5 least populated countries to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Football is widely regarded as the king of sports and FIFA World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the World by some distance, for the way it attracts attention from each and every corner of the World.
The peculiar thing about football World Cup is that it also attracts huge attention from those who don't follow club football regularly.
In order to participate in the quadrennial tournament, national teams need to play in the cut-throat qualification round. Even countries with a lot of people and money, great sports legacy, and a huge chunk of Olympic medals find it hard to make it to the tournament. Case in point are China and USA.
Ironically, India, a country with more than 1.3 billion people, couldn't even pass through the first round of FIFA World Cup qualification. That tells a lot about the ground reality and competitive nature of the tournament.
Here, we will peek through top 5 lowest-populated nations to make it to Russia.
Denmark won 1992 Euros and 1995 Confederations Cup. As far as football history in the country is concerned, they have won 3 silver Olympic medals in 1908,1912, and 1960 Olympics and a bronze model in 1948 Olympic. The reason why they took so long to lift a trophy again is because of an interesting development.
Earlier, Denmark had a strange rule of allowing only amateur footballers to compete for the national team.This rule plagued the performance of national team substantially. Finally, this rule was scrapped by Danish Football Association in 1971, allowing professional footballers to compete for the national team. This decision rejuvenated the national team as they qualified for 1986 World Cup and subsequently won Euro and Confederations Cup.
Now, Danish players have come a long way excelling both in the club and country level. Currently, In Denmark, one out of 15 people is a footballer plying their trade in more than 1600 clubs.
With 5.7 million inhabitants, the Scandinavian nation is one of the happiest countries in the World. However, their happiness may skyrocket if Denmark performed well in the World Cup. Drawn with France, Australia and Peru in group C, Denmark will leave no stone unturned to create a big upset in World Cup vying for a great finish. Denmark start their campaign against Peru on 16th June in Saransk.