Thirty two teams are set to battle it out for the World Cup glory this year in the Middle East nation of Qatar. Nations across the globe are fighting to book a spot at the World show piece that will take place between Monday 21st November to Sunday 18th December. Countries are still in the qualifiers for the most coveted tournament in football but we take a look at the countries that have already stamped their ticket to Qatar as of today.
Argentina booked their spot at the World cup following their goalless draw with their arch-rivals Brazil in November. They won the South American continental show piece, the Copa America last July and now have their eyes fixed on the World cup which they last won in the 1986 edition and recently reached the finals where they lost to Germany in the 2014 edition. Belgium finished top of their group ahead of Wales and Czech republic to qualify for the tournament. They finished as 2nd runners up in 2018 being bangled out after a 1-0 semi-final defeat to France. Brazil were the first South American side to progress to the tournament after they beat Colombia 1-0 in November. They have won the show piece in five occasions but not since the 2002 edition. Croatia who were the runners up in the 2018 edition leap-frogged their opponents Russia following a 1-0 comical own goal. They will be looking to make history yet again in Qatar as they did in 2018 in Russia.
A 1-0 home win over Austria sealed Denmark's position in Qatar. They were surprisingly relatively strong in the Euro 2020 being knocked out by England in the semi-finals following an extra-time goal. England thrashed San Marino 10-0 to make their qualifying day very memorable. They were surprisingly knocked out of the 2018 editions in the semi-final against Croatia and they are still hurting from losing the Euro 2020 final to Italy in front of their own fans at the Wembley Stadium. These two scenarios might propel them to glory in Qatar. France are the defending champions and they booked their spot last November with and emphatic 8-0 win over Kazakhstan. They will be aiming at making back to back World cup winnings an achievement only boasted by Italy. The 2014 winners Germany became the first team to book their spot in Qatar. They finished top of their qualifying group and will be looking to make a turn around from their disastrous last edition that saw them not go beyond the group stages.
Iran 1-0 victory against Iraq was enough to guarantee them a spot in Qatar. They will be hoping to make it to the knock-out stages for the first time in their world cup history. Japan will be making their seventh straight appearance in the finals after qualifying following their 2-0 victory over Australia. Netherlands 2-0 win over Norway assured them that a repeat of 2018 will not take place as they failed to qualify for the 2018 Russian edition. They hold a record of playing most world cup finals, three of them without getting their hands on the trophy and they will be looking to overturn that ‘football curse’. Qatar will be making their world cup debut as they are assured of a spot as the host nation without going through any hustle.
Saudi Arabia have featured five times in the tournament since their debut appearance in the 1994 edition and will be aiming to make it out of the group stages for the first time in their history. Serbia's comeback victory against Portugal in Lisbon made their qualification journey one of the hardest.They forced Portugal to continue fighting hard in the ongoing qualifiers if they are to make it to Qatar. South Korea will be featuring in their tenth straight world cup after emerging victorious against Syria in the qualifiers. The 2002 edition co-host have recently made surprise wins against Italy and Germany in the tournament and they are a side to watch. The 2010 edition winners, Spain have not been left out of the list of the nations that will be heading to Qatar. In addition to winning the South African 2010 world cup, they were the champions in the Euro 2008 and Euro 2012. They will be looking to restore the international Spanish football glory. Switzerland edged out current European champions Italy to make one of the most dramatic qualifications to the tournament. They topped their qualifying group leaving the Euro 2020 champions still struggling for a spot in the Qatar world cup in the ongoing qualifications.
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