The 2018 World Cup is set to begin this week, with 32 nations meeting in Russia to play for the biggest prize in international soccer.
Four years ago, Germany dominated in Brazil, embarrassing the host nation in the semifinal en route to winning their fourth World Cup.
Heading into this year’s tournament, we’ve ranked every team in the field of 32 to give you an idea of how things might shake out in Russia.
Key players: Luis Tejada, Gabriel Torres, Jaime Penedo
First match: vs. Belgium (June 18, 11 a.m. ET)
One thing to know: This is the first time in the country’s history that Panama has qualified for the World Cup after 10 failed attempts.
31. South Korea
Key players: Son Heung-min, Ki Sung-yueng
First match: vs. Sweden (June 18, 8 a.m. ET)
One thing to know: Tottenham standout Son Heung-min is one of the most talented players the squad has ever had, but a tough group assignment will make escaping to the knockout round a tall order.
Key players: Sardar Azmoun, Ehsan Hajsafi
First match: vs. Morocco (June 15, 11 a.m. ET)
One thing to know: Iran just lost their footware sponsorship deal with Nike due to global economic sanctions on the country, leaving the team scrambling for shoes.
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Source:: Business Insider