Post Ranking: 8
World Cup History: 12th appearance, made semifinals in 1950
Top Player: F Raul
Lowdown: Spain has appeared in eight consecutive World Cup finals but has never placed higher than fourth. Hopes for a better finish in 2006 were tempered when the team failed to qualify by winning its European qualifying group and had to secure a spot in the finals by beating Slovakia in a two-game playoff.
Post Ranking: 18
World Cup History: First appearance
Top Player: F Andriy Shevchenko
Lowdown: Shevchenko has scored at least 23 goals in four of his six seasons with AC Milan. He is one of the few Ukranian players, however, who plays in a top league in Europe.
Post Ranking: 28
World Cup History: Fourth appearance
Top Player: MF Hamed Namouchi
Lowdown: Tunisia had a strong showing at the Confederations Cup in Germany last summer and was clearly one of Africa's best teams in qualifying. The team has won just one game in the finals, however, in its first appearance in 1978.
Post Ranking: 30
World Cup History: Fourth appearance, advanced to second round in 1994
Top Player: F Sami Al Jaber
Lowdown: Saudi Arabia is back, and these finals have to go better than 2002, don't they? In Japan, the Saudis went 0-3, allowing 12 goals and scoring none. The team went undefeated in 12 qualifiers for Germany.