WORLD CUP RUSSIA 2018 TICKETS & QUALIFIERS SCHEDULE

Cristiano Ronaldo competes for holders Portugal in World Cup 2018 Russia Qualifiers

WORLD CUP RUSSIA 2018

World Cup 2018 Russia is only 15 months away and the latest round of qualifying games are just around the corner. Titan teams expected to challenge for the coveted trophy in Russia are Brazil, Germany, France, and Belgium. Argentina’s fate is less certain due to their superstar striker Lionel Messi’s four match ban.

Brazil are top of the South American qualifying round, having been rejuvenated under manager Tite’s leadership with Argentina in fifth with a key game against Chile coming up on Thursday. Spain, France, Poland, Republic of Ireland and Croatia sit atop their groups. DR Congo, Nigeria and Egypt are on top with six points from their opening games. Meanwhile Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Japan are top of their gourps.  

World Cup Russia 2018 is the last chance for Lionel Messi to be crowned the undisputed king of football, as Maradona was in Mexico in 1986  The match against Chile on Thursday in Buenos Aires on the Road to World Cup Russia; it is a must-win for Messi’s national team. Argentina’s new head coach Edgardo Bauza decided to keep players Tata Martino and Alejandro Sabella who did not play in the past six years. Footballers Gonzalo Higuaín, Ángel Di María, Sergio Agüero, Javier Mascherano and Lionel Messi have a good chance to become world champions after losing three major finals in the past three years (Brazil 2014, Copa Américai Chile 2015, and US 2016).

With four rounds of World Cup Qualifiers fixtures remaining in the South American qualifying competition, Brazil are in first place with 33 points, followed by Colombia (24), Uruguay and Chile (23). Argentina (22) are in fifth place, thereby earning a two-leg play-off against the top-ranked Oceania region side.

Brazil became the first team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup Russia, maintaining their amazing record as the tournament’s only side to have qualified to play in every World Cup Tournament in history. The five-times champs beat Paraguay 3-0 for their eighth successive win in the South American qualifying competition. Peru’s surprise 2-1 win over Uruguay in a later game guaranteed Brazil a top-four finish. Uruguay and Argentina still have to face each other which means it is impossible for both teams to overtake Brazil.

In Brazil’s crucial win, Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho curled in a low opener for Brazil and Barcelona forward Neymar capped an exciting evening with a goal in the second half and Marcelo added a third goal late in São Paulo.

“My greatest joy is sharing joy,” Brazil manager Tite said. “When you look at the face of your family, when you see the players happy, when you see a happy little child, sharing joy is my greatest satisfaction. More pleasure.”

Neymar captained his side against the Paraguay defenders.

“I always think of overcoming my limits,” Neymar said. “First of all I want to help my team, always, and then I think about pushing the limits, reaching the marks of games and goals. I am very happy for this moment, not only mine, but also my team-mates. We are achieving our goals, which is to win and reach the World Cup as well.”

Paraguay coach, Juan Carlos Arce, was critical of the referee, Victor Carrillo, after the game. “The refereeing was bad today,” he said. “It is a shame, Brazil does not need it.”

Meanwhile Argentina dropped down to fifth in the standings after losing 2-0 away to Bolivia at high altitude in La Paz without Messi as he began his four-match ban. Five-times world player of the year Messi was suspended less than six hours before kick-off for swearing at an assistant linesman in the previous match that Argentina won 1-0 win against Chile. Messi will be available only for the last of Argentina’s games in Ecuador. Messi has appealed the severity of the ban.

Russia supporters are at risk of missing their own World Cup while Russian networks struggle to agree deal with Fifa. TV networks are struggling to reach a deal to secure the rights to show World Cup 2018. The country has invested around $11bn in preparation to host the 2018 tournament, but with only 14 months to go until the World Cup finals kick off, governing body Fifa are still looking for a broadcaster to show the games in Russia after state-run TV channels firmly turned down Fifa’s price of $120m for the rights to show the tournament. Fifa are being unreasonable in their financial demands.

World Cup Draw

The draw for the 2018 World Cup Russia is set to take place in the Kremlin on Friday, December 1. A Unesco World Heritage site, the Kremlin is a fortified complex in the heart of Moscow that contains several cathedrals and palaces, one of which is the official residence of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The draw itself will be staged in the State Kremlin Palace, a building intended to house meetings of the Soviet Union's Communist Party but now used as a concert hall. This famous venue has a capacity of 6,000. This summer's dress rehearsal is the Confederations Cup which takes place between June 17 and July 2, will feature Russia, 2014 World Cup winners Germany and the six reigning champions of world football's confederations: Australia, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal and the winners of the on-going Africa Cup of Nations.

WORLD CUP RUSSIA 2018 TICKETS & QUALIFIERS SCHEDULE

World Cup Russia 2018 Tickets and Qualifiers Fixtures

JUN 9 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers Sweden v France Tickets Friends Arena - Solna, Sweden
JUN 10 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers Scotland v England Tickets 
Hampden Park - Glasgow, United Kingdom
JUN 9 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers Netherlands v Luxembourg Tickets Feyenoord Stadium - De Kuip - Rotterdam, Netherlands
JUN 10 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers Germany v San Marino Tickets Frankenstadion - Nuremberg, Germany
JUN 11 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers Italy v Liechtenstein Tickets Stadio Friuli - Udine, Italy
AUG 31 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers France v Netherlands Tickets Stade de France - Paris, France
AUG 31 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers France v Netherlands Tickets Stade de France - Paris, France
AUG 31 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers Portugal v Faroe Islands Tickets TBD - PORTUGAL - , Portugal
AUG 31 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers Switzerland v Andorra Tickets TBD - SWITZERLAND - , Switzerland
SEP 2 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers Spain v Italy Tickets TBD - SPAIN - TBD, Spain
SEP 2 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers Spain v Italy Tickets TBD - SPAIN - TBD, Spain
SEP 3 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers France v Luxembourg Tickets Stade de France - Paris, France
SEP 3 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers Netherlands v Bulgaria Tickets TBD - NETHERLANDS - Amsterdam, Netherlands
SEP 4 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers England v Slovakia Tickets Wembley Stadium - London, United Kingdom
SEP 4 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers Germany v Norway Tickets TBD - GERMANY - Berlin, Germany
SEP 5 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers Italy v Israel Tickets TBD - ITALY - Rome, Italy
OCT 5 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers England v Slovenia Tickets Wembley Stadium - London, United Kingdom
OCT 5 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers Northern Ireland v Germany Tickets Windsor Park - Belfast, Northern Ireland
OCT 6 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers Italy v FYR Macedonia Tickets TBD - ITALY - Rome, Italy
OCT 6 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers Spain v Albania Tickets TBD - SPAIN - TBD, Spain
OCT 7 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers Switzerland v Hungary Tickets TBD - SWITZERLAND - , Switzerland
OCT 8 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers Germany v Azerbaijan Tickets TBD - GERMANY - Berlin, Germany
OCT 10 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers France v Belarus Tickets Stade de France - Paris, France
OCT 10 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers Netherlands v Sweden Tickets TBD - NETHERLANDS - Amsterdam, Netherlands
OCT 10 2017 World Cup 2018 Qualifiers Portugal v Switzerland Tickets TBD - PORTUGAL -  Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo speaks during the ceremony at Madeira Airport in Portugal to rename it Cristiano Ronaldo Airport in Santa Cruz, Madeira Portugal