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5 countries that can field two strong teams and have both qualify for the 2018 World Cup

Rohith Nair
FEATURED COLUMNIST
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33.08K   //    03 Oct 2017, 19:39 IST

32 countries qualify for the FIFA World Cup every four years. Apart from the usual suspects, we do see fairy tale runs from the smaller nations in the qualifiers culminating in qualification and the fulfilling of dreams.

However, it's clear that the pool of top quality players is unevenly spread around the world with the higher-ranked nations hoarding a number of quality players that fail to make the final squad.

So what if these countries with ample talent formed a 'B' team? Would that squad qualify? We look at five countries that could see two squads qualify given the chance.


1) Germany

Squad Depth Germany Spain France Italy Brazil
Germany won the 2014 World Cup and 2017 Confederations Cup with different squads

The FIFA World Cup champions' journey to the top was no mistake. It was a well-planned approach that took 14 years before it came to fruition.

After an embarrassing exit in Euro 2000 (without winning a single game), Germany took the decision to overhaul their youth system to produce a new crop of players that would challenge for international honours.

They came close on a couple of occasions, finishing third in 2006 (at home) and in 2010 (in South Africa) before the core finally came together to win the cup in Brazil. They then proved their worth by taking it a step further in the 2017 Confederations Cup.

Coach Joachim Low rested the entire senior squad and took a second-string side to Russia that eventually beat two-time Copa America champions Chile in the final - a phenomenal achievement.

First team: Manuel Neuer; Joshua Kimmich, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Jonas Hector; Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil; Thomas Muller, Marco Reus, Mario Gomez

Second team: Marc-Andre Ter Stegen; Benjamin Henrichs, Antonio Rudiger, Shkodran Mustafi, Marcel Schmelzer; Ilkay Gundogan, Julian Weigl, Mario Gotze; Julian Draxler, Leroy Sane, Timo Werner

Substitutes: Kevin Trapp, Jeremy Toljan, Benedikt Howedes, Niklas Sule, Marvin Plattenhardt, Mahmoud Dahoud, Emre Can, Leon Goretzka, Julian Brandt, Andre Schurrle, Lars Stindl, Sandro Wagner

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