Qualification history
Venezuela are the only South American side never to have reached the FIFA World Cup™ finals. With the exception of Germany 1974, La Vinotinto have contested every qualifying competition since England 1966, with their first win coming in the preliminaries for Spain 1982. Only one more victory would follow in the years leading up to the Korea/Japan 2002 qualifiers, since when Venezuelan fortunes have taken an upturn, with the sixth place they achieved in attempting to make Brazil 2014 being their best finish yet.

The team
Led by the talismanic Juan Arango, Venezuela boast experience in the likes of Fernando Amorebieta, Oswaldo Vizcarrondo and Tomas Rincon, and exciting young talents such as Salomon Rondon, Yohandry Orozco and Josef Martinez. The objective could not be clearer: to reach the world finals for the very first time.

The coach
Noel Sanvicente’s brief in being given the Venezuela job is to build on their recent improvement and take the side to the next level. A successful coach in the domestic game with Caracas FC and Zamora, winning league titles with both, Chita is a meticulous strategist who likes his teams to be offensive and tactically disciplined.

The stat
23 - The number of wins La Vinotinto have recorded in 122 World Cup qualifying matches prior to the Russia 2018 campaign.

The former stars
Luis Mendoza, Pedro Acosta, Freddy Ellie, David Mota, Richard Paez, Stalin Rivas, Rafael Dudamel, Jose Manuel Rey