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2018 World Cup qualifying campaign continues apace


A particularly dashing start for some, and a not-so-captivating start for others, but, as ever, plenty to talk about for the qualifying rounds of the World Cup!

The sheer vibrancy and celebratory nature of the FIFA World Cup allows for everybody, even people who wouldn’t typically consider themselves football fans, to get involved and enjoy the show, for it has to be one of the most exciting international sporting competitions around.

For the 2018 qualifying campaign, the first match took place all the way back in 2015, on the 12th March. This was an AFC (Asian Football Confederation) match, which took place more than four months before the main qualifying draw was held in Saint Petersburg, with Chiquito do Carmo scoring the very first goal for the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign. For the first time in World Cup history, all eligible national teams were registered for the preliminary competition, which resulted in such teams as Bhutan, South Sudan, Gibraltar and Kosovo each making their FIFA World Cup qualifying debuts. The 2018 World Cup Qualifying will end on Tuesday 14th November of this year.

There are a number of teams who have already qualified for the World Cup finals, and because Russia is the host of the competition, they are one of them. Aside from Russia, 31 other teams will qualify. All continents are separated for the qualifying process, and the European section is particularly exciting, with the one and only Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal having been the top scorer of the rounds at least once.

After eight games played for each team, Switzerland and Germany have been the only two teams to have won all of their matches, with Germany bagging a whopping thirty five goals scored at that point, and with only two conceded. England is conducting a great campaign so far, having not been beaten, and with six of their eight games played being wins. England is top of their group, with two matches left to play as of the beginning of October.

England’s new manager, Gareth Southgate, seems to have adopted a tough-love, no-nonsense approach with his team, assuring his players that ‘they are not as good as they might think they are,’ and that ‘sentiment will count for nothing under him.’ After naming his first squad as manager, it didn’t include the likes of Theo Walcott or Wayne Rooney, effectively abolishing the captaincy. England captain is now Harry Kane and the drastic, harsh changes, Southgate has made to his team seem to have benefitted in some great results, particularly in this World Cup qualifying campaign. Let’s see if England can keep up the good work!

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will kick off 14th June next year, and end 15th July, with the final being held in Moscow at the Luzhniki Stadium which, we’re sure, will be as exciting and thrilling as any other we have had the pleasure of watching over the years.

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