FIFA is knocking at your doors, for some nations it would be a fruitful event similarly for some it is a bad dream. We are talking about the qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup 2018. There is no doubt about it that some low profiled teams easily managed to qualify for the world cup whereas former top listed teams were unable to win the race.
There are top 5 unluckiest teams who were unable to qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2018.
It’s quite hard to even to think about it that USA was amongst those teams who didn’t qualify for top 32 teams. Right from the start of the qualification event, two regions from the same continent were struggling to enroll their names in the process, Mexico and USA but men in white failed to Quality even though they managed to win CONCACAF Gold Cup for the 6th time in a row but unable to replicate their performance.
Arena started with a 14-game unbeaten run, which is the best ever start by a USMNT head coach. However, after the Gold Cup success, the United States won only one of the last four qualifiers to finish second from bottom in the group, a point away from the TOP 3 that sealed automatic qualification to Russia.
The US last missed the World Cup in 1986. They still remain a powerhouse in the region, but lessons must be learned from this failure. Nothing is given in football, everything must be earned.
All the talk before the final round of matches in South America revolved around the realistic possibility of Lionel Messi and Argentina missing the World Cup. The two-time World Champions were in danger of missing the tournament for the first time since 1970, and as a finalist of the last World Cup nevertheless.
The Barcelona superstar took the matters into his own hands and scored a hat-trick in a 3-1 away win in Ecuador. They hadn’t won there since 2001. The three points gained from that match pushed Argentina from 6th place all the way up to 3rd. Chile was one of the sides Argentina leapfrogged, and they fell to 6th to miss out on the World Cup. This, after winning the last two Copa Americas. Alexis Sanchez and Co. started the qualifiers with an impressive 2-0 win over Brazil, but they had a miserable ending with four losses in the final six fixtures.
Cameroon has been the most successful African nation at the World Cup. The Indomitable Lions have played at seven World Cups, one more than Nigeria. Back in 1990, lead by the legendary Roger Milla, they became the first African team to make it through to the quarter-finals.
More success looked to be on the horizon this year after Cameroon won the African Cup of Nations for the 5th time in February, but things have ended on a sour note. They won only five of the 13 matches that followed the African Cup of Nations final win against Egypt and only one of them came in the final stage of World Cup qualification. The qualification system is pretty cruel in Africa. There will always be a number of good sides missing out on World Cup action as only five group winners in the final round get through. Nigeria won Cameroon’s group with Zambia finishing second. Algeria, who reached the round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup, finished bottom. It’s now been a few years since Samuel Eto’o last represented Cameroon, but they still have a number of talented individuals in the squad, and as the African Cup of Nations success showed, then they are also capable of playing as a very good team. However, the new generation now has to wait for a few years to get another shot at the World Cup ticket.
The Dutch will be missing for a second consecutive big tournament. They failed to qualify for EURO 2016 with a 4th place finish in their qualification group. The Czech Republic, Iceland, and Turkey finished ahead of them and they didn’t even get a chance to chase the finals ticket in the playoffs.
Before missing out on Russia 2018, the Netherlands played in three consecutive World Cups. They finished 3rd in 2014, and even made it into the final in 2010, losing to Spain only in extra time. It’s been a shocking fall from grace for the nation that has given football so much. But you also can’t say it hasn’t been coming.
The nation has been forced to still rely on the likes of Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Robin van Persie, who are all near the end of their careers and far away from their prime. The next generation of players hasn’t managed to take over the reigns of the team, without a massive drop in quality.
The development of young footballers in the Netherlands is world renown, yet they haven’t had success with their youth teams either. The U21s last won the European Championships ten years ago and haven’t even qualified for four of the last five finals. The U19’s made it to the semis this year, but they have frequently missed the final tournament before.
Yes, it’s nail-biting time for all of us that former World Champion Italy is out of the context, there is no doubt about their performance and constant form since 1958, they never missed a FIFA World Cup but this time they won’t be around us. Coincidently, in 1958 they beat Sweden to take place their ticket, this time Sweden took revenge and beat them right before the FIFA World Cup.
The failure could end up being a positive thing for the four-time World Champions, though. Much like the Netherlands, they have relied on older players for quite a while and there hasn’t been much success for them. They did play in the EURO 2012 final, but it was seen as a surprise, which says a lot about the current state of Italian football.
Italy hasn’t even made it past the group stage in the last couple of World Cups, finishing without a single win as the defending champions in 2010 and ending up 3rd behind Costa Rica and Uruguay in 2014.
It’s certainly a catastrophe for Italy to be missing the 2018 World Cup, but we can be sure that they will come back stronger in the future as a result. In Gianluigi Donnarumma, they already have a readymade replacement for Gianluigi Buffon in goal and there’s some exciting talent coming up among the outfield players as well.
Italy has made it into at least the semi-finals in two of the last three U21 European Championships and the U19’s were runners-up in 2016. They won bronze at the U20 World Cup this summer. While they’re bound to be shattered, the future is nothing short of promising for the Dutch.