United stars make the World Cup finals
We now know which Manchester United stars have a chance of representing their countries at the 2018 World Cup finals.
Although not every Red made it on the road to glory, Victor Lindelof was the final United man to clinch a spot in Russia as Sweden overcame Italy, 1-0 on aggregate, on Monday night. Of course, Zlatan Ibrahimovic retired from international duty but could also be available for the Swedes if he was to reverse that decision next year.
Here, ManUtd.com analyses which Reds have made it through to the biggest show on Earth next summer, ahead of the draw on Friday 1 December.
So, who’s going to Russia 2018?
Gareth Southgate’s England topped Group F with Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford regularly involved. Ashley Young was named in the latest squad, while Michael Carrick and Luke Shaw could also come under consideration for a place.
Reds striker Romelu Lukaku and midfielder Marouane Fellaini clinched a World Cup finals spot with a dominant Belgium side winning nine of their 10 qualifying matches in Group H. Lukaku continues to score goals on a consistent basis for the Rode Duivels while Fellaini has also been a major influence.
France, with Paul Pogba a key figure and Anthony Martial recalled for this month’s friendlies, topped Group A to pip Sweden for an automatic place. Elsewhere in the group, the Netherlands failed to qualify.
2010 World Cup winners Spain managed to comfortable progress from Group G, despite the presence of Italy in their pool. David De Gea has nailed down the no.1 position and has maintained his outstanding club form, while Ander Herrera and Juan Mata have been in and around the squad under coach Julen Lopetegui.
Summer recruit Nemanja Matic heads to Russia after Serbia won Group D, finishing ahead of Republic of Ireland and Wales in a tight battle. The experienced midfielder was clearly emotional after securing a place in Russia.
In the South American group, an incredible hat-trick by four-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi rescued Argentina from an early exit during a vital win over Ecuador, who have been eliminated. The result means Sergio Romero and Marcos Rojo can hope to reach a second successive World Cup final with their country.
Unfortunately, other Reds, such as Eric Bailly (Ivory Coast), Matteo Darmian (Italy), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Armenia), Antonio Valencia (Ecuador), Daley Blind and Tim Fosu-Mensah (the Netherlands) will not be at the finals, but there will be plenty of United interest come June.
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