Post Ranking: 6

Region: Europe

World Cup History: 11th appearance, 1998 champion

Top Player: MF Zinedine Zidane

Lowdown: France's hopes of qualifying were in grave danger until Zidane -- no joke -- said he heard voices telling him to come out of national team retirement. Other veterans followed, and Les Bleus roared to life. But will this team resemble the 1998 champion or the 2002 squad that was bounced in the first round?


Post Ranking: 17

Region: Europe

World Cup History: Eighth appearance, made quarterfinals in 1934, 1938 and 1954

Top Player: MH Raphael Wicky

Lowdown: The Swiss played their last game in the World Cup finals in 1994 at RFK Stadium (a 3-0 round-of-16 loss to Spain). Switzerland scraped through qualification this time, defeating Turkey for one of Europe's final spots.

South Korea

Post Ranking: 21

Region: Asia

World Cup History: Seventh appearance, made 2002 semifinals

Top Player: MF Ji Sung Park

Lowdown: Park (Manchester United) and defender Young Pyo Lee (Tottenham Hotspur) play in England. Coach Dick Advocaat was on the staff of Guus Hiddink in 2002.


Post Ranking: 29

Region: Africa

World Cup History: First appearance

Top Player: F Emmanuel Adebayor

Lowdown: Adebayor, 21, plays for Monaco in France and was the leading goal scorer among the African nations in qualifying, with 11 of the team's 22 goals. The bad news? Togo's next-highest scorer had only three.