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2018 World Cup: Who has qualified for the finals in Russia next year

Final grid for 2018 World Cup Russia
With 32 teams having qualified, the field for the 2018 World Cup in Russia is set.

Qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, which began on March 12, 2015, is over with the final 32 teams now known. The seeded draw pots can be seen in full here.

Qualified nations: Russia (hosts), Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Uruguay.


Jordi Cruyff has a famous name, but is he cut out to coach Ecuador?

The new coach of Ecuador's national football team, Dutchman Jordi Cruyff, speaks during his presentation at the headquarters of the Ecuadorean Football Federation in Quito
Jordi Cruyff was presented to the media on Monday.

Ecuador have been looking to go bold with their national team coach and this time around they have done just that.

Eighteen months ago they re-hired veteran Colombian Hernan Dario Gomez, who had taken them to their World Cup debut in 2002, but it was roundly criticised as a backward step -- a view which gained weight when the team played a dismal 2019 Copa America. Gomez was sacked and Ecuador's FA vowed not to make the same mistake twice. Now they wanted to be modern.

They spent a few months last...

Faustino Asprilla says hitman wanted to kill Paraguay's Jose Luis Chilavert

Hamilton Ricard, Faustino Asprilla and Carlos Valderrama
Faustino Asprilla, centre, at Colombia training during qualifying for the 1998 World Cup.

Former Colombia striker Faustino Asprilla has said he had to convince a hitman not to kill Paraguayan goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert after the two clashed in a World Cup qualifying match in 1997.

In a documentary broadcast on Colombian television channel TelePacifico on Tuesday, Asprilla said the gunman called his hotel room after both he and Chilavert were sent off in a qualifier in Asuncion, which Paraguay won 2-1.

The gunman, who was himself killed in a drug-related shootout in 2004, asked Asprilla...

How Copa America could shape 2022 World Cup hopes for South American nations

In the Copa America final on July 7, Everton gave Brazil the lead, and Paolo Guerrero equalised for Peru before the hosts sealed a 3-1 win. Just three days later, both were in action for their clubs in the quarterfinals of the Brazilian Cup.

Once domestic football starts up, international tournaments are quickly brushed into the past, but it would be a mistake to do that to the Copa America. This year's tournament does not represent the end of a process; rather, it kicks off a new competitive...

Argentina showing signs of renewal under Lionel Scaloni

The Nations League is giving European national team football a welcome shot of competitive action. A similar thing happened to South America in 1996, when the current marathon format of World Cup qualification was introduced.

Until that point, the continent's 10 teams were split into groups. The process was a quick one, and there were times when the teams -- especially those who failed to make the cut -- would have massive gaps between competitive fixtures.

From 1996, all that came to an end. Instead...