The Panenka

A blog dedicated to European Football, World Soccer, and the 2018 World Cup in Russia

World Cup 2018 Preview: Belgium

The Red Devils return to the big stage aiming to improve on their run to the last eight in 2014. Everybody’s dark horse – now’s the time to deliver.

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World Cup 2018 Preview: South Korea

South Korea are the only side from outside of Europe and South America to be ever-present at the World Cup since 1986.

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World Cup 2018 Preview: Sweden

Calls for Zlatan Ibrahimovic to renege on his retirement have become deafening; as the man himself said in 2014, “a World Cup without me is nothing.”

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World Cup 2018 Preview: Mexico

Mexico comfortably qualified for Russia 2018 to make their 8th consecutive World Cup appearance.

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World Cup 2018 Preview: Germany

The current World Cup holders and 2017 Confederations Cup winners Germany return to Russia in a bid to become the first team to retain the title since Brazil in 1962.

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World Cup 2018 Preview: Serbia

Serbia’s squad boasts a number of first-rate players, the majority of whom play in some of the continent’s top leagues.

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World Cup 2018 Preview: Costa Rica

Since making their World Cup debut at Italy 1990, Costa Rica have become a World Cup staple, defying expectations by reaching the last-16 in 2014.

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World Cup 2018 Preview: Switzerland

Despite losing only once in qualification, Switzerland were forced to qualify for Russia 2018 via the playoffs.

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World Cup 2018 Preview: Brazil

Brazil are the most successful team in World Cup history and are the only team to have played in every tournament, never needing a play-off to qualify.

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World Cup 2018 Preview: Nigeria

Nigeria are easily the most accomplished African team to reach Russia 2018. With the highest population in their respective continent, they also have some of the highest expectations.

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