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Duarte: Reasons to cheer, jeer Brazil

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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...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Barcelona's Neymar being used incorrectly by Brazil - Zico

Former Brazil representative Savio believes that Neymar can bring back the art of Brazilian football.
The ESPN FC crew debate whether playing in the Olympics over Copa America makes sense for Neymar and Brazil.
Former Brazil star Cafu says only Neymar can decide if he plays in either the Copa America or the Olympics.

Brazil are misusing Neymar by playing him in a central position and it is hurting the national side as well their star player's form, according to Zico.

Dunga's Brazil are currently sixth in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying, having won just two of their opening six matches.

Legendary Selecao attacking midfielder Zico is concerned about his nation's form, in particular how Barcelona forward Neymar, who has scored 23 times in La Liga this season, is being used.

He told Brasil Global Tour: "I believe...

Real Madrid's Marcelo lacks right attitude for Brazil - Dunga

ESPN FC's Craig Burley reacts to the latest FIFA rankings, which see Argentina move to No. 1.
Pele says he will prepare to play for Brazil in the Olympics, the only tournament he has never played in and Brazil has never won.
Don Hutchison reacts to the news that Manchester City will face Real Madrid in the semifinals of the Champions League, as Atletico Madrid are drawn against Bayern Munich.
ESPN FC's Steve Nicol shares his thoughts on Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick against Wolfsburg.
Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick propelled Real to the UCL semifinals, Barca fell to Atletico and much more.
The ESPN FC crew discuss Brazil's draw with Paraguay and the absence of Thiago Silva.

Brazil coach Dunga is not backing down in the continuing row over Real Madrid left-back Marcelo's commitment to the national team.

Marcelo was not included in the Selecao squad for March's World Cup 2018 qualifiers against Paraguay and Uruguay, while being able to play for his club at the time, sparking a public argument between leading figures in both Brazil and Madrid.

The debate has become increasingly embittered, with Blancos coach Zinedine Zidane talking of "lies" coming from the Brazil camp,...

Ex-FIFA official Alfredo Hawit pleads guilty in bribery scandal

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti reports on the latest surrounding UEFA and the leaked Panama Papers.

A former vice president of football's international governing body pleaded guilty to four conspiracy counts on Monday in the sweeping FIFA bribery scandal.

Speaking through a translator, Alfredo Hawit told Judge Raymond Dearie in U.S. district court in Brooklyn that he had accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in connection with a scheme to sell marketing rights to tournaments in Latin America.

Hawit, 64, is free on bail and next appears in court in October. Each count carries a maximum...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Corinthians' Tite: I don't want to succeed Dunga as Brazil coach

ESPN FC's Craig Burley reacts to the latest FIFA rankings, which see Argentina move to No. 1.
The ESPN FC crew discuss the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying table and whether Ecuador can keep up their current pace.
The ESPN FC crew discuss Brazil's draw with Paraguay and the absence of Thiago Silva.
Uruguay's Luis Suarez speaks to his side's need to change their entire game plan following Brazil's two early goals in their 2-2 draw.

Corinthians manager Tite has said he would never negotiate to replace Dunga as Brazil coach, criticising the media for suggesting he take over. 

The pressure on Dunga has intensified after last month's round of 2018 World Cup qualifying matches brought draws against Paraguay and Uruguay.

The Selecao are sixth in the CONMEBOL qualifying table, but 12 matches remain in which to avoid the threat of missing a World Cup for the first time in their history.

They are currently one place outside the...