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2002 FIFA World Cup Draw Preview: Europe, Part II


The fourth of five 2002 FIFA World Cup Final Draw previews from U.S. Soccer follows. Today's preview features eight of 15 European qualifiers. Tomorrow the five South American qualifiers will be featured.

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Follow the Final Draw for the 2002 World Cup live on ussoccer.com with the 2002 World Cup DrawTracker, presented by U.S. Soccer and Philips Electronics.  The DrawTracker will feature real-time updates and detailed information on all 32 participants.  The Final Draw program is scheduled to being early Saturday morning (Dec. 1) at 5 a.m. ET / 2 a.m. PT from the Busan Exhibition & Convention Center in the Korean city of Busan, however the actual selection of teams is likely to begin at approximately 5:50 a.m. ET / 2:50 a.m. PT. Launch the 2002 World Cup DrawTracker.

EUROPE

ITALY Profile:
Current FIFA World Ranking: 6th
2002 World Cup qualifying: Won UEFA “Group 8” (6-0-2; 16 GF, 3 GA)
2001 Overall Record: 6-1-2.
World Cup final appearances: 15 – 1934 (1st), 1938 (1st), 1950 (7th), 1954 (10th), 1962 (9th), 1966 (9th), 1970 (2nd), 1974 (10th), 1978 (4th), 1982 (1st), 1986 (12th), 1990 (3rd), 1994 (2nd), 1998 (5th), 2002.
Overall Record in WC: 38-12-16.
Record vs. USA: 2-0-2; 9 GF, 2 GA.
Most Recent Match vs. USA: USA 1, Italy 1 in Chicago; June 17, 1992 (Harkes; R. Baggio)
Manager: Giovanni Trappatoni (ITA)
Championship Honors: 1968 European Cup champions; 1934, 1938 & 1982 World Cup champions
Key Players: Paolo Maldini (D, AC Milan), Francesco Totti (M, AS Roma), Francesco Toldo (GK, Inter Milan), Alessandro Nesta (D, Lazio)

Fast Facts: Three-time winners of the World Cup, equal with Germany and one behind Brazil … Have qualified for 11 consecutive World Cups and their 15 overall appearances is also even with Germany (and just two behind Brazil’s 17) … The Italians surrendered just one goal in their
final seven qualifying matches (after opening with a 2-2 draw in Hungary) … Were led offensively by Filippo Inzaghi’s seven goals and Alessandro Del Piero’s five tallies … Were finalists at World Cup USA ’94, losing on penalties to Brazil. 

POLAND Profile:
Current FIFA World Ranking:
33rd
2002 World Cup qualifying: Won UEFA "Group 5" (6-1-3; 21 GF, 11 GA)
2001 Overall Record: 5-1-4.
World Cup final appearances: 5 – 1938 (11th), 1974 (3rd), 1982 (3rd), 1986 (14th), 2002
Overall Record in WC: 13-7-5
Record vs. USA: 6-4-1; 30 GF, 13 GA
Most Recent Match vs. USA: USA 3, Poland 2 in Warsaw; October 10, 1990 (Vermes-2, Murray; Kosecki, Ziober)
Manager: Jerzy Engel (POL)
Key Players: Emanuel Olisadebe (F, Panathinaikos), Jerzy Dudek (GK, Liverpool)

Fast Facts: Making their first appearance in a World Cup since 1986 … Poland has twice collected the bronze medal in the Finals (in 1974 and 1982) … An unbeaten run of eight games in qualifying helped Poland to become the first European team (other than defending champions
France) to make it to the 2002 World Cup … Led in qualifying by Emmanuel Olisadebe (a naturalized citizen from Nigeria), who scored eight of their 19 goals in qualifying, tied for third best in UEFA.

PORTUGAL Profile:
Current FIFA World Ranking: 4th
2002 World Cup qualifying: Won UEFA “Group 2” (7-0-3; 33 GF, 7 GA)
2001 Overall Record: 6-1-2
World Cup final appearances: 3 – 1966 (3rd), 1986 (17th), 2002
Overall Record in WC: 6-3-0
Record vs. USA: 2-1-1; 3 GF, 2 GA
Most Recent Match vs. USA: USA 1, Portugal 0 in Chicago; June 3, 1992 (Wegerle)
Manager: Antonio Oliveira (POR)
Key Players: Luis Figo (M, Real Madrid), Rui Costa (M, AC Milan)

Fast Facts: Making their third appearance in a World Cup and first since 1986, a surprising span of 16 years … Impressively went undefeated and scored 33 goals (the most in Europe) in qualifying from a difficult group that included Ireland and Holland … The trio of Pedro Pauleta (8),
Nuno Gomes (7), and Luis Figo (6) accounted for nearly two-thirds of Portugal’s goal output … Twice finished as European Cup semifinalists (1984 & 2000).

RUSSIA Profile:
Current FIFA World Ranking: 22nd
2002 World Cup qualifying: Won UEFA “Group 1” (7-1-2; 18 GF, 5 GA)
2001 Overall Record: 4-1-4
World Cup final appearances: 9 – 1958 (7th), 1962 (6th), 1966 (4th), 1970 (5th), 1982 (7th), 1986 (10th), 1990 (17th), 1994 (18th), 2002.
Overall Record in WC: 16-12-6
Record vs. USA: 2-0-2; 4 GF, 1 GA
Most Recent Match vs. USA: Russia 2, USA 0 in Moscow; April 19, 2000 (Titov, Karpin)
Manager: Oleg Romantsev (RUS)
Championship Honors: 1960 European Cup champion; 1956 & 1988 Olympic champions (all as Soviet Union)
Key Players: Valeri Karpin (M, Celta Vigo), Alexandre Mostovoi (M, Celta Vigo)

Fast Facts: Were led in qualifying by striker Vladimir Beschastnykh’s eight goals (almost half of Russia’s 18 qualifying goals) … Beschastnykh had a first-half hat-trick in a 4-0 Cup-clinching win over the Swiss, and also scored crucial goals in 1-0 away wins at Yugoslavia and Switzerland
… In addition to Yugoslavia and Switzerland, their tough qualifying group also featured playoff qualifier Slovenia … Competed under the new flag for the first time in 1994 at World Cup USA, where Oleg Salenko set a World Cup record for most goals in one game when he scored five
times in Russia’s 6-1 thrashing of Cameroon in their final group match … The former Soviet Union qualified for four straight World Cups from 1958-1970, and three more from 1982-1990 (before advancing in 1994 as Russia).

SLOVENIA Profile:
Current FIFA World Ranking: 27th
2002 World Cup qualifying: Finished second in UEFA “Group 1” (5-0-5; 17 GF, 9 GA); defeated Romania in home-and-home playoff 3-2 on aggregate score.
2001 Overall Record: 5-2-5
World Cup final appearances: 1 – 2002
Overall Record in WC: First appearance
Record vs. USA: Never met
Manager: Sreckok Katanec (SVN)
Key Players: Zlatko Zahovic (M, Benfica), Milenko Acimovic (M, Crevena Zvedza)

Fast Facts:  Slovenia went undefeated and survived a group with Russia, Switzerland and Yugoslavia, and a playoff with Romania, to qualify for their first World Cup … Opened with just one win and four draws in their first five matches before finishing with four wins and one draw … In their first attempt to qualify for the World Cup in 1998, they failed to win a game and earned just one draw in eight games … Team is led by forward and leading scorer Zlatko Zahovic.

SPAIN Profile:
Current FIFA World Ranking:
6th
2002 World Cup qualifying: Won UEFA “Group 7” (6-0-2; 21 GF, 4 GA)
2001 Overall Record: 7-1-1.
World Cup final appearances: 11 – 1934 (5th), 1950 (4th), 1962 (13th), 1966 (10th), 1978 (10th), 1982 (12th), 1986 (7th), 1990 (10th), 1994 (8th), 1998 (17th), 2002.
Overall Record in WC: 16-14-10
Record vs. USA: 2-0-0; 5 GF, 1 GA
Most Recent Match vs. USA: Spain 2, USA 0 in Valladolid, Spain; March 11, 1992 (Beguristain, Hierro)
Manager: Jose Antonio Camacho (ESP)
Championship Honors: 1964 European Cup champions; 1992 Olympic champions
Key Players: Raul (F, Real Madrid), Canizares (GK, Valencia), Mendieta (M, Lazio)

Fast Facts: Have qualified for 11 World Cups, but their best finish is just fourth place in 1950 … Have qualified for seven straight World Cups, but in that span have advanced to the quarterfinals just twice … Swept through qualifying with an undefeated record and a plus-17 goal differential.

SWEDEN Profile:
Current FIFA World Ranking: 16th
2002 World Cup qualifying: Won UEFA “Group 4” (8-0-2; 20 GF, 3 GA)
2001 Overall Record: 13-1-3
World Cup final appearances: 10 – 1934 (8th), 1938 (4th), 1950 (3rd), 1958 (2nd), 1970 (9th), 1974 (5th), 1978 (13th), 1990 (21st), 1994 (3rd), 2002.
Overall Record in WC: 14-15-9.
Record vs. USA: 2-2-0; 6 GF, 5 GA.
Most Recent Match vs. USA: USA 1, Sweden 0 in Orlando, Fla.; January 24, 1998 (Moore).
Manager: Tommy Soderberg, Lars Lagerback (SWE).
Key Players:  Henrik Larsson (F, Celtic), Magnus Hedman (GK, Coventry City).

Fast Facts: Were led in 2002 qualifying by Henrik Larsson’s eight goals, which tied for third best in Europe … Were undefeated in 10 qualifying matches with a plus-17 goal differential … Missed out on the 1998 World Cup after a sparking third-place finish at USA ’94 … In addition to their USA ’94 performance, Sweden boasts a second-place finish in the 1958 finals (losing 5-2 at home to Brazil in the finals).

TURKEY Profile:
Current FIFA World Ranking: 23th
2002 World Cup qualifying: Finished second in UEFA “Group 4” (6-1-3; 18 GF, 8 GA); defeated Austria in home-and-home playoff 5-0 on aggregate score.
2001 Overall Record: 6-2-4
World Cup final appearances: 2 – 1954 (9th), 2002
Overall Record in WC: 1-2-0
Record vs. USA: 0-0-1; 1 GF, 1 GA
Most Recent Match vs. USA: USA 1, Turkey 1 in Istanbul; September 4, 1991 (Klopas; Erdal)
Manager: Senol Gunes (TUR)
Key Players: Hakan Sukur (F, Inter Milan), Hakan Sas (M, Galatasaray)

Fast Facts: Qualified for their first World Cup in 48 years, the third-longest span ever for a country between two World Cups (behind Egypt and Norway at 56 years) ... Crushed Austria 5-0 on aggregate in their playoff series after finishing second in UEFA Group 4 … Were led in
qualifying by forward Hakan Sukur with a team-best six goals … As they were in qualifying, the team is expected to be packed with stars rooted from Galatasaray, the 2000 UEFA Cup champions.

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