Can India ever win a World Cup?

100 things you should know about the 2018 World Cup

FIFA World Cup 2018

The countdown to the soccer World Cup in Russia is on: one week until the World Cup opens. We have collected 100 facts you should know about the world's biggest sporting event.

Russia promises the world a radiant football festival - also in the Luzhniki Olympic Stadium

With these 100 facts about the soccer World Cup, you'll stand out from any prominent World Cup expert:

  1. It is the first World Cup to be held on two different continents: Asia and Europe.
  2. The central stadium in Yekaterinburg has seats that are located outside the stadium. They were built so that the stadium can comply with FIFA regulations (at least 35,000 seats).
  3. Host Russia has never made it past the group stage at a World Cup. However, the Soviet Union reached 4th place in 1966.
  4. 66,000 Iceland fans have applied for World Cup tickets. That's 20 percent of the population. Sounds like even more "Huh!" in Russia…
  5. The 2018 World Cup is already the 21st staging of the tournament, but the first in Russia.
  6. The top favorite among betting providers is Germany, followed by Brazil, France, Spain, Argentina, Belgium and England.
  7. The 2018 World Cup will be the last or penultimate World Cup with 32 nations. From 2022 or 2026, 48 teams will take part. That will be decided shortly before the opening game.
  8. The distance between the easternmost and westernmost venues in Russia is roughly the same as the distance between Moscow and London (2,415 kilometers).
  9. The opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia will take place on June 14 at the Luzhniki Olympic Stadium in Moscow.
  10. The video referee is used for the first time at a world championship.
  11. Iceland and Panama are taking part in the finals of a soccer World Cup for the first time.
  12. In the St. Petersburg stadium, a heating system ensures that millions of cubic meters of hot air are pumped into the interior of the arena. The temperatures should be a constant 21 degrees.
  13. The round of 16 begins on June 30th, the quarter-finals on July 6th and the semi-finals on July 10th - make sure to note this in your diary!
  14. The official tournament poster for the 2018 World Cup shows the Russian goalkeeper legend Lev Yashin. He's still the only goalkeeper to ever win the Ballon d'Or.
  15. According to a media report, the German Federal Criminal Police Office points out the dangers posed by Islamist terrorists and hooligans in an internal paper. Attacks by Russian hooligans on English fans at the Euro 2016 in France had caused horror. At that time, 35 people were injured in Marseille.
  16. For the first time since 1958, Italy is absent from the World Cup.

    The countdown to the World Cup is on: What do you know about the 2018 World Cup?

  17. At the 2018 World Cup, a fourth substitution will be allowed in extra time.
  18. It could be the last World Cup for some well-known stars, including Luis Suarez (31), Andres Iniesta (33), Luka Modric (32), Thiago Silva (33), Rafael Marquez (39), Vincent Kompany (31), Jakub Blaszczykowski (32), Keisuke Honda (31) and Falcao (32).
  19. The Sochi Olympic Stadium, the "Fischt Stadium", was the location of the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in 2014 and is now one of twelve World Cup stadiums.
  20. The President of Panama has declared October 11 a national holiday after the country qualified for the World Cup that day.
  21. A total of around one million football fans from all over the world are expected at the 2018 World Cup. For foreign fans, the Russian state has eased the normally strict VISA system.
  22. Poor Netherlands: No team has played more World Cup games without ever winning the title. And in Russia the Oranje team is completely absent.
  23. Ticket prices for the 2018 World Cup are between 85 euros and 892 euros. Russian citizens have the opportunity to purchase tickets for less (from 19 euros). This means that the tickets are significantly more expensive than they were at the 2014 World Cup. At that time, ticket prices were between 69 euros and around 730 euros.
  24. In the first sales phase, 742,760 tickets were already allocated to fans. There were significantly more inquiries.
  25. For the first time since 1990 Egypt is there - thanks to a goal by Mo Salah in stoppage time in the last qualifying game.
  26. Egypt is based in Chechnya and has been criticized by human rights activists for the repression there.
  27. The German football fans are apparently hot for the "Operation title defense": After the Russian fans, they make the most ticket inquiries (338,414). The German games have long been sold out.
  28. The 2018 World Cup will cost around 10 billion euros. This makes it the most expensive tournament in World Cup history.
  29. South Korea has qualified for the tenth time for the World Cup. More often than any other Asian nation.
  30. The World Cup tournament comprises a total of 64 games.
  31. The 2018 World Cup will be played in twelve stadiums in eleven different cities. Nine of them were built especially for the tournament.
  32. The most expensive arena is by far the Krestowski Stadium in Saint Petersburg: the construction cost more than 800 million euros. Headlines about corruption and slave labor accompanied the project.
  33. No team has qualified for a World Cup more often without ever winning than Germany's first opponent Mexico: 16 times. Being there is everything.
  34. On the other hand, Zimbabwe was not even involved in qualifying. The team was not allowed to participate due to outstanding payments to the coach.
  35. Indonesia was also not allowed to qualify for the World Cup. The reason here was government interference in football.
  36. Winning the World Cup final brings the winner the equivalent of 30.6 million euros in prize money. The loser of the final "at least" still gets 22.5 million euros as a consolation prize. Getting through the group stage brings in € 8.5 million. Overall, the prize money has increased by twelve percent compared to the 2014 World Cup.
  37. As the "Guardian" reports, the former chief doctor of FIFA, Jiri Dvorak, had to quit his job in November 2016 because he was investigating the alleged doping of Russian football players.
  38. For the first time since 1986, the US national team has not qualified for the World Cup. The non-participation is particularly bad for the TV broadcaster Fox Sports, which has reportedly spent around 322 million euros on broadcasting rights.
  39. According to media reports, the German TV channels ARD and ZDF are said to have paid 200 million euros for the broadcasting rights.
  40. Some American fans take the missed participation with humor. They sold scarves that read "Undefeated: You can't lose if you don't play"
  41. In addition to Italy, the USA and the Netherlands, other football-loving nations are also missing, including Chile, Turkey, Cameroon, Ghana, Algeria, Ecuador, Venezuela and Ireland.
  42. 3.2 billion people watched the last World Cup. That is almost half of the world's population. The question remains: what about the other half?
  43. Russia is the largest country in the world and has eleven time zones. The World Cup venues are "only" in four time zones.
  44. Out of this world: Iran's coach Carlos Queiroz has campaigned for Argentina's Lionel Messi to remain excluded from the tournament until he can prove that he is actually human. With a twinkle in the eye, of course ...
  45. The famous Portuguese football coach José Mourinho will be an expert at the state-funded Russian television broadcaster RT during the World Cup.
  46. Never before have the lowest-placed nations competed against each other in the opening game of the FIFA World Cup (Russia is 65th, Saudi Arabia 63rd).
  47. The official World Cup ball is reminiscent of the Telstar ball from the 1970 and 1974 World Cups. In 2018, however, it will contain a chip that will allow viewers to receive game data.
  48. Iceland's goalkeeper Thor Halldorsson is one of the most famous filmmakers in the country. In 2012 he produced the video for Iceland's Eurovision Song Contest participation. An all-rounder.
  49. Team doctors will also have access to the video referee's cameras in order to be able to provide more precise findings.
  50. The Golden Ball - the award for the best player in the tournament - has almost always been given to strikers. There were only two exceptions: The Uruguayan defender Jose Nasazzi in 1930 and the German goalkeeper titan Oliver Kahn at the 2002 World Cup. Will there be another exception in 2018?
  51. The Luschniki Olympic Stadium is almost as big as the Dortmund stadium. Many football fans remember it as the stadium where Manchester United beat Chelsea in the 2008 Champions League final. The final of the World Cup will be held here.
  52. Germany could become the first successful defending champion since Brazil in 1962.
  53. Should Germany win the tournament, each player will receive around 350,000 euros from the association.
  54. Should Neymar win the World Cup with Brazil, he will receive a 40,000 euro bonus from his supplier.
  55. From a political point of view, a World Cup has seldom been put to the test so much: the uncovered state doping, which also involved football, influencing elections in other countries, human rights violations, encroaching on freedom of expression and freedom of the press as well as nuclear armament brought hosts Russia hit the headlines.

    Champions yesterday, out tomorrow: the last two World Cup winners were eliminated early.

  56. The last two defending champions were eliminated in the group stage. So Germany has been warned.
  57. At the 2018 World Cup, the referees are authorized to interrupt or even abandon a game should racism or other forms of discrimination arise.
  58. The 2018 World Cup is expected to have over 17,000 volunteers (2000 more than in Brazil). They were selected from over 176,000 applications. Also there are the captain of an oil tanker, a grandmother who accompanies her grandson and a man from New Zealand who comes from 16,000 kilometers away to be able to be there.
  59. A deaf cat named Achilles is supposed to predict the results of the World Cup games. At the Confederations Cup last year, with the exception of one game, she correctly predicted all encounters. The reincarnation of Paul the octopus?
  60. The Russian Ministry of Agriculture is warning of an extreme plague of locusts in some regions during the 2018 World Cup.
  61. From lions to Spanish oranges to jalapeños with mustaches, there have been several mascots in the history of the World Cup. In Russia it will be a wolf. He bears the name Zabivaka, which translates as "little goalscorer".
  62. National coach Joachim Löw has extended his contract until 2022 before the World Cup.
  63. If you go by the market value of the players, France (1.08 billion euros) has the most expensive squad of all teams, followed by Spain (1.04 billion) and Brazil (952 million). Germany is fourth with 885 million euros. World Cup newcomer Panama has the cheapest squad with 8.28 million euros (source:, as of June 7, 2018).
  64. According to Google data, interest in Kim Kardashian on the Internet is currently just as great as in the 2018 World Cup. That should change in the summer, sorry, Ms. Kardashian.
  65. The Panini stickers for the 2018 World Cup have been on the market (in the participating countries) since March 22nd. But a lot has changed since the final squad nomination. That's why Panini is now adding more.
  66. Fans should try these traditional Russian dishes: eschpomak (Russian dumplings), stroganina (thin pieces of fish fillet) and chäk-chäk (Russian pastries).
  67. Not a single English referee will be represented at the 2018 World Cup.

    Are there many World Cup babies again? After many tournaments the birth rate increases ...

  68. Nine months after the World Cup in South Africa, the birth rate increased significantly. The same thing happened after the 2006 World Cup in Germany. At that time, there were almost 30 percent more babies in parts of the country. Something is going to happen to the Russians.
  69. Germany and Spain are the only nations that have managed to win their ten qualifying games.
  70. Peru will take part in a world championship for the first time since 1982. This is the longest abstinence of any team represented in Russia in 2018.
  71. Germany has scored the most goals in the past three tournaments: 18 at the 2014 World Cup, 16 at the 2010 World Cup and 14 at the 2006 World Cup. How many will there be in 2018?
  72. It will be the fourth world coaching championship for Uruguay's coach Oscar Tabarez, more than any other coach at the 2018 World Cup.
  73. Another interesting fact about Iceland: Winger Berg Gudmundsson played in the country's most important Counter-Strike tournament as a youth. What can Icelanders actually not do?
  74. The architects of the Kazan Arena also planned the new Wembley Stadium and the Emirates Stadium in London.
  75. The last eight goals of the Belgian national team at world championships were scored after the 70th minute of the game.
  76. Of all current players in the German national team, Thomas Müller has scored the most goals (10) and provided the most assists (6) at world championships.
  77. Brazil is the only nation that has taken part in every World Cup so far and has won the most titles (5).
  78. Former Russian international Oleg Salenko holds the record for the most goals in a World Cup game: he scored five times in the Russia-Cameroon game at the 1994 World Cup.
  79. At the 2014 World Cup, substitute players scored more goals than at any other tournament. Thanks to the new substitution rule, this record could fall in 2018.
  80. Every team that has won the World Cup so far has been looked after by a coach who has the same nationality as his team. Does the series hold up?
  81. 2018 will be Nigeria's sixth participation in a World Cup. No African country has qualified as often as the Super Eagles, who made their World Cup debut in 1994.
  82. The Northern Irishman Norman Whiteside is 17 years and 41 days at the start of the World Cup, the youngest World Cup player of all time.
  83. At the age of 45, legendary Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary is expected to become the oldest player in World Cup history. Incidentally, he will make his World Cup debut in Russia.
  84. Iran has qualified for the World Cup twice in a row for the first time in its history.
  85. Penalty area specialists: All of Denmark's 27 World Cup goals were scored within the penalty area.
  86. Speaking of which, none of Morocco's twelve World Cup goals were scored from a free kick.
  87. The game with the most goals at a World Cup took place in 1954, when Austria beat Switzerland 7-5. Given the trend towards defensive football, that is an almost unthinkable result today.
  88. Incidentally, there were eight hat-tricks at the 1954 World Cup. This is also unlikely to repeat itself in 2018.
  89. Australia's Tim Cahill has scored 45 percent of all his country's World Cup goals.
  90. Nigeria's jersey has the potential to become an object of desire for hipsters.
  91. In 1950 India qualified for the World Cup. However, it withdrew its participation because FIFA did not allow playing barefoot. Since then, India has not been able to qualify.
  92. Holding the World Cup trophy in your hands is an unforgettable moment. As soon as the victory celebration is over, FIFA will take back the real trophy and give the winner a cheaper replica. It will be the same in Russia.
  93. Only title winners and heads of state are allowed to touch the real World Cup trophy. Probably selected FIFA employees too.

    The World Cup trophy: weighs 6175 grams and is worth around 120,000 euros - ideally even more

  94. The World Cup trophy is 36.8 cm high and weighs 6175 grams. In 2038 there will be no more space for the winner of the World Cup trophy. Then a new trophy must be found.
  95. At the first World Cup in 1930, every game was played in the same city: Montevideo, Uruguay. There are eleven venues in Russia.
  96. Miroslav Klose has scored the most World Cup goals (16). A record that Thomas Müller (10) would probably like to break.
  97. Most World Cup games in history were played by Lothar Matthäus. Nobody in Russia will be able to achieve his record of 25 games.
  98. At world championships, Germany has the most placements among the best two (8), three (12), four (13) and eight (17). Will there be another top ranking in 2018?
  99. Mayflies: These soccer nations have only made it to the World Cup once: Wales, Jamaica, Cuba, Kuwait, Iraq, Indonesia, Haiti and Canada. Iceland and Panama will be added in 2018.
  100. The award for the 2018 World Cup is considered suspicious after several revelations. Did Russia and Qatar (2022) win the World Cup legally?

Collaboration: Marvin van Daele / Tobias Oelmaier

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  • date 07.06.2018
  • Author Jonathan Harding
  • Themed pagesRussia, national team, FIFA, FIFA World Cup 2018
  • TagsWorld Cup 2018, World Cup 2018, FIFA World Cup 2018, Soccer, Russia, FIFA, national team
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