UEFA has 14 spots for the 2018 World Cup. Here are the major European countries with their economic determinant (a number that estimates countries potential based on gdp per capita and population amount). See this video for more commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FNh8DIltP0 Germany: 32.4 million France: 26.5 million Italy: 21.3 million England: 20.1 million Russia: 15.2 million Spain: 14.5 million Netherlands: 8.4 million Turkey: 7.3 million Switzerland: 5.8 million Sweden: 4.9 million Belgium: 4.9 million Poland: 4.8 million Norway: 4.3 million Austria: 3.9 million Denmark: 3.2 million Greece: 3 million Finland: 2.5 million Portugal: 2.3 million Israel: 2.3 million Ireland: 2.2 million Czechia: 2.1 million Scotland: 2 million Romania: 1.7 million Kazakhstan: 1.5 million Ukraine: 1.4 million Hungary: 1.3 million Wales: 1.2 million Slovakia: 892,000 Northern Ireland: 689,000 Croatia: 597,000 Belarus: 552,000 Azerbaijan: 529,000 Luxembourg: 524,000 Bulgaria: 499,000 Slovenia: 480,000 Serbia: 395,000 Lithuania: 371,000 Cyprus: 336,000 Latvia: 237,000 Estonia: 195,000 Bosnia Herzegovina: 172,000 Iceland: 132,000 Georgia: 132,000 Albania: 117,000 Conclusion: Though competition is extremely heavy in Europe, the largest group of European countries still should have a relatively easy time qualifying even if playing somewhat below par. The next group of countries is in a much more difficult situation as the 3rd group is close to them in economic size, and the 4th group is full of over achievers. Difficulty for the 3rd and 4th groups are extremely high... slightly harder than in Asia even if skill differences between continents are ignored. The only country belolw these groups that may qualify is Montenegro of the former Yugoslavia. How far they have gone is nothing short of amazing.