2018 World Cup Bracket and Group Play
The world is watching.
The 2018 World Cup will see some of the world’s best soccer or football (depending on your country of origin) talent on display for the pride of their nation.
Germany is top dog in the field this time, as the defending champs roll into the tournament with the top FIFA ranking. In total, 32 teams will compete.
You may be shocked below at the absence of Italy from this list. Indeed, it may be the first time in your lifetime that they did not make the World Cup. Their last non-qualifying year was in 1958, making this a particularly negative outcome for the Italians. For the United States, also sitting out, it is the first time since 1986. This cost former coach Bruce Arena his job, though he had the good sense to resign before getting fired.
2018 World Cup Bracket
Notably not present: Germany, the number one team in the world and the 2014 champions. Poland, the world number eight team and the only other top team in their group not to advance.
2018 World Cup: Group Play Overview
There are eight groups, and the top two teams from each will advance to the bracket. Pool play will reduce the number of teams still in the hunt by half. From there, the remaining 16 will battle in single-elimination games.
2018 World Cup: Group A
Uruguay: La Celeste has gotten to the World Cup 13 times, winning it in 1930 and 1950.
Egypt: This is their third appearance in the World Cup, and their first since 1990. Egypt finished 13th in 1934 for their best mark so far.
Saudi Arabia: Fifth all-time appearance in World Cup; the Round of 16 (1994) was their best performance.
Russia: This is the World Cup host country; they are in the World Cup for the 11th time and they best placed fourth in 1966.
2018 World Cup: Group B
Portugal: The Portuguese have been to the World Cup seven times, but their first (1966) was their best (third place).
Spain: Portugal’s Iberian neigbors make their 15th World Cup appearance, and they won the tournament in 2010.
Iran: Fifth appearance at the World Cup; their best result was placing 14th in 1978.
Morocco: Appearance number five for Morocco in the World Cup, and their first in 20 years. Their best mark was making the Round of 16 in 1986.
2018 World Cup: Group C
France: The Blues are in the World Cup for the 15th time, and they won it in 1998.
Peru: Peru is in their fourth World Cup, having gotten to the final eight twice (1970 and 1978). This is their first trip since 1982.
Denmark: Denmark is off to the World Cup for the fifth time. They got as far as the quarterfinals in 1998.
Australia: Making its fifth World Cup appearance. Best result was making the Round of 16 in 2006.
2018 World Cup: Group D
Argentina: La Albiceleste appears for the 17th time in the World Cup, having won twice: 1978 and 1986.
Croatia: Croatia is appearing in the World Cup for the fifth time; they came in third in 1998.
Iceland: Iceland makes its first World Cup appearance in 2018.
Nigeria: This is the sixth time Nigeria has made the World Cup. They made the Round of 16 three times: 1994, 1998, and 2014.
2018 World Cup: Group E
Brazil: The Brazilians have appeared in all 21 World Cups, winning five of them: 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, and 2002.
Switzerland: This is the 10th appearance for the Swiss, who have gotten as far as the quarterfinals three times (1934, 1938, and 1954).
Costa Rica: They have made the World Cup five times, and four years ago was their best result with a quarterfinals appearance.
Serbia: Serbia has been here 12 times, and finished third in their inaugural appearance (1930).
2018 World Cup: Group F
Germany: Die Mannschaft is the top-ranked team in the field in 2018; this their 18th appearance and they are the defending champion. Their title years were 1954, 1974, 1990, and 2014.
Mexico: The Mexicans are in the World Cup for the 16th time, but only twice have they gotten as far as the quarterfinals (1970 & 1986).
Sweden: Sweden is making its 12th appearance in the World Cup; their best finish was runner-up in 1958.
South Korea: Appearing in the World Cup for the tenth time; have finished as high as fourth in 2002.
2018 World Cup: Group G
Belgium: The Red Devils are in the World Cup for the 13th time; their best result was fourth place in 1986.
England: Team England is here for the 15th time, but have not won the title since 1966.
Tunisia: This is Tunisia’s fifth trip to the World Cup; they have never made it out of the group stage.
Panama: This is Panama’s first appearance in the World Cup.
2018 World Cup: Group H
Poland: Poland is here for the eighth time; they came in third place twice (1974 and 1982).
Colombia: Colombia has made it to the World Cup six times, and had their best showing in 2014 (quarterfinals).
Senegal: Senegal is making only its second World Cup appearance. In the first, 2002, they got to the quarterfinals.
Japan: Making its sixth World Cup appearance in a row. Twice they finished in the Round of 16, in 2002 and 2010.