Fifa ranking position 22, First timers to the world cup.
But don’t you underrate this team; – They eliminated England in the round of 16 of EURO 2016. At the world cup qualifying stages they topped the UEFA qualification group i ahead of Croatia, Ukraine, Turkey, Finland, and Kosovo to directly qualify for the world cup for the first time in the country’s history.
The island team is coached by Heimir Hallgrimsson
The former dentist previously served as assistant head coach to the former head coach Lagerback when they beat England at UEFA euro 2016. He was in sole charge of the team as they reached a first world cup – becoming the smallest country by population ever to qualify.
star player to watch out for: Gylfi Sigurdsson
Iceland’s talismanic midfield play maker has been named his country’s footballer of the year for the last five years running. Sigurdsson supplied four goals and many assists in the team’s Russia 2018 qualifying campaign.
Fifa ranking 7 : 16 appearance, 5 semifinals , 5 final appearances, 2 titles (1978, 1986)…someone say Amen
Argentinian team are a favorite to emerge top of group D and possibly a contender for the title, but as it stands- it seems like they are not ready. They struggled at times during the qualification stage of the 2018 Fifa world cup and were only qualified on the final day after beating Ecuador 3-1 away in Quito.
Argentina is coached by Jorge Sampaoli
He is known for his high-tempo pressing football which has now helped his home country to Russia 2018. Sampaoli was appointed in the middle of last year with the alarm bells ringing. Argentina were in real danger of not qualifying for the World Cup. Panic stations was problem number one – there was no time to experiment or gently ease his way in. Results were a priority from day one.
At the international friendlies, they suffered a humiliating defeat to Spain 6-1. Captain Lionel Messi was in attendance at the game with the injured Manuel LANZINI next to him as the two sat to watch the match. MESSI appeared to leave after Spain scored their sixth goal of the match. Clearly Coach Sampaoli still has a lot of work to do
Player to watch out for: Lionel Messi
” Messi did not owe the World Cup to Argentina, but football owed the World Cup to Messi”
That was Argentina’s head coach Sampaoli’s to the team at the locker room before they faced Ecuador in a make or break world cup qualifying match. Fifa’s five time player of the year proved his coach right by scoring all three goals! – how dare the world cup go on without him.
Now he is at the world cup- hot on his tails is Neymar & Ronaldo. plus at 30 this maybe his last chance.
I think Nigerian team should be worried about Messi.(what if he takes an injury break)… not suggesting anything though.
Croatia: Fifa ranking 20, 4 appearances, 1 semi final
Croatian team is lead by Zlatko Dalic. He came in after manager Ante Cacic was fired with one game of qualification to go – poor team morale was cited as one of the reasons. Dalic helped the Croatians limp over the finish line and into the world cup by overseeing their successful play-off game with Greece. They won the game 4-1 and earned their spot at the world cup.
Star players to watch out for;
Their midfield is particularly strong. Captain Luka Modric remains one of the game’s finest midfielders at 32 .
The Croatian team lost two of four the international friendly matches they played. They lost(2-0) to Brazil and Peru.
Nigeria has the lowest Fifa ranking of 48 in group D. Croatia is the weakest link in group D and our first game. if we can’t win Croatia- were done. So whats your take – worried or game on