We’re Almost Set For The World Cup

The FIFA World Cup is arguably the most important football (soccer) tournament out there. Almost the entirety of the countries in the world participate in the qualifying rounds that are separated by regions or confederations. 32 lucky countries will earn their spot, some of them directly and some of them through playoffs. In the end, just getting the opportunity for your national anthem to be heard by hundreds of millions of people is really amazing. Some countries are in the middle of a political mess or war, but with this tournament, the nation can unite for a common goal and look past differences. While we’re still 11 teams short of the full lineup of teams that will participate, we have a great variety of teams that give us a taste of what we can expect next year.

Defending champions Spain have gained their spot and will have a chance to show the world if they were a one-hit wonder or if they are here to stay. Most of the teams from Europe that have already qualified were present in the last World Cup, with the exception of Russia and Belgium that were last seen in the 2002 tournament. Out of the 21 teams that have secured their place, Bosnia and Herzegovina are the only débutante. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since Bosnia and Herzegovina were part of the old SFR Yugoslavia, a country with a strong presence in the history of the World Cup. Having only gained their independence 21 years ago, it’s great for them to gain respect as a young nation, instead of judging them for where they came from. Italy, Germany, Netherlands, England and Switzerland are the rest of European nations that will be present on the big date. In the playoff stage, two giants like France and Portugal will have to fight against Sweden, Greece, Ukraine, Iceland, Romania and Croatia for the last 4 UEFA spots.

Brazil has been qualified since 2007 when they were granted the title of host. In the South American confederation, teams like Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Ecuador will join the big party and Uruguay will have to fight Jordan for a spot. In the rest of America, the United States, Costa Rica and Honduras will attend, with Mexico set to play against New Zealand for their ticket.

The Asian Football Confederation has been defined since the summer, with South Korea, Iran, Australia and Japan being the ones set to attend. On the other hand, it’s still wide open for the Confederation of African Football, since they will go on their final stage at the same time as the rest of the playoffs. Starting on mid-November, the matches will give way to the completion of the qualifying phase, with the big draw date set for December 6th. Analysts and betting houses are already pondering on what the potential “Group of Death” will be, with two options being Brazil, Italy, France and Mexico (if they qualify,) and the other one being Argentina, Netherlands, Ivory Coast and Japan. This is still pure speculation, but it gives fans and teams a taste of what should be a memorable tournament.

Make sure to mark December 6th on your calendars and wait patiently for June 12, 2014 to arrive. All eyes will be on you, FIFA World Cup! Don’t let us down.

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