Lionel Messi’s sheer brilliance secured Argentina’s berth in the FIFA World Cup that will take place next summer in Russia after the Barcelona star scored a stunning hat-trick against Ecuador at the Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa in Quito. While Argentina had Messi, who was able to prevent his side’s failure to qualify for the Russia World Cup, there were some shocking revelations made last night which saw some of the biggest footballing nations bowing out of the competition before it actually started.

FIFA World Cup 2010 finalist Netherlands, Copa America reigning champions Chile and USA topped the list of nations who’ve failed to qualify for the Russia World Cup. As the final night of the FIFA World Cup qualifying round came to a curtain close, 23 nations so far have successfully booked their places for the 2018 FIFA World Cup that will be hosted by Russia.

Europe (Group Winners A-I): Belgium qualified as Group H winners, England as Group F winners, Germany as Group C, Iceland secured their berth as Group I leaders, Poland topped Group E, Russia received automatic qualification as hosts, Serbia were Group D winners, 2010 FIFA World Cup winners Spain topped Group G, 2016 Euro Finalist and hosts France were winners of Group A and Portugal spearheaded by Cristiano Ronaldo were Group B winners.

Africa (Group Winners E and B): Egypt secured their spot as Group E winners and they are joined by Nigeria who were topped Group B.

Asia (Group Winners A and B): Iran, Japan turned out as Group A and B winners. Saudi Arabia, South Korea were runners-up in Group B and A.

North, Latin America qualifier: Costa Rica were Fifth Round runners-up as Mexico came out Fifth Round winners. They are joined by Panama who acquired the 3rd place of the Fifth Round.

South America qualifier: Brazil led by PSG star Neymar emerged as the CONMEBOL winners, Uruguay starring captain Diego Godin and strikers Cavani and Suarez were runners-up. Argentina led by Lionel Messi secured 3rd place and were followed by Colombia at 4th place.

The FIFA World Cup finals will kick-start from 14 June to 15 July, 2018 as the tournament consists of 32 teams from all across the globe. The World Cup will have 64 matches that will be played in 12 venues which are located in 11 cities of Russia. The World Cup final will be played in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on 15 July, 2018.

First Published | 11 October 2017 11:44 AM
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