- Brazil seals their place in the World Cup finals.
- Russia preparing to host an amazing FIFA event.
- Messi to miss four international matches.
As the FIFA 2018 World cup Russia draws near we are happy to announce that six time World Cup champions Brazil have again beat the rest to the punch by being the first country to qualify for the World Cup. This happened over the weekend with their win against Paraguay.
Brazil has become the first side to seal their place at the World Cup finals in Russia next year. Their 3-0 win over Paraguay, along with defeats for Argentina and Uruguay, means they cannot finish lower than fourth in South American qualifying. Liverpool forward Philippe Coutinho, Barcelona striker Neymar and Real Madrid‘s Marcelo scored Brazil’s goals.
Neymar also missed a penalty as his side moved nine points clear of second-placed Colombia. It is Brazil’s eighth straight win under coach Tite. Paraguay, meanwhile, find themselves five points off the top four with only four games remaining. Two-time World Cup winners Argentina face a battle to qualify for Russia with their 2-0 defeat to Bolivia leaving them fifth, a point behind Chile.
They will have to do so without forward Lionel_Messi, who has been banned for four international matches for directing “insulting words” at an assistant referee during last Thursday’s 1-0 win over Chile. Uruguay, who were beaten 2-1 by Peru in Lima on Tuesday, are third. The team that finishes fifth will face the winners of the Oceania group in a two-legged play-off.
Brazil is 11 points clear of fifth-placed Argentina in qualifying
“Less than a year ago, Brazil were struggling badly in World Cup qualification. With a third of the campaign gone they were down in sixth in South America’s table and in danger of missing out on Russia 2018. What a difference a coach makes. Out went the snarling Dunga and in came Tite a charismatic and intelligent coach and he made an immediate impact. His side have put together eight consecutive wins, scoring 24 goals and conceding just two. The likes of Neymar and Philippe Coutinho are playing the kind of stylish brand of football that, historically, has made so many fall in love with that famous yellow shirt. They now just need to guard against an excess of euphoria – a lovely problem to have for a proud footballing nation, who just a few months ago were fretting about the prospect of missing out on a World Cup.” South American football expert Tim Vickery told BBC Radio 5 live.
Russia hasn’t had it easy since winning the right to stage the 2018 World Cup.The secret ballot it won in 2010, beating bids from England, Portugal/Spain and Netherlands/Belgium. This was mired in controversy, with soccer’s governing body FIFA having to investigate claims that bribery influenced the voting process. Russia’s football fan culture has also come under considerable scrutiny due to hooliganism and racist abuse of black players. Russia is working hard to make a good impression before the games begin.