See The 23 Nations That Qualified For 2018 World Cup

See The 23 Nations That Qualified For 2018 World Cup
See The 23 Nations That Qualified For 2018 World Cup

See The 23 Nations That Qualified For 2018 World Cup

The qualification process for the 2018 World Cup is nearing its conclusion, with 23 nations assured of their places in Russia. Familiar names such as Germany, Brazil, France and Argentina will be there and joining them will be a few surprises – the likes of Iceland, Panama and Iran.

But which teams have really punched above there weight and deserve most credit for reaching the finals?

23. Nigeria

Fifa points: 696
Population: 185,989,640
Points per head: 0.0000037421

Nigeria became the first African side to reach Russia after beating Zambia 1-0 in their penultimate qualifier. The Super Eagles have now missed just one tournament – Germany 2006 – since making their World Cup debut in 1994.

22. Russia

Fifa points: 558
Population: 143,989,754
Points per head: 0.0000038752

The hosts qualified when they won the chance to host the competition back in Dec 2010. And judging by their Fifa points rankings, and current form, this is the only reason they’re playing at a World Cup. They probably wouldn’t have qualified otherwise.

21. Japan

Fifa points: 737
Population: 127,484,450
Points per head: 0.0000057811

A tight three-way battle in Asia Group B ended with Japan topping the group, one point ahead of Saudi Arabia.

20. Brazil

Fifa points: 1,590
Population: 209,288,278
Points per head: 0.0000075972

Brazil qualified comfortably after topping their table with 41 points having lost just one game.

19. Egypt

Fifa points: 815
Population: 97,553,151
Points per head: 0.0000083544

Egypt qualified with a game to play after Mohamed Salah scored a late, late winner against Congo to end a near 30-year wait for Africa’s most successful team.

18. Mexico

Fifa points: 1,085
Population: 129,163,276
Points per head: 0.0000084002

Mexico qualified for Russia as North and central America and Caribbean group winners.

17. Iran

Fifa points: 865
Population: 81,162,788
Points per head: 0.0000106575

Iran were the first Asian team to qualify – way back in June with a 2-0 win over Uzbekistan.

16. South Korea

Fifa points: 659

Population: 50,982,212

Points per head: 0.000012926

South Korea came second in Group A, behind Iran, to secure their ninth consecutive appearance at a World Cup.


15. France

Fifa points: 1,208
Population: 64,979,548
Points per head: 0.0000185904

France secured their ticket to the World Cup finals after Didier Deschamps’s side unconvincingly beat Belarus in the final game of their qualification campaign in Paris.

14. England

Fifa points: 1,056
Population: 55,268,100
Points per head: 0.0000191069

England qualified for Russia following an unbeaten – though largely uninspiring – qualifying campaign in which they won eight games and drew twice.

13. Saudi Arabia

Fifa points: 641
Population: 32,938,213
Points per head: 0.0000194607

Saudi Arabia qualified after edging out Australia (who must now go into a play-off) on goal difference.

12. Germany

Fifa points: 1,606
Population: 82,114,224
Points per head: 0.0000195581

Holders Germany qualified with 30 points having won all 10 of their games in Group C.

11. Colombia

Fifa points: 1,191
Population: 49,065,615
Points per head: 0.0000242736

Took the fourth and final automatic qualification spot in the South American group.


10. Spain

Fifa points: 1,184
Population: 46,354,321
Points per head: 0.0000255423

Spain, after suffering an early exit back in 2014, raced through Group G, winning nine of their 10 matches.


9. Argentina

Fifa points: 1,325
Population: 44,271,041
Points per head: 0.0000299292

Argentina faced the dire possibility of missing out on a World Cup for the first time since 1970, but Lionel Messi delivered when it matter most with three goals in a 3-1 win over Ecuador to book their spot.

8. Poland

Fifa points: 1,250
Population: 38,170,712
Points per head: 0.0000327476

Poland qualified with 25 points having dropped points in just two games.

7. Serbia

Fifa points: 789
Population: 8,790,574
Points per head: 0.0000897552

Serbia finished top of their group with 19 points, leapfrogging Wales at the last.

6. Belgium

Fifa points: 1,265
Population: 11,429,336
Points per head: 0.00011068

Belgium were the first European team to qualify with 22 points from eight games.

5. Portugal

Fifa points: 1,386
Population: 10,329,506
Points per head: 0.0001341787

European champions Portugal beat Switzerland 2-0 in Lisbon to progress to the World Cup finals as winners of Group B.

4. Panama

Fifa points: 618
Population: 4,098,587
Points per head: 0.0001507837

Roman Torres was the hero in a 2-1 home victory against Costa Rica in Panama City, with his 88th-minute winner jumping Los Canaleros from fifth up to the third automatic qualifying spot in the final round of Concacaf qualification.

3. Costa Rica

Fifa points: 936
Population: 4,905,769
Points per head: 0.0001907958

Reached their fourth World Cup finals with a game remaining from their Concacaf qualification group.

2. Uruguay

Fifa points: 1,043
Population: 3,456,750
Points per head: 0.0003017285

Uruguay looked certain for qualification during much of their campaign but it took a final-round victory over Bolivia to make absolute certain.

1. Iceland

Fifa points: 931
Population: 335,025
Points per head: 0.0027788971

Iceland got the job done and qualified for their first ever World Cup by beating Kosovo – who have earned just one point – 2-0 in their final match of the group.


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