Post Ranking: 3

Region: South America

World Cup History: 14th appearance, champion in 1978 and 1986.

Top Player: MF Juan Riquelme

Lowdown: A team with a cosmopolitan flavor -- it features players who play in leagues in Italy, England, Spain, Brazil and at home. But there are questions on defense.

Ivory Coast

Post Ranking: 24

Region: Africa

World Cup History: First appearance

Top Player: F Didier Drogba

Lowdown: Drogba scored nine goals in qualifying and was second on Chelsea with 16 goals last year. He forms a tough partnership up front with Aruna Dindane (RC Lens).

Serbia and Montenegro

Post Ranking: 14

Region: Europe

World Cup History: 10th appearance (previous nine as Yugoslavia), semifinals in 1930 and 1962

Top Player: F Mateja Kezman

Lowdown: Key players are Kezman and MF Dejan Stankovic, Inter Milan's second-leading scorer in the Champions League last year.


Post Ranking: 7

Region: Europe

World Cup History: Eighth appearance, runner-up in 1974 and 1978

Top Player: F Ruud van Nistelrooy

Lowdown: Coach Marco van Basten has a talented squad, but will need to find the right chemistry. The Dutch are sure to be motivated after not receiving a top seed.

Didier Drogba, a star with Chelsea, scored nine goals in qualifying for Ivory Coast.