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2018 World Cup qualifying - how it works

The qualifying process for the 2018 World Cup began on March 12, 2015 with preliminary ties between the 12 lowest-ranked nations in Asia.

Chiquito Do Carmo of Timor-Leste had the honour of scoring the very first goal on the road to Russia in a 4-1 victory at home to Mongolia.

There are 31 places up for grabs, joining hosts Russia.

The draw for the main sections of qualifying takes place on Saturday, July 25, 2015.


13 places

• European qualifying home page

Qualifying for 2018...

Messi, Neymar, Pogba and Italy's teen sensation headline international break

Lionel Messi missed Argentina training through injury and is questionable for their upcoming WCQ's.

Your favorite team's season has only just started up, you're psyched to see whatever new signings arrived in the final hours of the transfer window and -- boom! -- everybody leaves. They're off with their national sides and it will feel like an eternity without football.

Except you're not without football. It's just a different kind: same actors, different stage. Like seeing Bryan Cranston in the theater rather than cooking up some meth on your TV in "Breaking Bad." Truth be told, there's plenty...

Anthony Martial must push himself harder - France boss Didier Deschamps

France manager Didier Deschamp has called for Anthony Martial to be more consistent following poor performances for Man Utd.

France head coach Didier Deschamps has told Manchester United's Anthony Martial he has to push himself harder and be more consistent.

Martial had an impressive debut season with United after joining from Monaco last summer but the 20-year-old's form at Euro 2016 was disappointing and he has also made a slow start to the new campaign.

Deschamps has called him up for his 23-man France squad as they prepare to face Italy on Thursday and then Belarus five days later, but he warned the forward he must...

 By Mark Rodden

Belgium assistant Thierry Henry to give wage to charity - report

France head coach Didier Deschamps is excited for former international team-mate Thierry Henry as he begins life with the Belgian national team in a coaching capacity.

Thierry Henry plans to give his salary for his role as Belgium's assistant coach to charity, according to Sport/Foot Magazine.

The former Arsenal striker was surprisingly appointed as one of new Belgium coach Roberto Martinez's assistants last week and said he believed the team could "make history" in the future.

Over the past few days the ex-France international has been working with the squad for the first time ahead of Martinez's first game in charge against Spain on Thursday.

Sport/Foot Magazine...