Barcelona’s players look set for a busy summer in Russia, after another week of World Cup qualifying, with 23 teams having now confirmed their qualification.
23— #WCQ ⚽️ (@FIFAWorldCup) October 11, 2017
In case you missed any of the action, here’s a quick round-up of how the Barca stars got on, and who will be heading to Russia next summer.
South America - Messi, Suarez and Paulinho all on target
Of course all the headlines belong to Lionel Messi after his hat-trick saw Argentina beat Ecuador to qualify automatically. Javier Mascherano also featured for Jorge Sampaoli’s side who took third place in the group after a dramatic final day.
Finishing above Argentina in second were Uruguay, with Luis Suarez scoring twice in a 4-2 win over Bolivia. Top spot was, of course, sealed some way back by Brazil who finished off in style with a 3-0 win over Chile, our man Paulinho on target yet again.
Paulinho for Brazil under Tite:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 11, 2017
No stopping him. pic.twitter.com/iiDZB4GTxf
Europe - Portugal & France book their spot
Back in Europe, and Portugal and Andre Gomes and Nelson Semedo booked their place with a win over Switzerland that saw them top their group. There was also joy for Samuel Umtiti and Lucas Digne and France, who also won the group after a 2-1 win over Belarus. Ousmane Dembele joined in the celebrations and will surely be hoping to play a part next summer.
Earlier in the week Spain completed their fixtures, beating Israel to finish the campaign unbeaten with Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Deulofeu and Jordi Alba all in the initial squad.
Julen Lopetegui’s side will be one of the pre-tournament favourites along with Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s Germany, who looked simply unstoppable with 10 wins from 10.
Belgium were also in fine form, winning nine out of 10 games, meaning Thomas Vermaelen and Co. are also on the plane.
As for Ivan Rakitic and Croatia, well they finished second behind Iceland and go into the play-offs along with Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Sweden and Greece.
Croatia will be seeded for the play-off, with the draw to take place on 17 October.
However, it wasn’t all good news, Jasper Cillessen featured for Netherlands in their 2-0 win over Sweden, which was not enough for the Dutch who miss out.
Arda Turan’s Turkey also miss out, they had already seen their hopes ended by a 3-0 defeat to Iceland and finished off with a 2-2 draw against Finland.
So it’s a bit early, but let’s have some fun - who’s going to win the World Cup? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!