“Without football, my life is worth nothing.” – Cristiano Ronaldo
Not only him, but football fans throughout the world also have an emotional connection to this game. This year is extra special for every football fan as all eagerly wait for 14th June for the kickoff of 2018’s FIFA World Cup.
Every four years players and supporters wait for trying to grasp the world cup by being crowned champions. Before the day arrives, check out what to expect from the upcoming world cup.
Russia; the hosting nation
Russia is hosting FIFA World Cup this year for the first time. Eleven Russian cities which are Saint Petersburg, Krasnodar, Kaliningrad, Saransk, Samara, Rostov-on-Don, Yekaterinburg, Sochi, Volgograd, Yaroslavl, and Moscow will host all the games. The FIFA final will take place in Luzhnik Stadium of Russia’s capital Moscow.
A major change in this year’s world cup is the introduction of video assistant referees (VAR) – that means referees can consult officials who can watch the replays and take the correct decision from them.
The tournament in short
This year the tournament kicks-off with a game between the host nation and Saudi Arabia. Other than these two, thirty other teams take part. From South America, of course, the two star-studded teams qualified are Brazil and Argentina. Apart from them, Columbia, Uruguay, Peru made it to the world cup. However, from North America, Mexico, Panama and Costa Rica will try for glory but unfortunately, USA didn’t qualify.
Coming to Asia – Iran, Japan, and Korea Republic along with Australia that falls under AFC (Asian Football Confederation) will march to Russia. From the African Nation teams which qualified are – Tunisia, Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, and Senegal.
Last but not the least, nations from Europe who will be seen at the World Cup 2018 are Germany, England, France, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Sweden, Switzerland, Serbia, Iceland, and Poland.
All the thirty-two teams are divided into batches of 4 creating a total of 8 groups that will play in the group stage for a place in the top 16 and move forward accordingly.
Games to Watch
Every year there are specific games which are a must watch for every individual. This time there are six matches which one can’t afford to miss. On 15th June Portugal locks horn with Spain and on 16th France takes on Australia. 17th Mexico faces the defending world champions Germany and Brazil goes up against Switzerland. On 21st Argentina plays against Croatia. Lastly, on 28th England goes head to head with the dark horse of this year’s world cup Belgium.
Players who holds high expectation
Of course, no matter what team you support you will always have eyes on the big names of this game Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Neymar. However, there are players which coaches and experts think will catch the eye of the audience with their beautiful playing – Paulo Dybala, Gabriel Jesus, Timo Werner, Kylian Mbappe, Kevin DuBruyne are few of the names on the list.
So, get ready for the start of an amazing journey. It is time to put on your favorite team’s jersey and cheer them to the glorious cup. Who are you rooting for?