|Dates||20 August 2008 – 18 November 2009|
|Teams||53 (from 1 confederation)|
|Goals scored||725 (2.71 per match)|
|Attendance||6,034,605 (22,517 per match)|
|UEFA European Qualifiers|
The European zone of qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup saw 53 teams competing for 13 places at the finals. The qualification process started on 20 August 2008, nearly two months after the end of UEFA Euro 2008, and ended on 18 November 2009. The qualification process saw the first competitive matches of Montenegro.
Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Asia to the east, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification competition was a series of tournaments organised by the six FIFA confederations. Each confederation — the AFC (Asia), CAF (Africa), CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, OFC (Oceania), and UEFA (Europe) — was allocated a certain number of the 32 places at the tournament. A total of 205 teams entered the qualification competition, with South Africa, as the host, qualifying for the World Cup automatically. The first qualification matches were played on 25 August 2007 and qualification concluded on 18 November 2009. Overall, 2341 goals were scored over 852 matches, scoring on average 2.74 per match.
The 2008 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as UEFA Euro 2008 or simply Euro 2008, was the 13th UEFA European Football Championship, a quadrennial football tournament contested by European nations. It took place in Austria and Switzerland from 7 to 29 June 2008.
Denmark, England, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, and Switzerland qualified in the first round by winning their groups. France, Greece, Portugal, and Slovenia qualified via the second round play-offs.
The Denmark national football team represents Denmark in international football competition, and is controlled by the Danish Football Association (DBU), the governing body for the football clubs which are organized under DBU. Denmark's home stadium is Parken Stadium in the Østerbro district of Copenhagen, and their head coach is Åge Hareide.
The England national football team represents England in senior men's international football and is controlled by The Football Association, the governing body for football in England. It competes in the three major international tournaments; the FIFA World Cup, the UEFA European Championship and the UEFA Nations League. England, as a country of the United Kingdom, is not a member of the International Olympic Committee and therefore the national team does not compete at the Olympic Games.
The Germany national football team is the men's football team that has represented Germany in international competition since 1908. It is governed by the German Football Association, founded in 1900. Ever since the DFB was reinaugurated in 1949 the team has represented the Federal Republic of Germany. Under Allied occupation and division, two other separate national teams were also recognised by FIFA: the Saarland team representing the Saarland (1950–1956) and the East German team representing the German Democratic Republic (1952–1990). Both have been absorbed along with their records by the current national team. The official name and code "Germany FR (FRG)" was shortened to "Germany (GER)" following the reunification in 1990.
Teams were drawn into eight groups of six teams and one group of five teams. The nine group winners qualified directly, while the best eight second-placed teams contested home and away play off matches for the remaining four places. In determining the best eight second placed teams, the results against teams finishing last in the six team groups were not counted for consistency between the five and six team groups.
After initially proposing to use a similar system to recent World Cup and European Championship qualification (based on results across the previous two European qualification cycles), the UEFA Executive Committee decided on 27 September 2007 at its meeting in Istanbul that seeding for the qualifiers would be based on FIFA World Rankings, in accordance with the FIFA World Cup regulations (which note that where teams are ranked on "performance" criteria, the FIFA World Rankings must be used).
The men's FIFA World Ranking is a ranking system for men's national teams in association football, currently led by Belgium. The teams of the men's member nations of FIFA, football's world governing body, are ranked based on their game results with the most successful teams being ranked highest. The rankings were introduced in December 1992, and eight teams have held the top position, of which Brazil have spent the longest ranked first.
The FIFA World Ranking used for seeding was the most recent at the time of the preliminary draw, namely the November 2007 edition. Initially scheduled for 21 November, the release date of the ranking was moved to 23 November to include the final match days of Euro 2008 qualification.
Qualifying for the UEFA Euro 2008 finals tournament took place between August 2006 and November 2007. Fifty teams were divided into seven groups. In a double round-robin system, each team played against each of the others in their group on a home-and-away basis. The winner and runner-up of each group qualified automatically for the final tournament.
The countries that eventually qualified for the final tournament are emboldened in the table below.
|Pot A||Pot B||Pot C||Pot D||Pot E||Pot F|
The draw for the group stage took place in Durban, South Africa on 25 November 2007.During the draw, teams were drawn from the six pots A to F (see above) into the nine groups below, starting with pot F, which filled position 6 in the groups, then continued with pot E filling position 5, pot D in position 4 and so on.
Durban is the third most populous city in South Africa—after Johannesburg and Cape Town—and the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. Located on the east coast of South Africa, Durban is famous for being the busiest port in the country. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism because of the city's warm subtropical climate and extensive beaches. Durban forms part of the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, which includes neighboring towns and has a population of about 3.44 million, making the combined municipality one of the biggest cities on the Indian Ocean coast of the African continent. It is also the second most important manufacturing hub in South Africa after Johannesburg. In 2015, Durban was recognised as one of the New7Wonders Cities. The city was heavily hit by flooding over 4 days from 18 April 2019, leading to 70 deaths and R650 000 000 in damage.
Table - top row: group winners, second row: group runners-up, third row: others. The winner of each group qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup together with winners of play-off. The play-offs took place between the eight best runners-up among all nine groups. The ninth group runner-up did not qualify.
|Group 1||Group 2||Group 3||Group 4||Group 5||Group 6||Group 7||Group 8||Group 9|
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Republic of Ireland
Because one group had one team fewer than the others, matches against the sixth placed team in each group were not included in this ranking. As a result, eight matches played by each team counted for the purposes of the second placed table.
The UEFA second round (often referred to as the play off stage) was contested by the best eight runners up from the nine first round groups. The winners of each of four home and away ties joined the group winners in the World Cup finals in South Africa. Norway, with 10 points, was ranked 9th so failed to qualify for the second round.
The eight teams were seeded according to the FIFA World Rankings released on 16 October (shown in parentheses in the table below). The draw for the ties was held in Zürich on 19 October, with the top four teams seeded into one pot and the bottom four teams seeded into a second. A separate draw decided the host of the first leg.
|Pot 1||Pot 2|
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
| Republic of Ireland ||1–2||0–1||1–1 (aet)|
| Portugal ||2–0||1–0||1–0|
| Greece ||1–0||0–0||1–0|
| Russia ||2–2 (a)||2–1||0–1|
The following 13 teams from UEFA qualified for the final tournament.
|Team||Qualified as||Qualified on||Previous appearances in FIFA World Cup 1|
|Group 1 winners||10 October 2009||3 (1986, 1998, 2002)|
|Group 2 winners||14 October 2009||8 (1934, 1938, 1950, 1954 , 1962, 1966, 1994, 2006)|
|Group 3 winners||14 October 2009||0 (debut)|
|Group 4 winners||10 October 2009||16 (1934, 1938, 1954 2 , 1958 2 , 1962 2 , 1966 2 , 1970 2 , 1974 2 , 1978 2 , 1982 2 , 1986 2 , 1990 2 , 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006 )|
|Group 5 winners||9 September 2009||12 (1934, 1950, 1962, 1966, 1978, 1982 , 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006)|
|Group 6 winners||9 September 2009||12 (1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966 , 1970, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1998, 2002, 2006)|
|Group 7 winners||10 October 2009||10 (1930 3 , 1950 3 , 1954 3 , 1958 3 , 1962 3 , 1974 3 , 1982 3 , 1990 3 , 1998 3 , 2006 3 )|
|Group 8 winners||10 October 2009||16 ( 1934 , 1938 , 1950, 1954, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1982 , 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006 )|
|Group 9 winners||6 June 2009||8 (1934, 1938, 1974, 1978, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2006)|
|Second round (play-off) winners||18 November 2009||1 (1994)|
|Second round (play-off) winners||18 November 2009||1 (2002)|
|Second round (play-off) winners||18 November 2009||4 (1966, 1986, 2002, 2006)|
|Second round (play-off) winners||18 November 2009||12 (1930, 1934, 1938 , 1954, 1958, 1966, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1998 , 2002, 2006)|
There were 725 goals scored over 268 games by 399 different players, for an average of 2.71 goals per game. England were the highest scorers in the European section with 34 goals. Malta did not score any goals, but did score two own goals. The top scorer was Theofanis Gekas of Greece, who scored ten goals.
Note: Goals scored in the play-offs are included.
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