The 2018 FIFA World Cup is just around the corner, and the football fanatics can well and truly start the countdown to the most glorious competition across the globe. This FIFA WC will be the 21st installation of the tournament which will be hosted by Russia for the first time in their history. The enchanting tournament will be started on the 14th June 2018 and will extend until 15th July 2018. The curtain raiser is scheduled to be one day before the inaugural match as per the longstanding WC culture.
Everything you need to know about FIFA World Cup 18’ Groups
Here is the brief intro to the groups:
Russia (65) (hosts)
Sbornayas have never lifted the trophy in their history but are well-determined to grab one on their home soil. With a cavalry of talented players such as Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow) and Dimitriy Poloz (Zenit St Petersburg), the rest of the Russian squad surely does pack a punch.
Saudi Arabia (63)
With a squad of talented players under the guidance of Coach Juan Antonio Pizzi, Saudi proved to have a spark in the qualifying stages. I am hoping that they show their worth in the main event as well.
With the likes of Mohamed Elneny and the '2017 African Footballer of the year' Mohamed Salah, Egyptians are a dark horse of the event. I presume we have to wait and watch if they can show the same flair that they showed in the FIFA qualifiers.
La Celestes have won the trophy 2 times (1930 & 1950) and are still good enough to grab the third one. World-class players such as Diego Godin, Edinson Cavani, and the "Blaugrana" goal machine Luis Suárez are determined to leave a mark in the tournament.
The 2010 WC winners are one of the favorites to win the tournament. They have a star-studded squad which is too much effort to be even mentioned. So, I will leave it be and wait for their first match on 15th June against EURO 2016 winners 'Portugal.'
Do I really need to mention a squad where Pepe, Bernardo Silva, and the one and only ‘Cristiano Ronaldo’ are present? Let us carry on with other teams and wait to see the 2017 Ballon d'Or winner in action.
Morocco does not have players like Spain or Brazil, but they have youngsters like Sofian Boufal (Southhampton) and Hakin Ziyech (Ajax). They are young & hot-blooded and can undoubtedly turn the event according to their likes.
They might not be well-recognized limelight stealers, but they do have the talent and persistence to challenge other nations. Let us hope they are not thrashed by other top contenders.
A favorite of this year’s WC (again) and a nation of talents like Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and the rising start Kylian Mbappe, Les Bleus are looking to compensate for their home soil Euro Cup 2016 loss. The odds are in their favor, let’s see if they achieve their 'goal.'
Defeating New Zealand is not an easy task, but Peru did that with their will-power and resilience. They may create a nuisance for other favorites, but we will have to wait to ensure that.
Socceroos failed to reach the knockouts in WC 2014, and here they are in Russia. Will it be a different story this time? Or will they fail? Only time will tell.
‘Shot stopper’ Kasper Schmeichel, ‘assist master’ Christian Eriksen and a frontline including Nicklas Bendtner & Yussuf Poulsen. This seems like a prodigious setting for them to win their first WC ever.
This might be Lionel Messi’s last chance to win everything in his career and get 'La Albicelestes' the prestigious trophy following Diego Maradona. I wish Messi and co. all the best for the games.
The Vatrenis have not won any WC trophy yet, but Luka Modric, Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Rakitic and others are steadfast to change it this year. Their squad is going to turn lots of heads in the tournament for sure.
The African nation has a team of full steamed players who have all it takes to be the champions. Their fate will be tested against Croatia on 17th June 2018.
Iceland is on a roll with their first ever Euro Cup 2016 qualification and now WC 2018. It seems like they mean business. I hope to see the Euro 16’ spur in them.
The leading nation with 5 WC trophies in the bag is back to take revenge from WC holders Germany for their hometown humiliation in Brazil. Neymar and co. are up and running in steam to make 'Seleção' no.1 again.
One of the hottest property of Serie A, Sergej Milinković-Savić is ready to grab the limelight just like he does for the Italian Club Lazio. It is unknown if they will win or not, but they will surely give a hard time to other nations.
Costa Rica (22)
2014 Quarter Finalist are looking to give their nation a song of joy with their will and power. It will be a treat to watch the passion of 'Los Ticos' in the tournament.
The Swiss are heading to their fourth consecutive world finals and 11th World Cup. This is their best run for successive appearances since their start. They are sure to give their best as this might be their last chance to win the prestigious trophy because of retiring players.
Sitting at the second place on the table of total world cups won (alongside Italy) with 4 world cups in the pocket, the WC holders are ready to dominate the WC once again. Will there be a new victim of their brutality or they will eat dust? My money is on 'Die Mannschaft' for their fifth WC victory.
Zlatan Ibrahimović has retired, and now the burden is on the young shoulders of Victor Lindelöf (Manchester United), and Emil Forsberg (RB Leipzig). Sweden is considered to be one of the dark horses.
The ‘Mexican wall’ Guillermo Ochoa and ‘sweet pea’ Chicharito are back to leave a mark on the tournament like the last WC in 2014. Will there be a different story?
South Korea (62)
The Tottenham Hotspurs talisman Son Heung-Min has been in an extraordinary form for both club and country. I believe he is the one who can make a difference in the squad.
One of the most talented roster which includes Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku. I suggest following them throughout the tournament because they might become the reason for disappointment for some nations.
This is the first we will be witnessing Panama on a grand stage. There are no expectations from them (no offense), but who doesn’t like a surprise?
They are on the road of struggle after being knocked out again and again. One time WC winners are drooling over another golden ware. I hope they show us their tenacity this WC.
The Eagles Of Carthage have surprised everyone with their hardcore football skills. Hope they will be worth the money on the grand stage.
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) has been on a roll for club and country from I don’t even remember when. He secured a place in WC while becoming the highest ever goalscorer of Poland. I hope he has goals in his bags for the WC as well.
The Samurai Blues are looking to take on the heavy hitters of football under the captaincy of Makoto Hasebe. Shinji Kagawa, Keisuke Honda, and Shinji Okazaki are just some of the names of their talented roster.
The ballistic winger of Liverpool FC, Sadio Mané has been on a prolific form and helped the nation reach the WC 18’. Everyone (especially LFC fans) are looking forward to seeing his nimble footing.
Los Cafeteros have a world-class captain ‘James Rodriguez’ and their all-time top scorer ‘Radamel Falcao’ in the squad. This has made them strong contenders for the WC Trophy.
This will be the first World Cup held in Europe since the 2006 tournament in Germany, and it is unequivocally worth the wait. Moreover, we also have Champions Leagues 17/18 to ease the pain of waiting. See you again when the first phase is complete.
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