous in and around the box of opponents.
Japan is in Group H with Poland, Senegal and Colombia.
FIFA ranked number 59, the Korea Republic is the most successful Asia team, having participated in the FIFA World Cup nine consecutive times and ten in total. South Korea is the first Asian team to reach the semifinals of the FIFA World Cup, having accomplished that when they co-hosted the tournament in 2002. They’re going to face stiff competition in Russia in the group stages and they will rely heavily on their star player Ki Sung-Yueng of Swansea City.
Korea Republic is in Group F along Germany, Mexico and Sweden.
The lowest ranked team from the AFC region, the team is well known as Al-Suqour (The Falcons). This is the 5th appearance for Al-Suqour at the World Cup Tournament since 1994. The will be buoyant with their new coach Juan Antonio Pizz, the former Chilean national team head coach. Ending their 12-year absence from the tournament Fahad Al Muwallad’s goal booked them a ticket to Russia 2018 Word Cup. They will be relying on their top striker Mohammad Al-Sahlawi to help get them through the group stages.
Saudi Arabia is in Group A with Russia, Egypt and Uraguay.
Over the next few days we will cover the rest of the regions: Africa, Europe, North and Central America plus Caribbean and South America. So stay tuned for more great insights into the FIFA World Cup 2018 Teams.