Russia were the first team to secure their involvement when FIFA chose to hand the hosting rights to the country, but 14 nations have since qualified. Qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup is in its final phase, and these 15 teams have already secured their place although the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi could still fail to make the last cut. Tired of studying? Click through the gallery over to determine which groups have already qualified for the World Cup.
South America (CONMEBOL):
Second-placed Uruguay are most likely to follow the Selecao, and just need one point from their final game against Bolivia. Meanwhile Chile (third), Colombia (fourth), Peru (fifth), Argentina (sixth) and Peru (seventh) will fight it out for the final two direct qualification spots, with the fifth-placed team place to play Oceania agents New Zealand within an intercontinental play-off so as to meet the requirements for the showpiece. Brazil became the first team to qualify through the actual eligibility campaign, and now lead the South American eligibility table by 10 points.
Belgium were the first team to qualify after securing top place while Germany and England followed. While Poland followed on Sunday, Spain secured qualification on Friday. The eight best teams of those nine European qualifying teams will be drawn into four playoffs, which is played in November. On Monday night, Serbia, Wales and the Republic of Ireland could all theoretically still book their tickets to Russia in Group D, together with Serbia having the best opportunity to top the team since they’re ahead of Wales by one stage, while Ireland follow the following stage supporting Gareth Bale’s side. While Croatia and Ukraine struggle for second place should they beat Kosovo in Group I Iceland may become the first new country to qualify for their first ever World Cup on Monday night. The Portugal, who are second in Group B of Cristiano Ronaldo, will face leaders Switzerland on Tuesday and need a win in order to procure World Cup qualification, while Group A leaders France are expected to book their ticket.
On Saturday, Nigeria became the first African Country after beating Zambia 1-0 in Group B to qualify for the showpiece in Russia. The Super Eagles direct their team with 13 points after five games and secured qualification with one game to spare, while Zambia, 2017 AFCON champions Cameroon and Algeria will miss out. AFCON record champions Egypt booked their ticket on Sunday night courtesy of a minute penalty winner by Mohamed Salah. The Liverpool star, who scored a brace in the Pharaohs’ 2-1 win guided Egypt to their first World Cup leaving no prospect of making the trip to Russia to Ghana, Uganda and Congo.
Australia and Syria, who finished their respective groups in third place, will face each other. The initial leg in Syria ended in a draw and the leg will be performed on Tuesday, with the winner advancing to an intercontinental playoff against the fourth-placed team in the CONCACAF region. While Saudi Arabia and South Korea combined them as runners-up Japan and Iran reserved their spots after winning their various teams in the next round of the qualifiers.
North, Central and Caribbean (CONCACAF):
Mexico were the first CONCACAF group to qualify and direct their eligibility table with 21 points, while Costa Rica reserved their ticket on Saturday. The final spot will be determined between Panama, United States and Honduras.
New Zealand were the winners of Oceania World Cup qualification after beating on Solomon Islands 8-3 on aggregate, and will now face the fifth-placed South American team in an playoff.