Qualification history
Though yet to make a FIFA World Cup™ appearance, Moldova have gradually improved since joining FIFA in 1994. Beaten in all eight of their France 1998 qualifying matches, the eastern Europeans picked up three wins in the Brazil 2014 preliminaries, including an eye-catching 5-2 defeat of Montenegro along with a pair of draws.

The team
Moldova will head into the Russia 2018 campaign with the backbone of the side that vied for a place at Brazil 2014 still intact, with forward Eugeniu Sidorenko, who top-scored last time out with four goals in seven matches, once again teaming up with skipper and centre-half Alexandru Epureanu and creative midfielder Alexandru Dedov.

The coach
After doing a fine job with Moldova’s U-21 side, Alexanderu Curtianu assumed control of the senior national team in September 2014. One of the finest players the country has ever produced, the former Zenit St. Petersburg and Hamburg midfielder has the job of making Moldova’s dream of reaching their first world finals a reality.

The stat
11 -
The number of points Moldova amassed in the Brazil 2014 preliminaries, their best World Cup qualifying tally yet.

The former stars
Radu Rebeja, Serghei Clescenco, Serghei Rogaciov, Alexanderu Curtianu