Over the last few weeks, the World Cup field had been frequently headlined by the teams eliminated from the competition.
Over the last few weeks, the World Cup field had been frequently headlined by the teams eliminated from the competition. But Wednesday, the 32-team field was set with an emphatic win by Peru.
Giants such as Italy, Netherlands and Chile, plus other frequent contenders like Ghana and the Unites States were all knocked out of the competition before it even started in Russia next year, but plenty of elite teams still booked their ticket during qualifying.
All 32 countries for the 2018 World Cup are setPeru: qualifies for the first time since 1982, longest drought among returning teams that have qualified pic.twitter.com/41zQL8m6zQ— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 16, 2017
Brazil, Belgium, France, Germany, reigning Euro winners Portugal, Spain and Argentina are the top teams to watch next year. Brazil, led by Neymar, possess an explosive team that should entertain fans.
France is littered with stars like Antoine Griezmann, N'Golo Kante and Paul Pogba, while Germany's steady demeanor has them pegged as favorites to repeat.
Spain crashed out of the 2014 World Cup after shocking performances in the group stage, but they should be threats next summer with Isco and Alvaro Morata providing scoring options.
Then there's Peru, who's 2-0 win over New Zealand in Wednesday's second leg, put them in the World Cup for the first time since 1982, which was the longest drought among qualified teams.
A few familiar nations may be absent from the 2018 World Cup, but the global competition will still be a spectacle to behold.