Russian Federation drop to World Cup low in Fifa rankings

Friday, 08 Jun, 2018

The two lowest-ranked teams will kick off the World Cup at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 14.

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South Korea shocked the world when they went on a stunning run all the way to the World Cup semi-final as hosts in 2002, beating Spain and Italy along the way before losing 1-0 to Germany.

Iran, which faces Morocco, Spain and Portugal, became the first of the 31 visiting finalists to arrive in Russian Federation when it landed at Moscow's Vnukovo airport.

The meeting of neighbours Portugal and Spain, both ranked in the world's top 10, is the stand-out fixture of the group stage but their group's rankings average out to a middling 23.

The three-time Asian Cup victor easily qualified for their second successive World Cup, going unbeaten in 10 matches in their Asian group. He scored five goals and set up four more last season but, in truth, has never quite lived up to expectations at the 2009 Bundesliga champions, failing to recapture the excellent form from his time at Mainz.

Such has been their awkward and underwhelming build-up to their home World Cup, few players can be assured of a place in the Russian Federation first team. Sadly for him, he is sharing a group with Mo Salah and Luis Suarez, who are very likely to outshine him here.

"Usually, teams like Brazil and Argentina are placed in group D to G. So, we bought tickets for three matches in these groups", Moloy said.

Like Uruguay, Egypt has the misfortune of facing either the victor or the runner-up of Group B, which features both Spain and Portugal.

Iran's base for the tournament will be the Lokomotiv Bakovka Training Center in the Moscow region, and they will play their first match on 15 June against Morocco at Saint Petersburg Stadium.

But as a "surprise", considering the strength of Peru and Denmark, the "Special One" believes the Socceroos have what it takes to continue their campaign beyond the group matches. In attack, the partnership of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez is enough to strike fear into any side in the competition. The team relies on these two.