If Iceland wins tonight against Croatia, would they be the lowest ranked team to ever qualify from Europe? Also who is the lowest ranking to ever qualify for a world cup from any continent?
As of Oct 2013, Iceland is ranked 46th. Croatia is 18th.
Since, Iceland lost -- and with two games still remaining -- the lowest could either be Jordan (70th) or New Zealand (79th). However, New Zealand would have to beat Mexico (24th) and Jordan would have to beat Uruguay (6th).
So if Jordan and New Zealand lose their qualifiers, then the lowest ranking European team qualifying in the 2014 world cup will be France (21st) and -- from any continent (bonus) -- Cameroon (59th).
As for lowest ranking of all time from any continent, El Salvador (80th as of Mar. 2013, 89th as of Nov. 2013) seems to be the answer.