World Championship2018

A small educational program like the Russian team reached the 1/4 World Cup 2018

To correctly assess the success of the team.

Naturally, for the next working week you will discuss the success of the Russian team, whether you like it or not. Talking with my friends, I realized that in general, the majority of the population approach to this event is rather superficial, so I decided to tell the sports principles of selection for the World Championship so that you will not be regarded as a dilettante, and maybe even surprise someone! Well, in fact, the article to write me prompted the desire after all some time (now it’s just impossible!) Soberly evaluate the performance at the World Championship.

It starts with the fact that the first World Championship was held in Uruguay in 1930. Uruguay was chosen host of the tournament because of the celebration of the centenary of the country’s independence. By that time, the Uruguayan team was considered the strongest in the world, as it won the football tournaments at the Summer Olympics of 1924 and 1928. Then the championship came just 13 teams, and won Uruguay

At the World Cup in 2018 took part 207 teams (and not 32, as many think). Today, the championship is divided into two stages: the so-called qualifying stage, and the final part of the championship.

Qualifying stage of the 2018 World Cup

To get into the final part of the World Cup all teams have to pass the qualifying stage. All but the host country, respectively, the Russian team in the qualifying part did not participate. Since 1938, according to the rules of FIFA, the host country gets a direct ticket to the final part.

The qualifying stage is divided by region and depending on the ratings of the teams participating in the region, the number of teams is determined, which goes to the final part, having won the regional qualifying stage.

6 continents, there are 31 teams + 1 team of the host country of the World Cup 2018 (cut from Wikipedia)
6 continents, there are 31 teams + 1 team of the host country of the World Cup 2018 (cut from Wikipedia)
The first qualifying game was held on March 12, 2015, and on November 15, 2017 the last qualifying match took place (in the match for the departure the national team of Peru beat New Zealand). Each region has slightly different rules for getting into the championship, but I’ll tell you about Europe, because Russia always plays in the qualifiers for this zone (UEFA).

In the European selection this year 54 teams took part. Teams were drawn by lot in 9 groups of 6 teams. In order for groups to be uniform, UEFA divides the teams into so-called baskets (also 6 baskets with 9 teams). Teams from one basket can not play with each other, during the draw, one team from each basket gets into the qualifying group. This principle allows you to form approximately equal groups, it is used everywhere, including when drawing lots of football teams in the Champions League or the European League.

The baskets of the qualifying part of Europe, Kosovo and Gibraltar were added later and went as teams from the basket 6. A picture from Wikipedia.
The baskets of the qualifying part of Europe, Kosovo and Gibraltar were added later and went as teams from the basket 6. A picture from Wikipedia.

As Russia enters the 2018 World Cup directly, during the qualifying matches our team held friendly matches with the teams.

Teams that took the first place in the group went directly to the World Cup (they were teams of France, Portugal, Germany, Serbia, Poland, England, Spain, Belgium, Iceland). According to the rules, the second-placed teams had to play docking matches between themselves, and only 4 passed on. But since there were 9 teams, the team that took the second place, but scored less than all points, did not even go into docking and it was the national team of Slovakia.

Teams that passed from second place in the 2018 World Cup are highlighted in bold. Each team played two matches: on their own field and on the opponent's field. Wikipedia.
Teams that passed from second place in the 2018 World Cup are highlighted in bold. Each team played two matches: on their own field and on the opponent’s field. Wikipedia.

If you just curiosity for the sake of interesting, in what basket and the group could potentially get the Russian team, then at the beginning of the qualifying by rating, the Russian team would be in the basket 4. And, for example, the strongest group that Russia could have possibly got to from the national teams of Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, Finland, Kazakhstan. And if we were not the host country, but we would be lucky, the weakest group could be: Romania, Slovakia, Albania, Russia, Latvia, Kosovo. But in reality this has never happened so that in one group we choose all the weakest teams in the rating in the basket.

How the Russian team played friendly matches since 2016.

August 10, 2016 Cherchesov headed the Russian team. Curiosity for the sake of, it is possible to estimate how the team conducted friendly matches during the qualifying matches with it.

September 6, 2016 the Russian team won the national team of Ghana with a score of 1: 0, October 9, lost to Costa Rica with a score of 3: 4, and on November 10 – the national team of Qatar with a score of 1: 2. November 15 in a match with Romania only in the last added minute was scored the winning goal, which became the only one in this match. Thanks to such results and thanks to the fact that the national team did not participate in the qualifying games for the home world championship in October 2016, the national team dropped to a record low for itself 53rd place in the FIFA rating, and then updated its antirecord, dropping in November to 55 place, and in December – on the 56th.

Wikipedia

That is, with such results, potentially our team could take the third or even fourth place in the group, not even hitting the play-offs.

Drawing of the 2018 World Cup

But our team got to the World Cup in 2018, so let’s move on to the actual draw at the tournament itself. The principle of dividing teams into groups is about the same as in qualifying matches. Teams are divided into baskets, according to the rating, and then one team from each basket is divided into groups.

1st basket: Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France. 
2nd basket: Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Croatia, Mexico, Uruguay. 
3rd basket: Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Costa Rica, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran. 
4th basket: Serbia, Nigeria, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Australia.

Meticulous reader now must ask: how does it happen that the Russian team has fallen to a record low in 56th place, but in the first basket? Yes, this is another indulgence for the host, the national team of the country hosting the 2018 World Cup is always in the strongest basket, regardless of the rating (for example, Qatar will also receive the same honor in 2022).

The results of this draw are known to everyone, but let’s imagine that FIFA still introduces the rule that even the host country is distributed in the draw according to the rating without indulgence, what could be the options for the Russian national team then?

1st basket : Spain, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France. 
2nd basket : Costa Rica, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Croatia, Mexico, Uruguay. 
3rd basket : Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Nigeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran. 
4th basket : Serbia, Russia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Australia.

Approximately this would look like a basket, that is, Russia would be in the 4th basket, which would allow Nigeria to rise to third, Costa Rica in the second, and Spain would not have got to Portugal in the group, being in the first basket. 
The weakest possible group at the World Cup 2018 for the Russian team would then be: Spain, Costa Rica, Nigeria, Russia 
The strongest possible group: Germany, Peru, Denmark, Russia

Which of these can be inferred?

The success of the combined teams of those countries where the World Cup is held, for some reason always come down to the old Russian saying “houses help the walls.” But now it is clear that the preferences of the host country of the host cardinally change the alignment, greatly simplifying the opportunity to show a good result. And if in 2014 the championship was held in the originally soccer country of Brazil (Brazil took then the 4th place), then in 2010 the championship was held in South Africa and there the team also showed an excellent result without leaving the group only on the goal difference (Uruguay – 7 points , Mexico – 4 points, South Africa – 4 points, France – 1 point).

And many people who are keen on football still remember the chic 4th place in 2002 of the national team of the Republic of Korea. After leaving the group (then the Korean team played in the group with the teams of the United States, Portugal and Poland), with the referee scandals in 1/8 the team beat Italy 2: 1 in added time, Spain by 1/4 penalty, then lost in the semifinals of the German national team , and in the match for third place losing to the Turkish team.

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