Soccer Facts : FIFA WORLD CUP 2018

The quadrennial soccer fiesta is back with all the excitement and thrills. As every previous edition had proved to be worth-watch, this edition promises to up the ante. With fans going frenzy over every goal scored by their favorite team/players, this edition craves to replicate some of the most unprecedented maneuvers and matched by unparalleled fan-base, thanks to the digital media, backed by some unmatched performance by soccer’s whose who. We thus would like to reflect upon our excitement by sharing some the most interesting facts about FIFA WORLD CUP 2018. 

Venue ( Russia )

The 21st edition on FIFA World Cup , comes to the world’s largest nation i.e. Russia. Which borders European and Asian countries as well as the Pacific and Arctic oceans.The Luzhniki Stadium, located in the capital city of Moscow is poised to host the commencement and the Grand Finale matches.

The tournament which is expected to generate a revenue of around $6 billoin, will be staged at 12 stadiums in 11 different cities With the Otkrytie Arena and the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

The venues include Sochi, Ekaterinburg,Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Rostov-on-Don, Ekaterinburg, and  St.Petersburg

ZABIVAKA : The official Mascot

The Official Mascot Zabivaka, will play a very important role in the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

Designed by Student named Ekaterina Bocharova, Zabivaka means “the one who scores” in Russian, a very suitable name for this wolf who radiates fun, charm and confidence. The wolf will not only promote the event and entertain crowds at the stadiums, but also become an ambassador for Russia and a worldwide ‘celebrity’.

Zabivaka was named only after the most engaging creative process for an Official Mascot in FIFA World Cup history.

More than one million Russians cast their votes on FIFA.com during the month-long voting period and the big reveal was done during a live show on Russia’s Channel 1.

The Official Theme Song : Live It Up

Official theme songs have always given global events, like the FIFA World Cup 2018, a cinematic experience to the viewers and fans. These songs reflect upon the emotions and aspirations of not just a fan but a on field player as well.

The tradition of an Official Song dates back to the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England with a song for the first Official Mascot, “World Cup Willie”. Since then, the Official Music Programme and the Official Mascot have become a more and more significant component of the event, providing an excellent opportunity for more than just football fans to identify with the world’s biggest single-sport event.

This time around as part of another exciting collaboration between FIFA and Sony Music, Will Smith, Nicky Jam and Era Istrefi will perform ‘Live It Up’, the Official Song of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia produced by DJ and songwriter Diplo.

Achilles : The mysterious predictor

The legend has it that you can never take away superstitions away from life. And when you have half the human life praying, and crying for their team as if their true vitality depends on the success, who do they look up to, of course a DEAF CAT!!!

That’s right!! Achilles appears to be 2018’s FIFA World Cup animal oracle. He resides at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, and chooses between bowls of cat food marked with countries.

Although he is deaf, museum officials feel his hearing loss is an advantage that allows him intense concentration in making his picks. If the strategy doesn’t work out, he can always fall back on his day job — catching rats in the museum basement.
 
Unsurprisingly, Achilles picked Russia to win in its first-round match over Saudi Arabia. At the moment, he’s one for one, and fans all over the world are awaiting his predictions with anticipation.

Age is Just a Number : Essam El-Hadary

At the age of 45, legendary Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary has become the oldest player ever at a World Cup. He played and captained in all but the final game of qualifying, has 156 caps for his country and Russia will be his World Cup debut. Age ain’t nothing but a number.

People that matter : Audience

There is no doubt that the spectators are the heart and soul of any sporting event. It is their noise, enthusiasm, and passion that sets the tone of the game. And rightly so tell the staggering number of ticket sales. 

Slowly but surely ticket applications are increasing. Germany’s football fans are particularly keen on watching their team live. After the hosts they have made the second most ticket requests (338,414).

Iceland despite the smallest nation to qualify for a FIFA World Cup (just 334,000 inhabitants). Size doesn’t matter. As over 66,000 Iceland fans have requested tickets for the 2018 FIFA World Cup – that equals to 20% of their entire population.

 

Participating Teams

The 2018 FIFA World Cup might be missing some big nations, but that’s what makes this tournament the best in sports. Brazil are looking to bounce back from a travesty in 2014, while Spain, Argentina and France are hoping to dethrone defending champions Germany and their typically deep squad. Can Belgium or Portugal make a splash? Do England have what it takes to challenge too?

The Netherlands have made the most World Cup appearances without ever winning it. They won’t get a chance to do so in Russia. Oh Oranje…

Italy failed to qualify for the first time since 1958 and are the only previous winners not to qualify.

For the first time since 1986, the US men’s national team didn’t qualify for the World Cup. More awkward was that Fox Sports paid a reported $400 million (€324 million) for broadcasting rights. Still, the US women’s team are involved in qualifying for 2019 in France and the three-time World Cup winners probably won’t miss out (they’re defending champions).

Some other familiar World Cup nations that will be watching from home this summer include: Chile, Turkey, Cameroon, Ghana, Algeria, Ecuador, Venezuela and the Republic of Ireland.

This will be the penultimate World Cup with 32 nations. From 2026 onwards there will be 48 teams.

The FOOTBALL

So up-until now we have discussed teams, players, venues, spectators. Except for one and in fact the most important potboiler known as the FIFA World Cup. The Football itself. So here is interesting trivia regarding the core of a football match.

The iconic makers of the black-and-white ball of the 1970s have made the ball for the 2018 tournament. A reinvention of a classic model with a brand-new panel design and the latest technology, the official match ball for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, pays homage to the first-ever adidas World Cup ball. The Telstar 18 evokes unforgettable memories of the 1970 FIFA World Cup – and of legends like Pelé, Gerd Müller, Giacinto Facchetti, Pedro Rocha and Bobby Moore

This could be the last time we see the likes of Luis Suarez (31), Andreas Iniesta (33), Luka Modric (32), Thiago Silva (33), Rafa Marquez (39), Vincent Kompany (31), Jakub Blaszczykowski (32), Keisuke Honda (31), Falcao (32).

Go on, choose your favorite team and brace the football fever.

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