UEFA has Eight Teams that will now battle it out in a two-legged Playoff to see who earns a ticket to World Cup Brazil next summer.
The amazing part is the history that these eight teams have in the sport. World Cup Champion, World Cup Finalists, European Cup Champions, and players who have dressed for their country, that many consider amongst the greatest to ever play the game.
Players like Hagi, Eusebio, Fontaine, Platini just to name a few of the older generation, but this generation has it’s own stars in players like Cristiano, Ribery, Ibrahimovic amongst others, and like always, there will be a new national hero that emerges in the playoff to send his country to the glory of the World Cup
Croatia, France, Portugal, Ukraine, Iceland, Sweden, Greece, and Romania. The system FIFA has in that the four teams with the highest rankings will be drawn against the other four. No matter which way it plays out, there will be some draws of death where two teams like France and Sweden could be seen, and it’s adios to one of them.
The battles will be stacked with emotion, and without a doubt sad for those four countries that are left out of the party, and are most definitely better than at least half of the field of teams that will be participating in Samba land next summer.
FIFA rankings take results over the last four years into account, so a team like France have been inconsistent could be drawn into a tough game, although as pf late they have been playing well, losing only once in their group to defending World Cup champions Spain. Greece had the highest total of points in qualifying, and were followed by France.
Europe has the hardest road to qualify, and although I am a fan of Mexico, and enjoy watching Uruguay play, I think that there should be a final playoff pool with all of the teams together somehow, and not this garbage of an easier road through Jordan and New Zealand. Those two deserve the right to compete for a spot, but on most nights in a home and away playoff, don’t stand a chance. If they were given an opportunity in a proper format of many games where other teams have to play each other as well, their chances might increase.