5 teams that can be 'dark horses' in the FIFA World Cup - 2018
Here's a look at 5 teams that can pull off real surprises in the FIFA World Cup in Russia later this year
Only eight teams have managed to win the FIFA World Cup so far, in which three teams - Brazil, Germany and Italy, make a combined tally of 13 out of 20. Only Uruguay and Argentina - with two titles each - have won the championship multiple times apart from them. England, France and Spain complete the winners' table with one title each.
The fact that only teams from Europe and Latin America have managed to win the championship shows the monopoly of superpowers in world football. As in the previous editions, one of the most hotly debated topics of this year is whether there would be a new team to lift the most prestigious trophy in the world of football.
Even though they could not go all the way, many teams have won the hearts of fans with their impressive performances in the previous editions. Not many can forget Croatia of 1998 or Turkey of 2002, the bronze medalists of those tournaments. This year too, there are a few dark horses who have the potential to take the tournament by storm.
Here are five teams who could turn out to be the dark horses at the FIFA World Cup - 2018:
This is a team that looks very strong, at least on paper. It would be a surprise if they fail to achieve a podium finish with the amount of talen they have in hand - especially the midfield they possess.
Their line up features some permanent starters of Europe's high profile football clubs. Many consider Real Madrid star Luka Modric to be the world's best midfielder at present, and when Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic and Inter Milan's Ivan Perisic join him, they make up for a formidable side.
They are drawn in Group D alongside Argentina, Iceland and Nigeria and are expected to go through to the knockout stages without much trouble from this group.
They will play either France or Australia/Peru in the round of 16, depending on their positions in the group stages. Two years ago, they displayed a beautiful passing football in the Euro-2016 to capture the hearts of football fans.
Even though they lost to the eventual winners, Portugal in the RO16 in a match stretched all the way to extra time, they showed the world that they are a rising power in the world of football.
Without a doubt, they have what it takes to spring a few surprises in this edition of the World Cup.