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The countdown has already begun. The biggest sports extravaganza, FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 is a few days away. 32 national teams have qualified to take part in the world cup. Only 1 team will emerge victorious at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia.
So who will it be? Will it be the defending champions Germany or the world cup favorites Brazil? And how can we forget the attacking powerhouse, Argentina? or Euro Champions Portugal?
Only time will reveal it but allow us to reveal everything you need to know about the top 5 favorites:
1. The defending champions, Germany:
Germany, under Joachim Low, has shown why they are the best team in the world. In the 2017 Qualifiers, they had one of the best qualifying campaigns by any European team.
- FIFA RANK - 1
- Previous WC 2014 - Champions
- FIFA Confederation Cup 2017 - Winner
- Best performance - Champions x 4 - 1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014
- Coach - Joachim Low (Since 2006)
- Star Player(s) - Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil, Mats Hummels and Manuel Neuer.
Most probable playing XI:
Germany is in Group F along with Mexico, Sweden, and South Korea.
Catch Germany's first match against Mexico on 17/6/18.
5 times world champions, the Selecao is among the top favorites to lift their 6th FIFA world cup in Russia.
- FIFA RANK - 2
- Previous WC 2014 - 4th place
- Best performance - Champions x 5 - 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, and 2002
- Coach - Tite (Since 2016)
- Star Player(s) - Neymar, Marcelo, and Philippe Coutinho.
Possible starting XI of Brazil:
Brazil is in group E and will be competing with Costa Rica, Switzerland, and Serbia.
With one of the best attacks in the world, Argentina is also one of the favorites to lift the cup in Russia.
- FIFA RANK - 5
- Previous WC 2014 - Runners-Up
- Best performance - Champions x 2 - 1978 and 1986
- Coach - Jorge Sampaoli
- Star Player(s) - Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria, and Sergio Aguero.
Starting XI of Argentina:
Look out for Argentina in the group D along with Iceland, Nigeria, and Croatia.
How can we miss the current European champions, Portugal? Winning the Euro 2016, they have proved that they are not a one-man army but a complete team.
- FIFA RANK - 6
- FIFA Confederation Cup 2017 - 3rd place
- Best performance - 3rd place - 1966
- Coach - Fernando Santos
- Star Player(s) - Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and Andre Silva.
The possible line-up of Portugal:
Portugal competes with Spain, Morocco, and Iran in group B.
2010 World World Cup champions, Spain is the dark horse of the 2018 World Cup. Having one of the best defenses, Spain is a strong contender to lift their second World cup.
- FIFA RANK - 8
- Best performance - Champion - 2010
- Coach - Julen Lopetegui
- Star Player(s) - Isco, David De Gea, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta.
Possible starting XI:
Other teams to look out for:
Although the final result will be decided on 15th July, 18, the journey to the world cup will be a joy to watch. So is your favorite team on the list? Even if it isn't don't worry, because the world cup is known for its unpredictability.
This is the Article 2 of the FIFA World Cup 2018 series. (Check out the Article 1 if you haven't done already)