Let’s take a look at the final 7 teams from Europe that qualified for the 2018 World Cup. This group includes current hosts and former World Cup Titleholders.
Poland has managed to secure 3rd place twice in the FIFA World Cup, having only attended 7 tournaments that is not bad going for a team ranked 17th in the world. The Polish team have been working with their coach Adam Nawalka for 5 years and he has managed to lead the side to the quarter-finals of the UEFA European Championship and helped them secure their spot in the 2018 World Cup. The top scorer in Europe’s 2018 World Cup qualifiers just happens to be Robert Lewandowski, Captain of the Polish team. He scored an impressive 16 goals in just ten appearances and we are sure he is hoping to do even more at the World Cup.
Poland is in Group H and faces the likes of Senegal, Colombia and Japan.
Ranked 3rd in the World it is surprising that this will only be the 7th World Cup Tournament for Spain. Another surprise is that Portugal has never won the title and their best achievement to date is 3rd place back in 1966. Will 2018 be the year for this team to prove how good they really are? Coach Fernando Santos surely hopes so after he helped them claim the title at EURO 2016. Is it even worthwhile naming the star player for this team? Cristiano Ronaldo one the best footballers in the world or, should we say football history will be leading the way for Portugal. Cristiano is the leading goal scorer for his country and club Real Madrid, he has also been named the FIFA Men’s player of the year twice.
Portugal drew Group B and start the tournament off with matches against Spain, Morocco and Iran.
As hosts of the World Cup Russia was always going to qualify, ranked 65 by FIFA they are the lowest ranked team amongst the European qualifiers. But, they have participated in 10 previous World Cups and been placed 4th in the 1966 tournament. The coach is Stanislav Cherchesov a former Russian goalkeeper who has participated in two previous World Cups. Looking to impress the home crowds Igor Akinfeev won’t buckle under the pressure, this captain has over 100 caps for Russia and will help the team stay calm and collected.
Russia is in Group A and pay the first tournament match against Saudi Arabia followed by Egypt and then Uruguay.
Heading to Russia to participate in their 12th World Cup, the Serbs are ranked 37th in the World and have made it to the semi-finals twice both times securing 4th position. Mladen Krstajic only recently took over the reins after Slavoljub Muslin was fired, the new coach has only been in charge since October 2017 but he had already been part of the coaching team before. Serbia will be relying on their experienced Captain Branislav Ivanovic to steer them out of the group stages. Ivanovic played for Chelsea where he won three English Premier League titles and a UEFA Champions League title, he has over 100 caps for his national team.
Serbia is in Group E and faces the likes of Brazil, Switzerland and Costa Rica.
Claiming the title back in 2010 Spain has a staggering 14 appearances under their belt and are ranked 6th in the world. The Spanish coach Julen Lopetegui is no stranger to the pressures of a World Cup tournament after playing for the 1994 World Cup Squad. Sergio Ramos is the man on the field that Spain will be relying on, he has won two European Championships and was part of the winning World Cup team in 2010, he is the 2nd most capped player in Spain.
Spain finds themselves facing old rivals Portugal in Group B as well as Iran and Morocco.
The Swedes will be heading towards their 12th World Cup when they play in Russia, with 1 appearance in the finals (1958) and four Semi-final matches they will be looking to leave the group stages. Taking the reins in 2016 Janne Andersson has coached the team through the Euros and their most important qualifying play-off game against Italy. Marcus Berg had big shoes to fill when Zlatan Ibrahimovic retired but he has proven pressure is no match for him by scoring 8 times during the Russia 2018 qualifiers, this key player is one to watch.
Sweden is in Group F with current champions Germany, Mexico and the Korea Republic.
Switzerland is ranked within the top 10 teams in the world sitting at position 8. However, they have never progressed past the quarter-finals of the tournament so they will be hoping number 11 will be their lucky World Cup. The Swiss coach is Valdimir Petkovic, he took the reins after the 2014 World Cup and has guided the team through to the last 16 in the UEFA EURO 2016 and helped them qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2018. Looking to make his mark in his second World Cup star player Grant Xhaka is an impressive midfielder who plays for English Premier League side Arsenal.
The Swiss team drew Group E and face Brazil, Serbia and Costa Rica.
Catch up on the other Europe teams heading to the 2018Wolrd Cup.