World Cup 2018: All the Quarterfinalists, Ranked

Eight teams are left in the World Cup and half of them will wave goodbye to the tournament between tomorrow and Saturday, as the quarterfinals get underway.

Brazil, France and Belgium are the only three teams that made it that far four years ago, but only two of them will go through, as the five-time World Cup champions and the Red Devils will face off in Kazan, Russia, on Friday.

The Selecao are 11-4 to add a sixth crown to their belt, followed by England and France both at 7-4.

Here, Newsweek has ranked each of the quarterfinalists and their prospects.

Neymar celebrates after scoring the opening goal for Brazil against Mexico at the Samara Arena in Samara, Russia, on July 2. Eight teams are left in the World Cup and half of them will wave goodbye to the tournament between tomorrow and Saturday, as the quarterfinals get underway. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images


Despite a minor hiccup in their opening game against Switzerland, the oddsmakers' favorite has strolled to the quarterfinals, albeit not in their usual fashion. Brazil's attacking weapons have only shown glimpses of their talents, with Neymar attracting more attention for his diving antics than for his two goals.

However, coach Tite's men have also displayed the kind of defensive solidity rarely associated with Brazil, and goalie Alisson has gone 310 minutes without conceding since he was beaten by Steven Zuber in the opening fixture.

Belgium will be their hardest test yet, but the Verde-Amarela have all it takes to reach a second consecutive semifinal.


Les Bleus were far from impressive in the group stages, but they exploded into life on Saturday, putting four past Argentina as Kylian Mbappe tore through the South Americans' defense at will.

With the teenager in this form and Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba also full of confidence, France's ceiling is enormously high. At the same time, the 1998 World Cup winners' defending was worryingly lackadaisical at the time against Argentina and could have been punished by a more ruthless side.

With Mbappe unlikely to be given as much freedom as in the round of 16, it will be interesting to see how Didier Deschamps's team deals with Uruguay, arguably the best defense in the tournament, on Friday.


Having conceded a late equalizer against Colombia, the roof appeared to cave in on England's chances of reaching the quarterfinals for the first time since 2006. However, Gareth Southgate's men exorcised the demons from the penalty spot, becoming the first English team to win a shootout at the World Cup.

Expectations are at an all-time in England, and while they're a favorite to beat Sweden on Saturday, they have not scored from open play since the Three Lions put six past Panama on June 24.

England’s forward Harry Kane celebrates after scoring the opening goal against Colombia at Spartak Stadium, in Moscow, on July 3. England had not scored from open play in its last two games. Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images


One of only two sides to win all three group games, Croatia looked weighed down by expectations against Denmark in the round of 16 and needed penalties to progress. Croatia will again be favorite when they face Russia on Saturday, but they must avoid the same mistakes that cost Spain in the round of 16.

La Roja dominated possession but ultimately couldn't break the hosts down. Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric will have a crucial role to play to ensure they can succeed where Spain failed, and reach the semifinals for only the second time since 1998.


Arguably the best defense in the tournament, Uruguay's back four kept Cristiano Ronaldo quiet in the round of 16 after keeping three clean sheets in the group stage. Diego Godin and his teammates now face an even sterner test, as Antoine Griezmann and the electric Kylian Mbappe standing between them and a first semifinal since 2010.

At the other end of the pitch, Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani can—and often have—win games on their own but the latter, who scored both goals against Portugal, might not be fit to start against France.


The first 60 minutes of the game against Japan were an all too familiar scene for Belgium fans, as an incredibly talented side looked to be crumbling away. However, the Red Devils staged a remarkable comeback, culminating in Nacer Chadli's last- minute winner.

While the turnaround spoke volumes for Belgium's offensive threat, they can't afford to give Brazil a two-goal advantage on Friday. In Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens and Romelu Lukaku, Belgium has plenty of attacking options and will test Brazil's defense more than any other team has done so far in the tournament.

However, as is often the case with teams managed by Roberto Martinez, their defensive shape leaves a lot to be desired. If they can tighten up, a first semifinal appearance since 1986 should be within reach.

Nacer Chadli of Belgium celebrates with teammates after scoring the winner against Japan at Rostov Arena, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, on July 2. Belgium takes on Brazil in the quarterfinals. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images


If Zlatan Ibrahimovic's omission was the main story around Sweden before the beginning of the tournament, Janne Anderson's team has certainly supplied plenty of talking points now.

Despite lacking any recognized stars, Sweden's organization and tactical discipline have made them a very difficult side to beat. However, their lack of cutting-edge up-front could cost them dear in their quest to reach their first semifinal since 1994.


Widely billed as one of the world's worst teams before the tournament even began, the hosts have surpassed even their wildest expectations. Like Sweden, Russia lack attacking threats of any note but Stanislav Cherchesov has done an admirable job of building a solid defensive unit.

However, fitness could now be an issue for Russia, who looked to be running on empty during extra time against Spain. That said, with a raucous crowd behind them and a semifinal spot at stake, who would bet them against them producing another upset?