2018 World Cup
The biggest sporting event on the planet, the World Cup, is happening this year. The World Cup finals take place every four years. 32 countries battle it out in a month long festival of soccer featuring the best players and the greatest national teams, culminating in the biggest single one-off sporting occasion in the world of sport; the World Cup final.

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The 2018 FIFA World Cup

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks of on June 14th 2018 with the hosts Russia taking on Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The final will take place on July 15th 2018 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

This will be the 21st FIFA World Cup. It will be the first World Cup held in Europe since the 2006 tournament in Germany; all but one of the stadium venues are in European Russia, west of the Ural Mountains, to keep travel time manageable.The winners of the World Cup will qualify for the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup.

You can be sure that the 2018 World Cup in Russia will be an incredible tournament to watch. No event offers so much drama, with roller-coaster rides of emotion for players, teams, fans and punters.

Which players will stamp there names all over the 2018 World Cup? Which teams have realistic chances of reaching the final on the 15th July in Moscow?

The Teams

The 2018 tournament involves 32 national teams. 20 of the teams are making back-to-back appearances following the last tournament in 2014, including defending champions Germany. Iceland and Panama are both be making their first appearances at a FIFA World Cup.

The teams in this years competition are: Russia (hosts), Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France, Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia, Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran, Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.

Teams to Watch out for?
Brazil start every World Cup as favourites and this time will be no different. Sixteen years have passed since the South Americans record fifth World Cup victory in 2002. On home turf in 2014 they placed fourth behind Germany, Argentine and the Netherlands. Germany claimed their fourth World Cup title in 2014 so are also joint favourites with Brazil to win the 2018 Title. France, Spain and Argentina are also favourites with the bookies.

Players to Watch
Lionel Messi isn’t just the best player in the World at present he was FIFA world player of the year 2009 and the FIFA Ballon D’or winner in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015, he’s fast becoming mentioned in sentences along with Pele and Diego Maradona. Messi is yet to win a World Cup title with Argentina.

Ronaldo has also won the Ballon D’or in 2013 and 2014 and was last years runner up. He is yet to win a world cup with Portugal.

Argentina and Portugal have some of the best players in the country in recent years.

Tournament Format

Group stages: The 32 teams were drawn into 8 groups of four. Each group is identified by a letter, A to H. Each group will play in a mini-league, the teams all playing each other once. Once all the teams have played the games, the top twp teams in the group will progress to the next round.

From the 2nd rounds onwards, it’s a single elimination format. In the 2nd round each first round group winner plays a runner up from another group. Then it’s the quarter finals, semi-finals and the Grand Final.

A total of 64 matches will be played in 12 venues located in 11 cities.

There are at least 2 games a day right up until the quarters, when the teams still in the competition get a rest. The semi-finals and the final are spread out over the last 2 weeks.

See the Dates, kick-off times and stadiums of the 2018 World Cup

So a Month of Excitement awaits in 2018. And then?

Well, the WorldCup heads to the giant landmass of Qatar in 2022. Qatar will be the smallest country to ever host the competition. Where the 2026 World Cup will take place is yet to be decided, there have been two official bids to host the event: a joint bid by Canada, Mexico and the United States, and a bid by Morocco. On 13 June 2018, the FIFA Congress will decide on whether to select one of those bids.

World Cup FAQ

Who has won the World Cup?
Brazil have won five times, and they are the only team to have played in every tournament. The other World Cup winners are Germany and Italy, with four titles each; Argentina and inaugural winner Uruguay, with two titles each; and England, France and Spain, with one title each.

Who win the last World Cup?
The 2014 World Cup was won by Germany.

Who will win the World Cup?
The winner of the 2018 world cup is yet to be decided but there are some strong contenders such as Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Portugal, France and Spain.

How many people will watch the World Cup final?
2014 FIFA World Cup™ reached 3.2 billion viewers, one billion watched final. More than one billion fans tuned in to watch the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, with the competition reaching a global in-home television audience of 3.2 billion people, according to final figures from FIFA and Kantar Media. Find out where you can watch the World Cup.

Which country hosted the first World Cup?
Uruguay; On July 13, 1930, France defeats Mexico 4-1 and the United States defeats Belgium 3-0 in the first-ever World Cup football matches, played simultaneously in host city Montevideo, Uruguay.

What player has won the most World Cups?
Brazil’s Pelé is the only player to have won three World Cup winners’ medals, with 20 other players who have won two World Cup medals. Cafu is the only player who has appeared in 3 World Cup finals (winning 2 of them).

Who won the last World Cup?
The most recent World Cup, hosted by Brazil in 2014, was won by Germany, who beat Argentina 1–0 after extra time. The World Cup final match is the last of the competition, and the result determines which country is declared world champions.

Where is the next World Cup?
Russia was chosen to host the 2018 World Cup, and Qatar was chosen to host the 2022 World Cup. The 2026 world cup hosts are yet to be decided.

How many teams are in the World Cup?
Historically there have been 32 teams in the World Cup final but Fifa is proposing a six-nation play-off tournament to decide the last two slots at the 48-team World Cup in 2026. Football’s world governing body has revealed its plans for how the 48 places will be allocated, with 16 Europeans teams set to qualify.

What country has hosted the most World Cups?
Most countries have only hosted one competition each. Mexico, Italy, France, Germany (West Germany until shortly after the 1990 World Cup) and Brazil have hosted the event on two occasions. Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca and Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã are the only venues ever to have hosted two FIFA World Cup finals.

Do People Bet on the World Cup?
Yes, the World Cup will attract a lot of betting action, with seasoned punters and novices alike. The bookies will have a great range of pre-tournament betting markets, punters will be able to bet pre-match and in-play as well. There will be special bets available such as group winner, will the team qualify for the next round, teams that will be in the final, stage of elimination, team to win the title. If you fancy a punt on the World Cup we suggest you use one of the leading bookies that we recommend on this site – find the leading bookies for betting on the world cup with.

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