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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

2018 World Cup - who has qualified for the finals and who can get there

Eight down, 24 to go on the Road to Russia 2018.

The qualifying process for the 2018 World Cup, which began on March 12, 2015, is reaching its climax. 

So far, eight nations have booked their place to join host nation Russia in next year's tournament.

Qualified nations: Russia (hosts), Belgium, Brazil, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Korea.


• European qualifying home page

Qualifying for 2018 sees seven groups of six nations and two groups of five. 

Russia qualify as hosts. Group...

Diego Costa must resolve Chelsea problem before Spain call - Lopetegui

Alejandro Moreno says Diego Costa and Antonio Conte aren't built to repair the bridges that have been burned between them.

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui has reiterated that Chelsea striker Diego Costa must resolve his club future as soon as possible if he is to return to the national team fold.

One hundred days have passed since Costa last played an official game, a 2-1 victory over Macedonia in a World Cup qualifier for Spain on June 11.

Eager to rejoin Atletico Madrid, Costa has refused to return to Chelsea and was on a self-imposed exile in Brazil since claiming in June that Blues coach Antonio Conte texted him to...

Austria won't renew contract of coach Marcel Koller after 2017

Marcel Koller will no longer manage Austria after the current qualifying campaign.

Austria coach Marcel Koller is leaving the national team at the end of the year.

The Austrian football federation announced on Friday that it decided not to renew his contract, ending the Swiss coach's six-year stint in charge.

"Koller has to be thanked for his great work but the sober reality is that we won four of our last 18 games. In the end only the results count," Federation president Leo Windtner said.

Koller will still be in charge of the team for its final two World Cup qualifiers,...

 By Ben Gladwell

Ventura aims to leave bright Italy legacy despite World Cup worries

FC's Mark Ogden reports from Spain, after Italy's 3-0 loss in WCQ and their likely entry into the playoffs for qualification.
Janusz Michallik reflects on Spain's thorough 3-0 victory over Italy in their pivotal Group G World Cup qualifying clash.
Spain inched closer towards qualifying for the World Cup, as Isco's first career international brace led La Roja past Italy.

Italy coach Giampiero Ventura has said he knows he will be judged on immediate results but also has an obligation to ensure a bright future for the national side.

Italy's hopes of qualifying for next summer's World Cup in Russia were hit by a 3-0 defeat in Spain, meaning they may need to win a playoff in order to get to the tournament.

"I know I'm reliant on results on the field, but I'd like to talk about other things because that is how you get results in sport," Ventura said at a seminar...

 By PA Sport

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill held on suspicion of drink driving

Michael O'Neill has been Northern Ireland manager since 2011.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill has been arrested on suspicion of drink driving.

He was stopped by police on the outskirts of Edinburgh on Sunday, the Scottish Sun said.

A statement from the Irish Football Association (IFA) said it was "aware of an alleged drink-driving incident involving Michael O'Neill.

"As it is a police matter, the Association will be making no further comment."

A Police Scotland spokesman said: "Police in Edinburgh arrested and charged a 48-year-old man in connection...