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?
Fifa points: 696
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.
Fifa points: 558
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.
Fifa points: 737
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.
Fifa points: 1,590
Points per head: 0.0000075972
Brazil qualified comfortably after topping their table with 41 points having lost just one game.
Fifa points: 815
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.
Fifa points: 1,085
Points per head: 0.0000084002
Mexico qualified for Russia as North and central America and Caribbean group winners.
Fifa points: 865
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
Points per head: 0.000012926
South Korea came second in Group A, behind Iran, to secure their ninth consecutive appearance at a World Cup.
Fifa points: 1,208
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.
Fifa points: 1,056
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
Points per head: 0.0000194607
Saudi Arabia qualified after edging out Australia (who must now go into a play-off) on goal difference.
Fifa points: 1,606
Points per head: 0.0000195581
Holders Germany qualified with 30 points having won all 10 of their games in Group C.
Fifa points: 1,191
Points per head: 0.0000242736
Took the fourth and final automatic qualification spot in the South American group.
Fifa points: 1,184
Points per head: 0.0000255423
Spain, after suffering an early exit back in 2014, raced through Group G, winning nine of their 10 matches.
Fifa points: 1,325
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.
Fifa points: 1,250
Points per head: 0.0000327476
Poland qualified with 25 points having dropped points in just two games.
Fifa points: 789
Points per head: 0.0000897552
Serbia finished top of their group with 19 points, leapfrogging Wales at the last.
Fifa points: 1,265
Points per head: 0.00011068
Belgium were the first European team to qualify with 22 points from eight games.
Fifa points: 1,386
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.
Fifa points: 618
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
Points per head: 0.0001907958
Reached their fourth World Cup finals with a game remaining from their Concacaf qualification group.
Fifa points: 1,043
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.
Fifa points: 931
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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