European Qualifications

by faza657 | Posted on Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

European Qualifications

The European teams have a long-standing pedigree of football excellence to live up to and they certainly didn’t disappoint fans during their long qualification process. Counting the reigning World Champion among their number, the European Zone of qualification involved all 53 UEFA national teams. They fiercely competed for a place among the 13 European countries that will be playing at the finals in Brazil. The tension was already palpable in Rio de Janeiro on 30 July 2011, when the teams for the nine qualification groups were drawn.

The qualification process, consisted of two rounds, jam-packed with footie action, that kicked off on 7 September 2012 and ended on 19 November 2013. In the first round, the nine winners from each qualification group secured a spot at the World Cup finals in Brazil. Among the winners, Bosnia & Herzegovina will be playing for the first time as an independent nation, whilst Belgium and Russia will be playing for the first time in the World Cup since 2002. The other nations, which include EnglandGermanyItalyNetherlandsSpain and Switzerland have all participated in the last edition of the World Cup in 2008.

The eight best runners-up from the qualification groups faced off each other in a final round of two-legged fixtures (home and away). The four teams that emerged victorious were Croatia, France, Greece and Portugal and they will now have to prove their might at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. These teams will join the table-toppers from the first round to be part of the European contingent.

This eclectic mix of teams from all over the continent will provide plenty of excitement for sport bettors who will have to chose whether to stake their bets on the stalwarts of European football, or to take the chance on some of the newcomers for bigger returns. Whatever they do, they’re in for plenty of surprises come July 2014!

About the Author