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Venezuela have never been a footballing powerhouse and have never contested a FIFA World Cup.
They look set to miss out this year as Uruguay will probably pip them to fifth spot in the CONMEBOL rankings, but the 15 points accrued can be seen as serious progress.
They're revamping the national setup and placing more of an emphasis on football as a national sport, and floods of youths are getting capped and trialed to find the right formula.
They're avoiding the mistakes many underperforming nations do in playing the old guard for too long, and expect Manuel Arteaga, Darwin Machis and Josef Martinez to lead the charge in 2018.