Finally, the qualifying process of 2018 FIFA World Cup has ended and we got our selected 32 teams who assured their place in next summer’s World Cup in Russia. This qualifying process took more than two years and 209 national teams of different countries are involved in the process.
Everyone’s track was different. Some qualify directly when some have to wait and fight till the play-off process. There will be representatives from Asia, Africa, Europe, Central America, South America.
Qualifying Process 2018 FIFA World Cup
We got defending champion Germany, Five-time champion Brazil, Hot favorite England, France, Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Belgium, Costa Rica, Colombia, Croatia, Egypt, Iceland, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Uruguay, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Panama, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Australia, Peru and host Russia.
The number of teams we will not see them in the tournament is not that much less. You won’t see Ghana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Netherlands, Wales, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Hungary, USA, Honduras, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay and so on anymore. This is really a heart-breaking blow for the citizens and supporters of these countries. Let’s take a look at their journeys so far in World Cup 2018.
The qualifying process of Africa for World Cup 18 was as follows:
1.Teams that rank position 28-53th played home and away matches with two different leagues. The 13 from 26 winner team advanced to second round.
2. Total 40 teams which rank 1-27 and the winner 13 team from first round playe0…………d home and away matches. Winner 20 from them advances for a final round.
3. From the second round, total 20 teams were advanced. They are divided by draw into 5 groups. Each of the group consists of 4 teams. All of them have to play home and away matches. The winner of the group is qualified to World Cup 2018.Ghana got Uganda, Egypt, and Congo in their Group E. Egypt made its place to World Cup from This Group. Each of the team played 6 matches. Ghana finished their World Cup journey positioning third with 1 win, 4 draws and 1 lose.
Ghana is called the Black Star of Africa They reached the second round of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. In 2010 FIFA World Cup Tournament, they became only the third African team to reach the World Cup quarter-finals, and in 2014 they competed in their third consecutive World Cup.
The most unpleasant thing for African Football Supporters is, not seeing their The Indomitable Lions in Russia’s 2018 World Cup Cameroon was in Group B with Nigeria, Jambia, and Algeria. Nigeria positioned first from this group and qualified for the World Cup. Cameroon was in the Third position with 1 win, 4 draws and 1 loses to Nigeria.
Cameroon is the only team from Africa, which has been qualified for seven times in the World Cup. They were the only African team in the tournament of 1990, 1994 World Cup. They are the First team from Africa which has reached to the quarter-final of World Cup in 1990.But bad luck; they would not qualify for the competition of Russia World Cup.
Ivory Coast (known as Côte d’Ivoire) was in Group C with Morocco, Gabon, and Mali. From this group, Morocco becomes the group winner and qualified for the main Competition. Ivory Coast placed second on the table. They 2 wins, 2 draws, 2 lose among 6 matches.
Since 2006 world cup in Germany, Ivory Coast is a common name for the World Cup event. But Unluckily, this time they could not make it for the Russia 2018.They have attended in World Cup Tournament for three times, however, they could not pass beyond the group stage. They also won 2015 Africa Cup.
Russia qualified automatically as hosts of the World Cup 2018 from Europe. Along with Russia, 13 other teams have confirmed their position in 2018 Tournament from Europe. The format of qualifying process for the Rest of the European Countries was like, Qualifying Process 2018 FIFA World Cup
1.The 54 teams were divided into nine groups. Each consists of six teams. All of them have to play home and away matches. The winners of each group qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup directly and the eight best runners-up from that group advanced to the second round called playoffs.
2: Eight runners-up from the first round play against one other team over two legs, home and away according to the draw. The winner’s team of each tie qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.The biggest headline of the Russia World Cup 2018 is the elimination of Italy from the Tournament. Italy was in Group G with Spain, Albania, Israel, FYR Macedonia, and Liechtenstein.
They won 7 games, drew 2 and a single lose to Spain by 3-0.They placed second from the table when Spain qualified directly as the group winner. In a playoff, they met Sweden both home and away matches.
Sweden beat them in their home ground by 1-0 and in Milan, Italy made a draw of 0-0 in their home ground and Sweden advanced to the final 32 for Russia 2018 cup. This is happening for the first time that a World Cup Tournament without Italy is going to take place in last 60 years.
Qualifying Process 2018 FIFA World Cup
Italy is a common name for World Cup Tournaments until they become disqualified for Russia 2018 World Cup. They have a legendary history in World Cup. They played total record number 18 times and Become Champion for four times in 1934, 1938, 1982, and 2006.
They also become runner-up in 1970 and 1994, become third and fourth in 1990 and 1978 respectively. They have also won a European Championship and some other major trophies They are one of the most successful national teams in the history of World Cup.
Netherlands was in Group A with France, Sweden, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Belarus. France directly qualified for the World Cup when Sweden fixed their place in last 32 teams beating Italy in a playoff. The Netherlands finished their World Cup journey ranking third with 6 wins, 1 draw and 1 lose. Though the point was same between Sweden and Netherlands, Sweden was an aggregate of goal difference (Sweden 17- Netherlands 9).
The Dutch has an enriched record in World Cup. They played the most FIFA World Cup finals without ever winning the tournament. They finished second in 1974, 1978 and 2010 World Cups. They were also eliminated from the last World Cup 2014 held in Brazil by Argentina in Semi-final stage.
In Group D, Wales got Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Austria, Georgia, and Moldova. Serbia took the first position in the Table and Republic of Ireland was in the second position which leads them to Next stage (playoffs).Wales was in the third position in Table. They played 10 matches and resulted from 4 wins, 5 draws and 1 loses to the Republic of Ireland.
So far, Wales have qualified for two major international tournaments. They reached the quarter-finals of the 1958 FIFA World Cup and reached the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 2016 after beating Belgium in the quarter-finals. This was the first time ever that Wales had reached the semi-final of a major tournament.
Greece was in Group H. Belgium, Bosnia, Estonia, Cyprus, and Gibraltar were with them in the group. Belgium passes the Qualification as a Group winner and Greece placed 2nd with 5 wins, 4 draws and 1 lose.
They got the chance to play again in the play-off as they were group runner-up but unfortunately could not qualify for the main Tournament. Croatia wins in an aggregate of 4-1 and smashed them away from the World Cup 2018.
Greece made their first appearance in 1980 UEFA Euro. They first showed their appearance in World Cup in 1994.They reached for the quarter-final in UEFA Euro 2012.They also reached the round 16 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Turkey was in Group I with Iceland, Croatia, Ukraine, Finland, and Kosovo. Iceland directly qualifies to World Cup as group winner and Croatia positioned second and created the chance for a playoff as they stayed in 2nd position in the table right after Iceland. They faced Greece in the play-off and knock them out by 4-1win. Turkey finished their group stage in 4th position with 4 wins, 3 draws and 3 lose.
Turkey has qualified for the World Cup Tournament in two times, 1954 and 2002.Their highest achievement is, finishing 2002 FIFA World Cup in the third position. Turkey also finished third in the 2003 Confederations Cup, reached the semi-finals of Euro 2008 and played in the quarter-finals of Euro 2000.
Hungary was in Group B with Portugal, Switzerland, Latvia, Faroe Island and Andorra. Portugal qualified directly from this group and Switzerland qualified for the play-off as they were behind Portugal with Goal difference. Hungary was in 3rd position with 4 wins, 1 draw and 5 lose.
The Football history of Hungary is respectable. They become runners-up in the World Cup Tournament in 1938 and 1954.Qualifying Process 2018 FIFA World Cup,They have won three Olympic titles. They also positioned third in 1964 UEFA European Football Championship.
From North, Central America and Caribbean:
USA got Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras and Trinidad and Tobago in the fifth round of qualification of CONCACAF. The top three teams qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama were in first three places on a table and qualified for the World Cup.
The USA finished ranking 5th on the table. The embarrassing loss to Trinidad and Tobago smashed them out from the 2018 competition.
The USA is a regular name for the World Cup Tournament since 1990. They finished third in position in 1930 World Cup. In 2002 World Cup competition, they reached quarter-finals. This time, it will really hurt their supporters to not watch them in the Tournament.
Honduras was also with Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, USA and Trinidad and Tobago on the fifth round of qualification of CONCACAF. They were at the Fourth place in the table. They had 4 win, 3 draws and 3 lose. They advanced to inter-confederation play-offs and met Australia where Australia beat them at aggregate 3-1 and placed on last 32 teams.
Honduras has qualified three times for the FIFA World Cup so far in 1982, 2010, and 2014 tournament. They also become CONCACAF Champion in 1981. In 2001, they become third in Copa America. They won Central American Cup championships four times too.
From South America
South America was the most dangerous qualifying zone for the Russia World Cup 2018.All the teams have shown their class and skills for being qualified to swap others throughout the qualifying process.
Qualifying Process 2018 FIFA World Cup, They made the qualifying process so much competition that they have to fight until the last matches of them. Not only that, they have to depend on the result of the opponents for their own qualification. The qualifying process for the CONMEBOL is like-
The total ten teams played in a league of home and away matches. The top four teams on the table qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup directly and the fifth-placed team advanced to the playoffs. The qualification structure was the same as for the previous five World Cup tournaments.
Chile total played 18 home and away matches. Among them, they won 8 matches, lost 8 matches, and drew 2 games. They positioned 6 on the table right after Peru. The main points between Peru and Chile were same but Peru advanced by goal difference to the play-off round.
It is totally unexpected that you won’t see the defending champion of Copa América in Russia World Cup 2018. Till now, Chile has attended World Cup Tournaments for 9 times. They were the host of 1962 World Cup Tournament and placed third on that occasion. They grabbed Copa América title in 2015, 2016 beating Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and others behind. They also become runner-up four times in different major football event.
Paraguay finished their World Cup journey ranking on the 7th position on a table. There was 7 win, 3 draws and 8 lose among all 18 matches.Qualifying Process 2018 FIFA World Cup, The loss against Venezuela on 10 October 2017 by 1-0 finished their race to Russia World Cup.
Paraguay has joined the final tournament of World Cup 8 times so far in 1930, 1950, 1958, 1986, 1998, 2002, 2006, and 2010. On four occasions, they reached the second round of the competition.
They are a regular participant of Copa América.Qualifying Process 2018 FIFA World Cup They won the Copa América title two times in 1953, 1979 and reached quarter-final stages of 2010 World Cup which is the highest achievement by them till now in a World Cup event.
Ecuador was in 8th position on the table right after Paraguay. They won 6 games, drew 2 games and lost 10 games among 18 matches. In the last game, Argentina beat them in their home ground after 17 years when Argentine Captain Lionel Messi made a hat trick and confirmed their place in last 32.
Ecuador has qualified for the main event of World Cup for three times in 2002, 2006 and 2014. In 2006, they advanced to the round of 16 which is still their best performance in any Major Tournament.Qualifying Process 2018 FIFA World Cup
These are the major team who should be been qualified for the world cup. There was some other team too who showed their class but could pass the process unluckily.
Stars who missed the World Cup 2018:
Not only the team but also we also missed some figures, some names which may grab the headline of any matches. Some of them have also retired from International football which means we will no more watch them with country jersey presenting their country.
As the Netherlands could qualify for the last 32, that’s why we won’t see their Key Players Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and others. Arjen Robben has already announced his international retirement from Football.
Gareth Frank Bale (known as Gareth Bale), the Real Madrid winger plays in Wales national team. As Wales missed the Tournament, that means we won’t see again Bale in Russia’s World Cup. It should be mentioned that he is the fourth most expensive transfer in Club History and of the fastest player in the world.
We will also miss Copa America Defending Champion, Chile in the final competition. So there will be no show of Alexis Sánchez, Arturo Vidal in the field or the barrier of Claudio Bravo in Goal Post.
The most shocking news of 2018 World Cup Elimination is the disqualification of Italy. The legendary Italy Goal Keeper Gianluigi Buffon has confirmed his retirement from international Football after Italy’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup main Competition.
Croatian Midfielder Ivan Rakitic said on Buffon, “I would give up my place in the World Cup for him; when you see him crying, you want to cry too. A player like him cannot say Goodbye like this” Spanish Goal-keeper Iker Casillas’ message to Buffon:
“I don’t like in the slightest to see you like this! I want to see you as before, as what you continue to be for many: a LEGEND! I’m proud of knowing you and proud of having faced you so many times. You still must delight us in football, my friend!” He retires from Italy with 175 caps after 20 years, nine tournaments and one World Cup medal.
He would have been the only player to attend 6 World Cup Competition if Italy was qualified for Russia. Right after his retirement declaration, Daniele De Rossi and Andrea Barzagli have joined Gianluigi Buffon in announcing their retirement from International Football. Not only them, you will also miss young stars like Marco Verratti, Lorenzo insigne, world-class defender Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and so on.
We will also miss Aeron Ramsey from Wales, Memphis Depay from the Netherlands, Gary Medel from Chile, Asamoah Gyan from Ghana, Antonio Valencia from Ecuador, David Alaba from Austria, Marek Hamšík form Slovakia, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Gabon and so on.
Almost three years have passed, 871 matches have been played, total 2454 goals scored, 2965 yellow cards have been shown, just to find out the top 32 among all. This equation is just a slight show that how competitive the total qualification process was.
We saw how Egypt reacted after qualifying for the first time ever in World Cup when Mohamed Salah scored on the last minutes, we saw the celebration of La Albiceleste when Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick in their final do or die match.
But you cannot side apart from the tears in Gianluigi Buffon, Chilleni’s eyes or coldness of Alexis Sanchez or Gareth Bale at the end of their game as well as the ending of World Cup 2018.
You have to consider them all as Football is a two-sided game where one has to win and other’s to lose. We have seen a number of unexpected happenings so far; let’s see what’s lying ahead for us in the Main Occasion of Russia World Cup 2018.
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