Lionel Messi and Neymar before the match, Argentines and Brazilians in the qualifying tournament

© AP Photo/Andre Penner

On almost all continents finished the qualifying tournament for the world championship on football of 2018. Tours to Russia with the account of the host country has already received 23 teams. The final list of teams will be formed in a month, when it is determined the last three participants from Africa, will be the play-offs in Europe (four vouchers claimed by eight countries: Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Croatia, Sweden, Northern Ireland, Greece, and Ireland, the draw will take place on 17 October) and Intercontinental matches: Australia will play against Honduras, and Peru — with New Zealand.

TASS is the teams that can already prepare for the world Cup in Russia .



The German team participated in the qualifying tournament, as befits the world Champions, winning all ten matches and set a school record for goals (43). The German team never stumbled in the qualifying rounds of world and European Championships, did not go for economic reasons for the first world Cup 1930 in Uruguay and in 1950 in Brazil due to the suspension of the national Federation after the Second world war.

In the qualifying round in the German national team scored goals scored 21 footballer, and the most efficient steel Thomas Mueller and Sandro Wagner. The leaders of the national team of Germany is well known for is the defense of Joshua Kimmich, mats Hummels and Antonio rüdiger, Midfielders Julian draxler, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil, striker Thomas Muller.

The head coach of the German national team, 57-year-old Joachim löw, who leads the team since 2006. Under his leadership, the Germans won the world Cup and confederations Cup, reached the final of the 2010 world Cup and Euro 2008 and is considered the main favorites and the upcoming tournament in Russia.

Place in the FIFA rankings: 1

Achievements: in 1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014, the teams of West Germany/Germany became world Champions, eight times the team was in the top three. In 1972, 1980 and 1996 Germany won the European championship as the most decorated team in the continent. Last summer, the German team became the winner of the confederations Cup in the final in St. Petersburg, defeating Chileans — 1:0. In this tournament the German team were actually an experimental line-up, however these players are not allowed to question the class of the team.


© AP Photo/Juan Karita

The Brazilians not the best way started in qualifying, but in the summer of 2016, the team took one of the most successful local specialists Titus — and they won nine consecutive victories, becoming the first team who qualified for the world Cup 2018. The turning point was the devastation in November 2016 Argentines in Belo Horizonte — 3:0.

58-year-old Titus won with “Korintiansom” Copa Libertadores and the club world Cup in 2012, and with the “Internacionales” in 2008-m won the South American Cup. Basically the Brazil team is one of the best players in the world Neymar and the stars of the European clubs: goalkeeper Alison, defenders Marcelo, Marquinhos, Miranda, Daniel Alves, Midfielders Casemiro, Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho and striker Gabriel BOM Jesus. Neymar, Gabriel BOM Jesus and Paulinho with six goals were the most successful Brazilians in the qualifying tournament.

Place in the FIFA ranking: 2

Achievements: the most titled team in the world won the world Cup five times: 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002. Eight times the Brazilians won the America’s Cup, and in 2016 at home for the first time in history won the Olympic football tournament.



Champions of Europe with great difficulty were winners of group b, only in the final match defeating the team of Switzerland with the score 2:0 and ahead of competitor thanks to the best difference of scored and missed goals.

The current generation of Portuguese football is associated primarily with Cristiano Ronaldo, who has updated all of the local records in the qualifying tournament, scoring 15 goals and having conceded on this indicator only the pole Robert Lewandowski. However, in qualifying played an important role and another striker Portugal’s andré Silva, caused a stir nine times, including in the final match with the Swiss. Team Fernando Santos confidently again in defence, conceding just four goals, Central defenders Pepe and Fonte, despite by football standards age (34 and 33 years, respectively), continue to perform very reliably. Overall, Portugal have enough age composition, and from the younger generation should be allocated, in addition to Andre Silva, midfielder Joao Mario and striker Bernardo Silva.

Experienced and head coach of the Portuguese — 63-year-old Fernando Santos, who in 1999 won with Porto the championship.

Place in the FIFA ranking: 3

Achievements: Portuguese national team again showed the ability to play the most important matches, which has largely enabled it to win the Euro 2016 in France — for the first time in its history.


© AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano

The possible defeat of the Argentines and Lionel Messi for the world Cup was the main topic of discussion in world football at the beginning of October. The Argentines held a nightmare qualifying — largely because of the serious problems in the national Federation, which for a long time could not choose the President.

Because of confusion in the summer of 2016 left the national team Gerardo Martino, and under the leadership of Edgardo Busy she began to constantly lose points, eventually finding himself outside the top four teams in the South American qualifying group. To save the two-time world Champions had been appointed Jorge Sampaoli, previously successfully worked with the national team of Chile. While the team struck a draw attack: at home, the Argentines failed to beat rivals Venezuela and Peru, and before the final match in Quito against the team of Uruguay the choice was simple — to win, otherwise the first time since 1970, the Argentines would have been without the world Cup. And in the most important moment of his word he said, who in the last days prayed by the whole country. Messi scored a hat-trick, and the Argentines took the third place in the group after qualifying for the final tournament.

But in any case Argentina must improve, especially in attack. With a scattering of stars in attack — Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Paolo Dibala and Mauro Icardi, which has become part of Sampaoli — the Argentine scored in 18 qualifying matches only 19 goals; only less than that of an outsider from Bolivia. The seven heads on account of Messi. Sampaoli has seriously updated the composition, where the usual stars were only defender Javier Mascherano and angel Di Maria. A strong Argentinian players in Europe speaks a lot, but the stars can again take the team to the world Cup final, as it happened in 2014, is no longer observed.

Place in the FIFA rating: 4

Achievements: the Argentines five times played in the finals of the world championship, two wins (1978, 1986) and losing twice (1930, 1990, 2014).

The Belgian Team


“Red devils” the first in Europe to receive a ticket to the final tournament, winning in group H. the Current generation of Belgian footballers is one of the strongest in team history.

The current leaders of the Belgian national team are goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, defenders Tom Meunier and Jan Vertonghen, Midfielders Eden hazard, Axel Witsel, Kevin de Bruyne, forward dries Mertens and Romelu Lukaku. Who plays for the English “Manchester United” with Lukaku 11 goals became the best scorer in the qualifying tournament. Eden hazard has scored six goals in five Mertens and Meunier. After the European championship, which the Belgians departed in the quarterfinals, head coach Marc Wilmots was replaced by Spaniard Roberto Martinez.

Place in the FIFA ranking: 5

Achievements: the best result of the Belgian team is in fourth place at the world Cup in 1986. In 1980, the Belgians played in the final of the European championship, and in 1972 took third place.


© EPA/Bartlomiej Zborowski

The Polish team qualified to the final tournament of the world championship for the first time since 2006. In the current generation of Polish players a lot of stars on a European scale, among them is striker Robert Lewandowski, who in qualifying scored a record 16 goals from 28, held Poland. Thanks to productive game of their leader, the poles were able to beat the competition from Denmark by five points, although the 1st of September and we lost to them in Copenhagen with the score 0:4. In addition to Lewandowski, who has not played in the world Championships, in the Polish national team should allocate experienced defenders Pischeka Lukas and Kamil Glick, Midfielders Grzegorz Krychowiak, Peter Zielinski, Jakub and Kamil Businovskaja Grositskogo.

Head coach of Poland — 59-year-old Adam Nawalka, who directs the team in 2013. Previously, he worked with many local clubs and even helped in the team Dutchman Leo Beenhakker in 2007-08.

Place in the FIFA ranking: 6

Achievements: the main achievements of the poles be in the 70-80-ies of the last century, in 1974 and 1982, the team took third place at the world Championships. In this case, the European championship for the first time Poland have played only in 2008.



The finalists of last year’s championship managed to qualify for the final tournament only at the last moment, beating the national teams of Sweden and the Netherlands. The team won several brilliant victories, but failed in his field to beat the team of Luxembourg, complicating the task itself.

The main star of the current team of France is striker Antoine Griezmann, who, along with striker Olivier Giroud was the best striker in qualifying. Griezmann and Giroud scored a goal in the match against Belarus on Tuesday, a victory which ensured Les Bleus first place in group A. According to tradition, the French team is a very powerful support area, where are Paul Pogba and Ngolo Kant and in attack apart from Griezmann and Giroud should be noted young talents — Kelana Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele, who last summer made loud passages in “Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona” respectively.

The captain of the French team is 30-year-old South Lloris, the team coached 48-year-old Didier Deschamps is the key midfielder of the 1998 world Champions, who works with the team in 2012.

Place in the FIFA ranking: 8

Achievements: in 1998 the tournament the national team of France became the first champion of the world, and in 2006, the generation of Zinedine Zidane barely did not repeat that success, losing in the finals the Italians in a penalty shootout. In 1984 and 2000, the French won the European championship, and last year nearly made the hat trick, losing in the finals to rivals from Portugal.

Team Columbia

© AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

Colombians also risked to remain without the world championship, while in 2014 reached the quarter-finals. The qualifying round they completed four matches without a win, but a draw away with the competitors from Peru (1:1) allowed them to stay in fourth place. Recent failures are associated primarily with not the best form of James Rodriguez, but he scored the only goal in Lima.

The Colombian national team kept its leaders successfully addressing the world Cup in Brazil — in the ranks until now, goalkeeper David Ospina, midfielder Juan Cuadrado, Abel Aguilar, Carlos Sanchez, James Rodriguez. Fully recovered striker Radamel Falcao Garcia, while the team’s leading scorer with six goals in the qualifying tournament was James. Among the leaders of the new wave it should be noted defenders Oscar Murillo and Frank Fabre, as well as midfielder Edwin Cardona and the striker Duvan Zapata. Leads a team of specialist Argentine Jose Pekerman, who has long worked with the youth team of Argentina.

Place in the FIFA ranking: 10

Achievements: Colombian national team only in late 80-ies took the leading role in South American football, when the brilliant generation led by Carlos Valderrama, Freddy Rincon and Faustino asprilla with. In 2001, the new composition of Colombians for the first time in history won the America’s Cup. Best performance at world Championships — the quarter-finals in 2014.



After unsuccessful world Cup 2014 and Euro 2016 Spain regained the taste of victory, and the traditional matching style “red fury” was again to give the result. In the qualifying round (group G), the Spaniards ahead of old rivals from Italy took revenge for the defeat in the 1/8 final of European championship in 2016. 2 Sep on Madrid “Santiago Bernabeu” Spain played a brilliant match against the Italians, defeating the rival with the score 3:0 — win tickets to Russia was a foregone conclusion. In the away match with Italians in the fall of 2016, the Spaniards lost their only points in the qualifying tournament (1:1), scoring in ten matches 36 goals, three missed. Four Spanish player scored five times: Diego Costa, ISCO, Alvaro Morata and Manchester city’s David Silva.

Under the leadership Hulen Lopetegi, who has long worked with Junior and youth national teams, the Spanish national team opened up new leaders is primarily ISCO, who scored two goals in a home game with the Italians, as well as Morata and Marco Asensio. Although in the ranks and veterans — defenders Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos and Jordi Alba, Midfielders Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets. Performed brilliantly in the qualifying tournament and goalkeeper David de GEA.

Place in the FIFA ranking: 11

Achievements: in the 2008-12 years, Spain has achieved a unique achievement, winning two consecutive European Championships and for the first time became the strongest team in the world in 2010.

Mexico National Team

© AP Photo/Moises Castillo

Mexico became the first CONCACAF team to reach the world Cup. It happened in early September, for three rounds before the end of the qualifying tournament. Final round, the Mexicans were unbeaten, having scored four points in key games against teams USA, Costa Rica and Panama.

Coach Juan Carlos Osorio led the national team of Mexico in October 2015, following the team’s victory in the Gold Cup CONCACAF. He was invited from the Brazilian “Sao Paulo”, although he had a disastrous experience in Mexico: under the leadership of the Colombian “Puebla” in 2012 lost seven of 11 matches.

Mexico national team performed well at the confederations Cup, not letting in the playoffs the national team of Russia (2:1 in the third match of the group stage), as well as giving a vivid match against Portugal (1:1). Next summer Russia will return roughly the same team with the same leaders: forwards Javier Hernandez, Irving Lozano, jesús Corona, as well as Midfielders Carlos Vela Luka, Andres Guardado. Also worth waiting for 38-year-old defender Rafael Marquez, who has declared his intention to finish his career in the national team after the world Cup in Russia. Marquez is the only player in history who was captain of his national team at four world Championships.

Place in the FIFA ranking: 14

Achievements: Mexico participated in 15 world Championships — this is a record among the teams, never became world Champions. While in the last six tournaments of the Mexican team came from the group and lost in the 1/8 finals. In addition, Mexicans more often than any other team, had to participate in the opening matches of the world Championships seven times. Team Mexico 11 times won the Gold Cup CONCACAF.


© AP/Valda Kalnina

England traditionally heavily favored in the qualifiers, but in the crucial moments often disappointing. In the qualifiers for the 2018 world Cup, the British were victorious in group F, eight points ahead of the nearest competitors from Slovakia. English the lions conceded only three goals — is the best along with Spain team score in all nine qualifying groups.

The current leader of the England team was striker Harry Kane, who scored five goals, including winning the meeting against Slovenia on 5 October (1:0), who led the British in the final tournament — the sixth time in a row. Kane was made a disaster for myself and the team for Euro 2016, where the British in the 1/8 finals lost to Iceland (1:2). The main goalkeeper in the England squad — Joe HART, the defense often come are Kyle Walker, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones and Ryan Bertrand in midfield — Jordan Henderson, Allie, Eric Dyer, the attack — Kane, Raheem sterling and Marcus Rashford. Head coach of England — 47-year-old Gareth Southgate, in the 90-ies of the speakers in defense of the national team, and then headed the youth national team.

Place in the FIFA ranking: 15

Achievements: the founders of football the only time in history were able to win the world Cup at home in 1966, and the best in Europe, the British and never was, twice failing to break into the top four: in 1968 and 1996.

The National Team Of Uruguay

© AP Photo/Jorge Saenz

Uruguay have qualified for their third consecutive world championship. Uruguayans quite smoothly passed the qualifying cycle, although a trip to Russia and was only in the last day, with the score 4:2 defeated the team of Bolivia. Very well, the team played at home, where he was defeated by the Colombians and the Chileans (with the same score 3:0). And in these matches, held in the year 2015, did not play Luis Suarez serving a suspension for biting Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 world Cup.

The current team of Uruguay has almost the strongest pair of forwards Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez, who in qualifying scored 15 goals to two. The squad is very experienced, most of the leaders of 30 years and more. Main goalkeeper for many years remains Fernando Muslera, in defense play Martin Caceres, Diego Godin and more young Jose Jimenez and Gaston Silva. In midfield leaders — Carlos Sanchez, Egidio Arevalo, Cristian Rodriguez and Matias Vecino. However, in the last qualifying matches of the head coach of Uruguay Oscar Tabares has become more trusting of the youth. 70-year-old Tabares — legendary in Uruguay, the identity, the national team he led is still in the world Cup 1990, and continuously employed there since 2006, leading to victory even at the Copa America in 2011.

Place in the FIFA ranking: 16

Achievements: the team of Uruguay — twice world champion (1930 and 1950), in 2010 the team took fourth place at the tournament in South Africa.

Team Costa Rica

© AP/Moises Castillo

Team Costa Rica is one of the main discoveries of the previous world championship. The Costa Ricans managed to get out of the “group of death” with England, Italy and Uruguay, but also Greeks go in the 1/8 finals. The team stopped one step away from the semifinals, losing to the Dutch in the penalty shoot-out.

The Costa Ricans had qualified for the world Cup in Russia played a draw with the national team of Honduras equalized in stoppage time and coming in second place . The leaders of the attack — Christian Bolanos and Marcos Urena, who played for the Krasnodar “Kuban”. Still of experienced Bryan Ruiz, johnny Acosta, remembered at the last world Cup. Head coach Oscar Ramirez joined the coaching staff of the team after the world Cup. First, he was an assistant (in this position he had worked in the 2006-08 years) Paulo Wanchope, one of the most famous players in the history of Costa Rican football, and then Ramirez has become the main.

Place in the FIFA ranking: 21

Achievements: Costa Ricans four times played in the world Championships. From the group, they were not only in Brazil but also in Italy in 1990. Team Costa Rica — three-time winner of the Gold Cup CONCACAF.



After their successful performance at Euro 2016 Icelanders were greeted at home as heroes, and most surprisingly, Iceland was able to go through the copper pipe and get a ticket and on the world Cup for the first time in its history. Iceland became the smallest country represented at the world Cup, its population is only 330 thousand inhabitants.

Group I the Icelanders were fairly smooth, and they managed to beat competitors from Croatia, Ukraine and Turkey, scoring seven wins, but have scored just 16 goals in ten matches. The team’s top scorer in qualifying was the midfielder Gylfie Sigurdsson, which stands for the English “Everton”. Icelanders have retained last year’s composition, which is the place and defenders Ragnar Sigurdsson from FC Rubin Kazan and Sverrir the Ingason from “Rostov”. The head coach of Iceland is a 50-year-old hallgrímsson, who Euro 2016 worked in conjunction with the Swede Lars Lagerbäck, who took the Norwegian team.

Place in the FIFA ranking: 22

Achievements: the current generation of Icelandic footballers have already made history a year ago, making his first appearance in the final tournament of the world championship. In France, the islanders got to the 1/4 finals, where they lost only to the hosts, even with the devastating account 2:5.

The National Team Of Iran


The Iranian national team showed the best result in the Asian zone qualifying round, in the next year the team will come to its fifth world Cup and second in a row.

The leader attacks Iran’s national football team is 22-year-old forward of FC Rubin Kazan Serdar Azmoun, who scored 11 times in the qualifying tournament. In Russia are two player of Iran’s national football team midfielder “Amkar” said Asadollahi and defender of “Akhmad” Milad Mohammadi. The Iranian team is young but experienced.

Head coach of Iran 64-year-old Carlos Queiroz at the time headed the teams of Portugal, South Korea and South Africa, and in the 2003/04 season was the head coach Madrid “real”. With Queiroz the Iranian national team since 2011, in 2014 in Brazil, the team failed to qualify from the group, scoring only one point in three matches.

Place in the FIFA ranking: 25

Achievements: the preliminary stage at the world Championships the Iranian national team failed to overcome even once, showing the best result in 1998, when a historic Iranian soccer match in Lyon defeated team USA — 2:1. In addition, the team of Iran has won three Asian Cup.



The national team of Egypt for the first time in 28 years qualified for the world Cup. Making the trip to Russia was very emotional: a decisive victory over the team of Congo with the score 2:1 brought a brace of Mohamed Salah, with the winning goal he scored in stoppage second half time. The country widely celebrated the success of the team: people poured into the streets with flags and songs, and President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered to give each player $83 thousand

The historical success of the Egyptians led by Argentine coach Hector Cooper. Stuck behind him the reputation of a loser after he and the Spanish “Valencia” has lost two Champions League finals in a row (2000, 2001). Nevertheless, Cooper went on increasing in inter Milan, but, failing of success there, out of sight from the General public for fifteen years.

Egypt is a classic team of one star. Last summer, Salah moved from the Italian “Roma” in English “Liverpool” and gave a bright start to the season, adding speed and without that powerful attack of “red”. Salah may well claim the title of best player in Africa in 2017. Also noteworthy goalkeeper Essam al-hadary, who is 15 January will celebrate 45 years. If he plays next summer in Russia, will become the oldest goalkeeper in the history of world Championships.

Place in the FIFA ranking: 30

Achievements: Egypt participated in the world Championships twice (1934, 1990), both times completing performances in the group stage. In addition, is a seven-time winner of the African Cup of Nations.



The Serbian team became the winner of a very smooth group D, having won six victories in ten matches and ahead of competitors from Ireland, Wales and Austria.

A new generation of Serbian players won the 2015 world youth Championships, however, while in the national team perform their senior partners. This is primarily a team captain Branislav Ivanovic from Zenit, another defender Aleksandar Kolarov, the leaders of the midfield — Nemanja MATIC of Chelsea and Nemanja Gudelj as well as the best scorer (six goals in qualifying) Aleksandar Mitrovic. Qualifying for Serbs held under the leadership of one of the most experienced and renowned coaches in the country — Slavoljub Muslin, which is only 63 years old got the opportunity to lead the first team of Serbia. Muslin has previously worked in eight countries, including Russia, where he coached Lokomotiv, Khimki, FC Krasnodar and Amkar, and his assistant is well-known in the past, Belarussian defender Sergei Gurenko, has long advocated “the locomotive”.

Place in the FIFA ranking: 32

Achievements: world Championships Serbian players will perform for the second time in 2010, the team to qualify from the group failed. Previous experience of the world Championships had teams of Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro. In 1930 and 1962 the Yugoslav national team took fourth place, and the recent success of the team was reaching the 1/4 finals in 1990.

Team Japan


Japan’s national team — the constant participant of the world Championships since 1998. The Japanese won first place in the group, which were key to home victories over Saudi Arabia and Australia.

In March 2015, team Japan was led by Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic, has long worked with the French clubs, and then with the national teams of côte d’ivoire and Algeria, the latter being at the world Cup 2014 out of the group. The best scorer of the Japanese national team in the qualifying tournament — Keisuke Honda, long time playing for CSKA. The leading roles of the team players playing in the German Bundesliga Shinji Kagawa, Makoto Hasebe, Genk, Haraguchi, and also the best scorer of the team from current players — forward English “Leicester” Shinji Okazaki.

Place in the FIFA ranking: 40

Achievements: the Japanese double-qualifying from the group stage at the world Championships, including a home tournament in 2002. Japan’s national team four times won the Cup of Asia.

Nigeria National Team

© AP Photo/Michael Sohn

Nigeria national team — one of the most stable in Africa, she missed only one world championship of the last six. On the way to Russia the eagles are in the qualifying group bypassed the reigning Champions of Africa — the team of Cameroon, and also well-manifested themselves at the world Cup in Brazil national team of Algeria.

Head coach of Nigeria, a 64-year-old German Gernot Rohr. In the late 2000’s he moved to Africa, where he first coached the Tunisian club “Etoile du Sahel”, and then worked with the national teams of Gabon, Niger and Burkina Faso. In August 2016 led a team of Nigeria.

Key figures of the current national team of Nigeria defender Uwa Echiejile (Sivasspor, Turkey), Midfielders Victor Moses (Chelsea, England), Ogeny Onazi (Trabzonspor, Turkey), Moises Simon (Gent, Belgium), team captain John Obi Mikel (“Tianjin Ted”, China), and forwards Odion ighalo (“Changchun Yatai”, China) and a couple of English “Lester” — Kelechi, Iheanacho familiar to the Russian fans on the game for CSKA Ahmed Musa.

Place in the FIFA ranking: 44

Achievements: Nigeria national team three times reached the 1/8 finals at the world Championships (1994, 1998 and 2014), in 2002 and 2010 failed to qualify from the group. Also team Nigeria is a three-time winner of the African Cup of Nations, winner of the Olympic games of 1996.

South Korea National Team

© EPA/Noushad Thekkayil

South Korea national team took the second place in group A, seven points behind Iran, but four victories in ten matches, the South Koreans have enough to win a place in Russia. The team next summer for the ninth time in a row will play in the world Cup.

Although the problem was solved, the game against South Korea in the country caused discontent. 15 points, for example, would occupy only the fourth place in the other group, which would leave the team without a world championship. South Korean national team is headed by a local specialist 48 — year-old Shin Tae-Yong, who took over the team only in June. Shin Tae-Yong was replaced by German Uli Stielike, who was fired after two defeats from national teams of China and Qatar.

Current South Korea national team made up of foreign players, most of which are in China and Japan. The team leader is 25-year-old forward of English “Tottenham” son Heung-Min, while in the ten matches of the qualifying tournament none of the players of South Korea has scored more than two goals.

Place in the FIFA ranking: 51

Achievements: at the home world Cup of 2002, South Koreans under the leadership of Guus Hiddink took fourth place, not without judicial scandals beaten in the playoffs alternately the teams of Italy and Spain. In addition, the national team of South Korea twice won the Asian Cup.

Team Saudi Arabia


The national team of Saudi Arabia returned to the number of participants of the world championship, having missed the last DAV of the tournament. It was announced that players will receive € 1.1 million, a record in the history of sports achievements. In the final group stage of selection of team Saudi Arabia team toured Australia and the UAE.

Immediately after the team for the world Cup was a scandal in which the head coach was replaced. The Dutchman Bert van Marwijk stated that it had terminated negotiations with the Federation after it had been sacked some members of his coaching staff. The team took 59-year-old Edgardo Bauza, who led Argentina almost failed the qualifying tournament of the eight matches were won only three, two meetings are summarized in a draw and three lost.

In the national team of Saudi Arabia, no foreign players, with the exception of 19-year-old midfielder Dutch “vitessa” Mukhtar Ali, who played just one match. The top scorer in the qualifying tournament became striker Mohammad Ibrahim al-Sahlawi, who scored 16 goals in 14 matches, including five goals in the game with a team of East Timor (10:0). The captain of the national team of Saudi Arabia — 33-year-old defender Osama, Hawsawi, which account for more than 120 matches for the national team.

Place in the FIFA ranking: 53

Achievements: in his debut world Cup in 1994 the national team of Saudi Arabia reached 1/8-finals at three consecutive tournaments team from group did not leave. The national team of Saudi Arabia, three — time winner of the Asian Cup.

Panama National Team

© AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco

Panama national team — one of the main sensations of the qualifying tournament. Her first ever release for the tournament was made possible due to unexpected circumstances. First, team USA, which up to this point haven’t missed a single world Cup since 1990, sensationally lost to the team of Trinidad and Tobago. And secondly, the victory of the Panamanians in the final match with Costa Rica brought the goal that never was: the ball striker Gabriel Torres had not crossed the goal line. The day after the historic victory was declared in Panama on weekends.

The best scorer in the qualifying tournament was already mentioned Torres, who scored three goals. Leading Championships Panamanian players not represented, the maximum level for them is the MLS, leading the League in the USA and Canada. The national team of Panama in 2014 coached the 61-year-old Colombian Hernan Dario Gomez, twice coached the national team. The second time he was forced to resign after in 2011, attacked a woman near a pub in Bogota.

Place in the FIFA ranking: 60

Achievements: a world Cup in Russia will be the main event in the history of Panamanian football.