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5 underdogs to watch out for in the 2018 FIFA World Cup

These 5 nations emotionally made it past gruesome qualifiers to book their ticket for the World Cup.

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10 24 Nov 2017, 18:15 IST

Germany v Argentina: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final
The FIFA World Cup trophy (originally called the Jules Rimet Trophy)

The World Cup kicks off on 14th June at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow next year. With the qualifiers wrapped up, and several big teams making it to the Finals again, a few underdogs found their way through the gruesome qualifiers to make it to the Main Event.

While some of the neutrals will be disappointed by the absence of top sides like Italy, Netherlands and Chile, the presence of some of the lesser known countries does add a feel-good factor.

Let's have a look at 5 unexpected entries to the 2018 World Cup:


#5 Saudi Arabia

2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier - Malaysia v Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia were the AFC Third Round Group B runner-ups, earning a ticket to Russia

Making their way through the AFC Qualifiers, the Asians were managed by former Argentina manager Edgardo Bauza after the sacking of Bert van Marwijk. Bauza didn't last all the long, mind you, and was sacked yesterday. Earning the ticket to only the fifth World Cup in the nation's history, the Green Falcons return to the big stage after 12 years and sitting out of the tournament's last two editions.

Promoting FIFA's bid to promote the sport in Asia and the Middle East, the Saudi Arabia national team would be carrying the hopes of over 33 million enthusiastic people from the country.

Al-Suqour would be aiming to gain the attention of the world in the global tournament. Saudi Arabia's best performance in a World Cup came back in 1994 US World Cup when they got through to the last 16, only to be beaten by Sweden at Dallas.

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