Men’s World Cup Football 2018 — the event that is eagerly awaited every four years has started! It was in 2010 when Russia won the hosting rights for this World Cup. This is the first time that an eastern European country is playing host, and it also happens to be the costliest World Cup ever as the cost has been estimated at $14.2 billion. Thirty-two countries are playing for the much-coveted cup that will declare them world champions. The winner will automatically qualify for the next World Cup. A total of 64 matches have been scheduled which started on June 14 and end on July 15 when the final will be played. Almost 716 million people have geared up to watch the matches and enjoy the thrills of the game as they wait for the winner to emerge.
The History Of Football World Cup
Though football was played in the 1900 and the 1904 Olympics, no medal was awarded to the winning team. The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was formed in 1904, and the first world cup was played in 1930, and since then, the tournament has been played every four years. However, due to World War II, the event was canceled in 1942 and 1946. Twenty tournaments have been played so far, and the 21st is ongoing! FIFA president Julet Rimes’ contribution in making the event a world-class affair is undeniable. The winning trophy was rightly named after him and went to Brazil permanently when they won the trophy for the third time in 1970. Unfortunately, it was stolen in 1983, and the thieves went scot-free. It is now believed that they must have melted the trophy so that no one can identify it.
The current trophy was designed by Italian designer Silvio Gazzaniga, and it was decided that the country who wins will retain the trophy only for four years and pass it on to the next winning country; the top three teams are also awarded medals. In the current format, only 32 teams play in the final tournament, but in 2026, it will be expanded to 48. The tournament has two rounds – the group stage and the knockout stage. Among the 20 world cups played so far, Brazil has the most wins – five times. Italy and Germany follow closely, winning it four times, while Argentina and Uruguay have won it twice. England, France, and Spain have each won once. Now, it is time to see if a new country emerges as the winner during the 21st World Cup.
World Cup 2018: The Story So Far
The opening ceremony took place in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, and it was a grand affair. This is the same place where the final will be played on July 15. The inaugural match was between the host country Russia and Saudi Arabia. Former Brazilian player, Ronaldo, who was also instrumental in winning the world cup for his country, came out with the official ball of the tournament. In case you didn’t know, the ball was sent to the International Space Station in March, and it came back in June.
Several major hiccups have already happened in the World Cup so far. All the big teams with a huge fan following and lots of expectations failed to perform well. Experts are already thinking whether it is going to be a World Cup of underdogs. However, nobody would really mind if a new team becomes the winner this time. It would be a more highly challenging and interesting tournament that way. With Brazil and Argentina drawing matches and Germany losing to Mexico, it has been an intriguing show so far.
Some Fun Facts About The World Cup 2018
Like all big tournaments, World Cup 2018 has its fair share of fun facts. This is the first time the World Cup is being played in two continents. For those who are wondering, Russia lies both in Europe and Asia. Russia happens to be the largest country in the world in terms of land mass. Interestingly enough, though the USA failed to qualify for the main stage of the tournament, there is a huge USA connection with this World Cup — McDonald’s happens to be the official food partner of FIFA. Tickets for the finals are priced at $715 if you are not from Russia. But Russians can get the same for only $109. The winning team is entitled to a prize money of $35 million.
To keep up with the spirit of sports, FIFA offers a staggering $8 million for all 32 teams. Participation is definitely more important than winning. But the battle has already began, and the world can’t wait to see who takes the trophy home!