In depth: Europe's World Cup contenders

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

©UEFA.com

The play-off phase of the European Qualifiers is over, with Switzerland, Croatia, Sweden and Denmark joining the nine sides who topped their sections to earn a place alongside hosts Russia at next summer's FIFA World Cup. The final tournament draw takes place in Moscow from 16:00CET on 1 December and the finals run from 14 June to 15 July.

WATCH QUALIFYING HIGHLIGHTS

UEFA qualifiers: Belgium, Croatia*, Denmark*, England, France, Germany (holders), Iceland, Poland, Portugal, Russia (hosts), Serbia, Spain, Sweden*, Switzerland*

*Via play-offs

The eight best runners-up (Slovakia missed out) qualified for the play-offs, held between 9 and 14 November.

Croatia celebrate their qualification
Croatia celebrate their qualification©AFP/Getty Images

UEFA play-offs (4 spots): Republic of Ireland v Denmark (agg: 1-5), Switzerland v Northern Ireland (agg: 1-0), Greece v Croatia (agg: 1-4), Italy v Sweden (agg: 0-1)

Non-UEFA qualifiers: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Panama, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Korea,  Tunisia, Uruguay

Intercontinental play-offs (2 spots): Australia v Honduras (agg: 3-1), Peru v New Zealand (0-0, second leg Thursday)

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)

Croatia
Previous finals: 4 – 1998, 2002, 2006, 2014
Best performance: Third place (1998)

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

Denmark
Previous World Cups: 4 – 1986, 1998, 2002, 2010
Best performance: Quarter-finals (1998)

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)

Sweden
Previous finals: 11 – 1934, 1938, 1950, 1958, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1990, 1994, 2002, 2006
Best performance: Runners-up (1958)

Switzerland beat Northern Ireland in the play-offs
Switzerland beat Northern Ireland in the play-offs©AFP

Switzerland
Previous finals: 10 – 1934, 1938, 1950, 1954, 1962, 1966, 1994, 2006, 2010, 2014
Best performance: Quarter-finals (1934, 1938, 1954)

Did you know?

  • European sides have won nine of the ten previous World Cups staged on this continent.
  • Eleven of Europe's 14 representatives (Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland excluded) have previously reached at least the semi-finals.
  • 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).