Who is going to Brazil 2014?

All the goals from the final World Cup playoffs 4:18

The final European places for the 2014 World Cup were decided on Wednesday morning, with a showdown between Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic the highlight of the matches.

Suarez, Rooney, Neymar, Honda and Cahill will be stars at the World Cup.

Suarez, Rooney, Neymar, Honda and Cahill will be stars at the World Cup. Source: AAP

THE line-up is complete! We now know 32 nations that will take part in next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil.

We’ll see 13 European, five South American, five African, four North American and four Asian countries in world football’s showpiece event..

Here, the Daily Mail brings you the complete lowdown on all those who have qualified for the tournament.

Fans celebrate World Cup qualification for Brazil 2014 1:29

Football fans around the world have celebrate and commiserated as all but one of the 32 teams that will compete at the World Cup in Brazil next year were confirmed. With Uruguay and Jordan battling it out for the final spot.


FIFA Ranking: 57th

Star player: Tim Cahill – Box-to-box midfielder often converted into a striker with a good goalscoring record. Formerly of Millwall and Everton, now playing in Major League Soccer for the New York Red Bulls.

Post-game analysis: Socceroos v Costa Rica 7:10

The Fox Sports football panel dissects all the action from the Socceroos and Costa Rica clash.

H ow they got there: Rather than battling for top spot, Australia were left trying to fend off Oman for the final automatic spot which they only achieved on the final day following a late 1-0 win against Iraq coupled with Oman’s loss at Jordan. They are out of form having been defeated 6-0 by Brazil and France in recent matches – just as well the tournament is next summer.



FIFA Ranking: 5th

Star man: Eden Hazard – Quick, creative and energetic winger who has shone for Chelsea since moving to the Premier League last year.

Belgium have attacking options all over the pitch.

Belgium have attacking options all over the pitch. Source: AP

How they got there: Blessed with a generation of players that have taken Belgium from being non-qualifying material to a major European force, Marc Wilmots guided his side to top spot in Group A with a game to spare after making light work of nearest rivals Croatia. The nation’s first major tournament in 12 years may end up being their best since the class of 86 visited Mexico.


FIFA Ranking: 10th

Star man: Wayne Rooney – Bullish striker who, on top form, can be unplayable. On course to become England’s record all-time goalscorer if he continues in his current rich vein of form.

England's Wayne Rooney will be crucial to his nation's hopes.

England’s Wayne Rooney will be crucial to his nation’s hopes. Source: AFP

How they got there: While England seemed to toil through qualifying at times they never once looked on the back foot. When the chips were down they were forced to win their last two matches but they delivered in confident fashion. A nation awaits to see which star will break his metatarsal in the run-up to the finals next summer.


FIFA Ranking: 21

Star man: Franck Ribery – One of the favourites for the Ballon d’OR after a wonderful year with Bayern Munich where he won a treble – though Ribery has never quite showed that form consistently on the international stage. Watch out Brazil.

France's soccer team celebrate after defeating Ukraine.

France’s soccer team celebrate after defeating Ukraine. Source: AP

How they got there: The unlucky second seeded side to be drawn with World Cup holders Spain in their group, France were never favourites to finish top. Poor indivual performances were angering the public however, and their was a media backlash after their 2-0 defeat to Ukraine in their play-off first leg. They turned it around spectacularly though, and will be dangerous in Brazil.


FIFA Ranking: 2nd

Star man: Mesut Ozil – Arsenal star whose craft, creativity and conjuring is well known. Has seamlessly adapted to life in the Premier League since joining from Real Madrid on deadline day.

German football team take the tube to Wembley 0:47

The German national football team have found a rather unusual way to beat the London traffic before their international friendly at Wembley.

How they got there: By winning every game – aside from a moment of madness when they only drew with Sweden despite going 4-0 up. That was about as bad as it got for Low’s side as Germany typically qualified with envious ease. Germany have actually never failed in any of their qualification attempts, as the two tournaments they missed saw them fail to enter (1930) or banned (1950).


FIFA Ranking: 8th

Star man: Claudio Marchisio – Hard-hitting Juventus man has become a constant in the Italian midfield and played in every match en route to the Euro 2012 final.

How they got there: The Italians never looked in danger of failing to reach Brazil with group rivals stumbling over each other as Prandelli’s team built a commanding lead at the top of the group. Flopped as defending champions to crash out at the group stage in 2010, but a team blessed with veteran experience and youthful enthusiasm will hope to build on a runners-up finish at Euro 2012.


FIFA Ranking: 8th

Star man: Robin van Persie – Manchester United star who is one of the most clinical finishers in the world, especially in his current purple patch.

How they got there: In style. Holland bounced back from a calamitous Euro 2012, where they lost every game, to blitz Group D and finish as Europe’s top scorers – much of that was in part due to Van Persie’s unmatched 11 goals. The Dutch seemed to have learned from the shambles of the Euros last year and will target going one better than 2010’s runners-up finish in South Africa.

Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo single handedly got his side into the World Cup.

Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo single handedly got his side into the World Cup. Source: AFP


FIFA Ranking: 14th

Star player: Are you having a laugh? Cristiano Ronaldo – He single-handedly dragged his side through a tricky play-off tie against Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Sweden, and his form for Real Madrid moves to greater heights wither every week. With him in the side, you’d be brave to back anybody against them.

All the goals from the final World Cup playoffs 4:18

The final European places for the 2014 World Cup were decided on Wednesday morning, with a showdown between Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic the highlight of the matches.

How they got there: With difficulty. Losing out to Russia by one point at the top of Group F, Ronaldo and Co stuttered to poor results such as a draw at home with Northern Ireland and just two points from both fixtures against third-place Israel.

Consigned to a play-off with Sweden in a battle between Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, they relied on a hat-trick from their talisman to see them through.


FIFA Ranking: 19

Star player: Alan Dzagoev – Still just 23, the attacking midfielder has earned plenty of plaudits playing for CSKA Moscow since his youth. Russia’s new shining light after Andrei Arshavin’s downfall.

How they got there: Despite being in the same group as Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, Russia always held the advantage in the group and secured top spot with relative ease. Manager Fabio Capello of course did a similar trick with England to comfortably guide them to South Africa, but we will need little reminding of how badly that adventure ended…

Spain national football team's midfielder Andres Iniesta.

Spain national football team’s midfielder Andres Iniesta. Source: AFP


FIFA Ranking: 1

Star man: Andres Iniesta – Scorer of the winning goal at the last World Cup and the jewel in Spain’s and Barcelona’s sides. Forms a magnificent ‘tiki-taka’ relationship with Xavi in midfield.

Spain humbled by South Africa 1:04

It will go down as one of the all-time upsets in world football, and an unhappy return to South Africa for World Champions Spain, who were humbled 1-0 by the hosts in Johannesburg.

How they got there: Paired in a tough group that contained France, top-spot was always going to come down to the two clashes between Spain and the 1998 champions. As it was it was the current holders that edged the head-to-head record and finish in an automatic qualifying spot, as they attempt to become the first European side to lift the World Cup on South American soil.


FIFA Ranking: 7

Star man: Xherdan Shaqiri – Despite battling with wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben for places at Bayern Munich the 22-year-old has managed to impress and will be a key man for Switzerland.

How they got there: The Swiss were given a boost before the qualifying games had even begun as the top seed place in their group was taken by a Norway team who have gone on to struggle. With Slovenia the second seeds, Hitzfeld’s team have taken advantage of one of Europe’s weaker groups but there is exciting talent within the squad such as Shaqiri and Valentin Stocker.

Weird and wonderful football 2:11

The international break did little to slow down the number of controversial, superb and downright wacky moments in the world of football.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

FIFA Ranking: 16th

Star man: Edin Dzeko – Manchester City striker who has an excellent international scoring record of 33 goals in 58 games.

How they got there: Bosnia and Greece were by far the runaway teams in Group G and such was their dominance, Bosnia still needed to win on the final day despite dropping points in just two qualifiers throughout the campaign. Huge celebrations greeted their first ever qualification for a major tournament but it remains to be seen how Dzeko and his team-mate cope in Brazil.


FIFA Ranking: 18

Star player: Luka Modric – Real Madrid splashed out big bucks on the Tottenham midfielder in 2012 and despite an indifferent first season, he is now shining for both club and country once again.

 Mario Mandzukic of Croatia celebrates qualification with team mate Luka Modric.

Mario Mandzukic of Croatia celebrates qualification with team mate Luka Modric. Source: Getty Images

How they got there: Drawn in one of the tougher groups of qualifying with Belgium and Serbia, as well as home nations Scotland and Wales, Croatia can pat themselves on the back for managing to come second. Although they may not have caught the dominant Belgians anyway, a double defeat to Scotland didn’t help their chances. Defeated relative minnows Iceland in the play-offs.


FIFA Ranking: 15th

Star player: Sokratis Papastathopoulos – The 6 foot 1 rock-solid centre half has been impressing Bundesliga watchers for some time, so much so that Borussia Dortmund snapped him up from Wolfsburg in the summer. Just don’t get his name on the back of your shirt…

How they got there: Missing out on automatic qualification on mere goal difference as Bosnia topped Group G, Greece relied on toppling Romania 4-2 in the play-offs.



FIFA Ranking: 11th

Star player: Neymar – The 21-year-old has adapted seamlessly to life in European football with Barcelona and will become the best in the world in a few years.

How they got there: As host nation they booked their place at the tournament six years ago when Brazil were awarded the tournament. There is huge pressure on Brazil, where anything less than a record sixth victory will be seen as a national disaster alongside the infamous team that crashed on home soil to lose the 1950 final to Uruguay.


FIFA Ranking: 3rd

Star player: Lionel Messi – Widely considered the most gifted player in the world and rightly so. His record of 37 international goals in 83 matches pales into insignificance in comparison to his historic scoring feats and honours roll with Barcelona.

Lionel Messi will carry Argentina's hopes in Brazil.

Lionel Messi will carry Argentina’s hopes in Brazil. Source: AP

How they got there: Without Brazil’s presence, Argentina were billed to be the runaway leaders in South America and they didn’t fail to disappoint as Messi’s goals ensured they easily navigated their way to an 11th consecutive appearance. Messi failed to deliver in South Africa, but can he finally star on the biggest stage and end Argentina’s 28-year wait to win a third World Cup?


FIFA Ranking: 12th

Star player: Alexis Sanchez – Exciting winger/forward who epitomises that vibrant Chilean style. The Barcelona man scored twice against England in last week’s friendly.

Chile's Alexis Sanchez.

Chile’s Alexis Sanchez. Source: AP

H ow they got there: Chile were not made to regret throwing away a 3-0 lead against Colombia – they eventually drew 3-3 – and sealed victory against Ecuador in the final qualifier to secure third place and their place in Brazil.


FIFA Ranking: 4th

Star player: Radamel Falcao – One of the deadliest strikers in the world, currently playing for Monaco following a big money move from Atletico in the summer.

Colombian's forward Radamel Falcao is deadly.

Colombian’s forward Radamel Falcao is deadly. Source: AFP

How they got there: We haven’t seen Colombia since David Beckham’s free-kick past Faryd Mondragon (still part of the squad at 42) helped dump them out of France 98. But having trailed a distant second behind Argentina for much of the campaign, Colombia are back and this time it will be the feet of Falcao rather than the hair of Carlos Valderrama which will do the talking.


FIFA Ranking: 22nd

Star player: Edison Mendez – Vastly experienced midfielder who has been in the squad since 2000 and will probably have his swansong at this tournament.

How they got there: A vital 1-0 win over Uruguay in their penultimate game effectively sealed Ecuador’s place in their third finals in four World Cups. That they lost 2-1 in Santiago proved an irrelevance as they grabbed the fourth and final automatic spot ahead of Uruguay – who beat Argentina 3-2 in Montevideo – on goal difference.


FIFA Ranking: 6th

Star player: Luis Suarez – Currently among the world’s best strikers, Suarez has been tormenting the Premier League’s best defenders this season for Liverpool, and is a definite contender for player of the tournament if Uruguay go deep in 2014.

How they got there: To be frank, they’ve done it the hard way. A team with Uruguay’s galaxy of stars should have locked their spot away months ago. Instead, a nation with a rich World Cup history was the very last of the 32 teams to qualify after thrashing Jordan in a two-legged sudden death playoff.

Luis Suarez dribbles past a Jordan' defender. Khalil Mazraawi

Luis Suarez dribbles past a Jordan’ defender. Khalil Mazraawi Source: AFP



FIFA Ranking: 24th

Star man: Javier Hernandez – Manchester United goal poacher with an excellent international scoring ratio of 35 goals in 57.

All Whites World Cup dream is over after loss to Mexico 0:51

Mexico qualified for their sixth successive World Cup on Wednesday with a 4-2 victory in the second leg of their intercontinental play-off against New Zealand, for a 9-3 aggregate win.

How they got there: Having negotiated the initial qualifying group with a 100 per cent record, Mexico made hard work of the final phase, losing to Honduras at home and Costa Rica and the United States on the road. Having scraped in to to the play-off round, they made light work of New Zealand, winning 5-1 at home and 4-2 away.

United States

FIFA Ranking: 13

Star player: Jozy Altidore – Hasn’t impressed in his spells in England with Hull City and Sunderland, but a nailed-on striker for USA, scoring 21 times in 65 appearances.

How they got there: After starting slowly in ‘the Hex’, Klinsmann’s side soon found their winning rhythm to hit top spot in the group before a win over Mexico last month confirmed a seventh straight World Cup appearance. The last 10 years have seen players gain bucket loads of experience from playing in Europe and it’s seeing big gains in the squad strength.

Costa Rica

FIFA Rankings: 31st

Manager: Jorge Luis Pinto – In his second spell in charge of Costa Rica, Pinto has done better in this qualification campaign than he did in the last one with Colombia.

Star player: Bryan Ruiz – The Fulham forward is Costa Rica’s captain and chipped in with three goals during the qualifying phase.

How they got there: Despite conceding a last-minute equaliser in Jamaica in September, it was smiles all round as the draw in Kingston was enough to see Costa Rica qualify in surprisingly comfortable circumstances. Fulham forward Bryan Ruiz has the ability to compete on the global stage but reaching the last 16 like in 1990 will prove a tough ask for Pinto’s team.


FIFA Ranking: 34th

Star player: Wilson Palacios – Defensive midfielder heading to his second World Cup. Well known to English football fans having played for Birmingham, Wigan, Tottenham and Stoke.

How they got there: Honduras have undergone several changes since South Africa, but pulled it all together in time to enjoy a successful qualifying campaign, finally sealing their place with a 2-2 draw against Jamaica in the final match.



FIFA Ranking: 32

Star player: Sofiane Feghouli – Algeria have been crying out for a star for many years, and they may have it in the Valencia winger, impressing the Giants in La Liga despite his side’s lowly position.

How they got there: Comfortably qualifying from Group H in qualifying, Algeria – famously holding England at the 2010 World Cup – looked certain for 2014 when they drew Burkina Faso in their play-off match. Things weren’t that easy, however, as Burkina Faso won the first-leg 3-2. The homeside turned it around in the return leg, beating the underdogs 1-0 to progress on away goals.


FIFA Ranking: 59th

Star man: Samuel Eto’o – team captain, Cameroon’s record appearance holder with 112 caps and all-time leading goalscorer with 55.

Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o has been on form for Chelsea.

Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o has been on form for Chelsea. Source: AFP

How they got there: The Indomitable Lions won a group featuring Libya, Congo DR and Togo before overcoming Tunisia 4-1 on aggregate in the final play-off round. They received a stroke of good fortune in the group when Togo were forced to forfeit their 2-0 win in June after fielding an ineligible player.


FIFA Ranking: 23

Star player: Kevin-Prince Boateng – A rare African playmaker, possessing a mix of great skills and raw speed and power, Boateng has become a national jewel despite his German roots.

How they got there: Easily. Ghana progressed from their group in style, despite an early loss to Zambia, and carried on their goalscoring feats in their play-off, too. Egypt, one of the top teams in Africa by all means, were thrashed 6-1 in the first leg, all-but-securing one of the stars of South Africa’s World Cup place.

Ivory Coast

FIFA Ranking: 17th

Star man: Didier Drogba – Linchpin striker of the side who will have surpassed a century of caps by the time of the tournament – he has a remarkable 62 goals for his country.

H ow they got there: The Ivory Coast initially topped a group containing Morocco, Tanzania and Gambia, before seeing off Senegal 4-2 on aggregate in a tough play-off tie.


Fifa ranking: 33rd

Star man: Victor Moses – Capped for England at youth levels, the Liverpool winger – on-loan from Chelsea – chose to represent the nation of his birth. Scored in Nigeria’s play-off win against Ethiopia.

How they got there: Nigeria were undefeated in their group containing Malawi, Kenya and Namibia, before comprehensively seeing off Ethiopia 4-1 on aggregate in their play-off.



FIFA Ranking: 44th

Star player: Keisuke Honda – The motor of the Japanese team, known for his dribbling and set-piece ability. Currently plays for CSKA Moscow but has already agreed to join AC Milan in the New Year.

Japan's midfielder Keisuke Honda (L) celebrates.

Japan’s midfielder Keisuke Honda (L) celebrates. Source: AFP

How they got there: Now part of the World Cup furniture after reaching their first tournament at France 98. Japan were the first side to qualify (outside the hosts) for Brazil 2014 in June as they comfortably topped Asia’s Group B. The squad is talented, too. Shinji Kagawa may not be featuring much for Manchester United but keep an eye out for CSKA Moscow’s midfield genius, Honda.


FIFA Ranking: 49th

Star player: Ashkan Dejagah – Winger who played for Germany’s youth sides before opting for the country of his birth. Plays for Fulham in the Premier League.

How they got there: Surprisingly topped Group A after winning at South Korea on the final match day. Despite winning the group there isn’t much to suggest that former Manchester United assistant Queiroz can guide them past the group stage for the first time. Skipper, Javad Nekounam has the experience but Fulham’s Ashkan Dejagah is best suited to deal with the quality they will face in Brazil.

South Korea

FIFA Ranking: 56

Star player: Ki Sung-yueng – The Swansea midfielder on-loan at Sunderland may not have lit up the Premier League but he is an ever-present for South Korea, playing 53 times at the age of just 24.

How they got there: Survived a late scare on the final matchday of the group stage to qualify as only a narrowly superior goal difference saved them from being bumped into the play-offs by Uzbekistan following a 1-0 home defeat to Iran. It will be their eighth consecutive finals but only twice have they got beyond the group stage.

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