The Preliminary Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ is approaching fast, with final preparations being made for what is one of the biggest events on the 2015 football calendar and which takes place in St Petersburg on Saturday 25 July.
Some 141 national teams from all the confederations bar the AFC, which has already made its draw, are about to discover the route they will have to take in order to qualify for Russia 2018.
Staged at St Petersburg’s Konstantin Palace, the draw ceremony will get under way at 18:00 local time, with a number of leading figures from the football world taking to the stage as Draw Assistants, among them former Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o.
The 34-year-old, who recently announced his retirement from international football, having scored 56 goals in 117 appearances for Cameroon, said he is delighted to be taking part in such a major event and is already looking forward to a great World Cup in three years’ time: “I hope it will be the best, because Russia has everything it needs to stage the greatest World Cup ever.”
A veteran of four world-finals campaigns with the Indomitable Lions between 2002 and 2014 without ever managing to grace the knockout phase, Eto’o also spoke of his most treasured World Cup memory.
“It has to be the world finals in South Africa because they were the first in Africa,” he said. “The only pity is that I wasn’t able to live out my dream of taking my country as far as possible. I was very happy all the same because Africa showed that we can do big things.”
Along with fellow stars Ronaldo of Brazil, Uruguay’s Diego Forlan and other football icons, the Cameroonian legend will be a privileged witness as the Preliminary Draw unfolds. Revealing the fate of the qualifying hopefuls, among them Cameroon, the draw will map out the path they will have to take to make it to the next World Cup.
All will be revealed this coming Saturday, with FIFA.com providing some very special coverage to ensure that you do not miss a thing at this great event.