This is Sweden

Sweden and its history with the FIFA World Cup can be narrowed down to very few tournaments where they made a significant impact. Since making their debut on the world stage in 1934, the Swedish national team has finished second in 1958, while previously finishing third in Brazil 1950. It was close to half a…

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This is Mexico

The road to Russia If there’s usually a safe bet at a World Cup, it’s that Mexico will make it out of the group stages but go no further, as has been the case in all of their last six attempts. El Tri always have the potential to be dangerous, but never quite enough to…

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This is Germany

So, what do you say about the team that has almost everything? It’s not technically perfect, and according to a lot of international media, there are no true superstars. Yet, die Deutsche Fußballnationalmannschaft — Germany, or DFB for short — have plenty to offer as a team that just might defend their 2014 World Cup…

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This is Serbia

The road to Russia The journey to Russia was great. Serbia was in pot 4 when the qualifying groups were decided and they managed to get past Austria, Wales and Republic of Ireland and top the group. Serbia played matches with plenty of goals, as Dušan Tadić and Aleksandar Mitrović shined throughout the campaign. The…

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This is Costa Rica

Costa Rica are a good country for a neutral to support, especially if you enjoy a sucker punch. In Brazil four years ago, Costa Rica destroyed their assumed status of also-rans, qualifying top in a group containing three former World Cup winners in Uruguay, Italy, and England, edging past Greece into the quarter-finals before a…

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This is Switzerland

The road to Russia Admittedly, Switzerland’s group wasn’t the hardest one; four of the teams they were grouped with were Andorra, the Faroe Islands, Latvia, and Hungary. Their toughest opponent, however, was certainly Portugal. But Switzerland were off to a good start, beating Portugal 2-0 at home right after they won Euro 2016. Eight wins…

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This is Brazil

With a squad that’s arguably more complete than it’s been for a long time, Brazil will be spearheading South American efforts to free the World Cup from Europe’s decade-long grasp. As the first team to qualify for the World Cup, Brazil appear to be in a hurry to make up for their infamous humbling at…

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This is Nigeria

Following a difficult decade, there’s something different about Nigeria this year. Problems in the dressing room, along with ugly rumours between the Nigeria Football Federation and the players, only spelt disaster for the Super Eagles in 2010 and 2014, but things only got worse before they got better, with Nigeria failing to qualify for the African…

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This is Iceland

Two years ago in France, Iceland were the undisputed story of Euro 2016. The tiny island nation — long shots to even qualify in the first place — and their travelling horde of supporters took the tournament by storm. You’ll no doubt remember radio announcer Guðmundur Benediktsson’s euphoric screams as Arnór Ingvi Traustason scored a…

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This is Croatia

The road to Russia To say that Croatia huffed and puffed to World Cup qualification would be an understatement. 20 points in 10 games tells only half the story: they were close to missing on the play-offs altogether. Two away losses to Iceland and Turkey in the latter half of the group stage games were…

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