Ten down, four to go: Europe's World Cup hopefuls

The identity of ten of Europe's 14 representatives at next summer's FIFA World Cup is now known. We check out their pedigree.

©UEFA.com

The group phase of the European Qualifiers has concluded, with the nine teams who topped their sections earning places alongside hosts Russia at next summer's FIFA World Cup. The final tournament draw takes place in Moscow on 1 December and the finals run from 14 June to 15 July.

UEFA qualifiers: Belgium, England, France, Germany (holders), Iceland, Poland, Portugal, Russia (hosts), Serbia, Spain

There are still four European places up for grabs, contested by the eight best runners-up (Slovakia miss out), with the play-offs scheduled between 9 and 14 November.

Italy still have to book their place
Italy still have to book their place©Getty Images

UEFA play-offs (4 spots): Northern Ireland v Switzerland (9 & 12 November), Croatia v Greece (9 & 12 November), Sweden v Italy (10 & 13 November), Denmark v Republic of Ireland (11 & 14 November)

Non-UEFA qualifiers: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Uruguay, plus 3 African qualifiers tbc in November

Intercontinental play-offs (2 spots): Honduras v Australia (10 & 15 November), New Zealand v Peru (11 & 15 November)

Single yellow cards and match suspensions resulting from two cautions in two different matches will NOT be carried over to the final tournament in Russia.

World Cup pedigree

Russia (hosts)
Previous finals: 10 – 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1982, 1986, 1990 (as Soviet Union) 1994, 2002, 2014 (as Russia)
Best performance: Fourth place (1966)

Belgium were the first Europeans to qualify
Belgium were the first Europeans to qualify©AFP/Getty Images

Belgium
Previous finals: 12 – 1930, 1934, 1938, 1954, 1970, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2014
Best performance: Fourth place (1986)

England
Previous finals: 13 – 1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014
Best performance: Winners (1966)

France
Previous finals: 14 – 1930, 1934, 1938, 1954, 1958, 1966, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014
Best performance: Winners (1998)

Germany
Previous finals: 18 – 1934, 1938, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990 (as West Germany), 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014
Best performance: Winners (1954, 1974, 1990, 2014)

Iceland celebrate
Iceland celebrate©AFP/Getty Images

Iceland
Previous finals: 0
Best performance: debut

Portugal
Previous finals: 6 – 1966, 1986, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014
Best performance: Third place (1966)

Poland
Previous finals: 7 – 1938, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 2002, 2006
Best performance: Third place (1974, 1982)

Serbia
Previous finals: 11 – 1930, 1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1974, 1982, 1990 (as Yugoslavia), 1998, 2006 (as Serbia and Montenegro), 2010
Best performance: Fourth place (1930, 1962)

Spain
Previous finals: 14 – 1934, 1950, 1962, 1966, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014
Best performance: Winners (2010)

Did you know?

  • European sides have won nine of the ten previous World Cups staged on this continent.
  • All ten European teams through automatically (including Russia) have previously reached at least the semi-finals bar debutants Iceland.
  • Iceland will become the first nation with a population of under one million to grace a World Cup.
  • Hosts have won the World Cup six times: France (1998), Argentina (1978), West Germany (1974), England (1966), Italy (1934), Uruguay (1930).