The football World Cup is, without any doubt, the most prestigious of all games in the world that attracts the greatest attention. Since its official launching in 1930, international football tournament has gradually moved up the scale and eventually become the most celebrated.
Although the FIFA World Cup is played every four years, the preparation for each tournament begins long before the year of play. There are different processes which are involved in preparation for this notable world event. Ranging from the bidding for the host country to the number of national teams that will qualify for the tournament through the process earmarked by the Six FIFA confederations which are the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) which has 47 members, Confederation of African Football (CAF) with 56 members, Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) with 41 members, Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL) which has 10 members, Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) with 11 members, and Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) with 55 members, all totaling 211 national associations under FIFA.
Number of Teams:
Usually, 32 teams play in this world notable tournament, but these confederations determine the method of selecting who qualifies and who does not based on the qualifying tournaments they organize in their continental zones. Once the number of qualified national teams are, they are then presented to FIFA based on the number of slots given to each confederation.
FIFA World Cup 2018 Teams
Based on this year’s FIFA World Cup, there are also 32 teams that have qualified together with Russia, the host country, who got an automatic qualification. There are 5 teams from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) which are Australia, Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea; the Confederation of African Football (CAF) having 5 teams also, i.e., Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia; Costa Rica, Mexico, and Panama making 3 teams from the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).
While Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) has no one who qualified for the World Cup, the Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL) has 5 teams which are Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Uruguay; and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has 14 teams which are Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Poland, Portugal, Russia (the host), Spain, Sweden and Serbia.
For the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the teams have been grouped into eight, and those are; A consisting of Russia. Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay; B having Portugal, Spain, Morocco, and Iran; Next C have France, Australia, Peru, and Denmark while Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, and Nigeria fall under D. E has Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, and Serbia; F contains Germany, Mexico, Sweden, and the Korea Republic; G consists of Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, and England; and finally, Poland, Senegal, Colombia, and Japan fall under H.
FIFA Ranking 2017:
According to 2017 FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, Russia (the hosts) ranks 65, Spain 8, Denmark 19, Serbia 38, Germany 1 and Peru 10. Also, Iceland ranks 21 while Nigeria ranks 41. Brazil ranks 2, Switzerland ranks 11, Costa Rica 22, Australia 43, Portugal 3 and England ranks 12.Sweden ranks 25, and Japan ranks 44, Argentina 4, Colombia 13, Tunisia 28, Morocco 48, Belgium 5, and Mexico 16 with Egypt ranking 30. Panama ranks 49, Poland 6, Uruguay 17, Senegal 32, South Korea 62, France 7, Croatia 18, Iran 34 and Saudi Arabia ranks 63.
Talking about how each of the teams qualified, Russia, being the hosts, qualified when they won the chance to host the competition back in Dec 2010 while Iran qualified after emerging as the winner of the third Round in Group A and South Korea being the runners-up of the Third Round Group A. Japan became the Group B topper of the Third Round; Saudi Arabia, runners-up of the Third Round Group B while Australia, ending up in the fifth place, qualified after playing an intercontinental playoff with the fourth place winner in CONCACAF; all under Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
Also, Tunisia qualified after emerging as the Group A winners, Nigeria also did being Group B topper, Morocco being Group C winners, Senegal Group D winners as well as Egypt being the Group E topper, all under Confederation of African Football (CAF). While Mexico took the first place in their Fifth Round, Costa Rica took the second place in the fifth round, while Panama took the third place in their fifth round to qualify under the auspices of CONCACAF.
Under Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL), Brazil took the first place, Uruguay the second place, Argentina the third place and Colombia took the fourth place while Peru, taking the fifth place, had to play an intercontinental playoff with the first placeholder in CONMEBOL to make them all qualify.
And for Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), France being the Group A winners, Portugal from the Group B, Germany the Group C topper, Serbia the Group D winners, Poland the Group E winners, England emerging as the Group F winners, Spain the Group G winners, Belgium the Group H winners, and Iceland the Group I topper became all qualified while Switzerland, Croatia, Sweden, and Denmark also qualified to be the second-place play-off winners.
Out of the 32 nations that qualified for this 2018 FIFA World Cup, 20 countries among them qualified in the 2014 edition of the World Cup. While Iceland and Panama qualify for their first time, and other teams are returning after being absent for, at least, three tournaments.