The “world’s most widely viewed sporting event” the FIFA World Cup 2018 has kicked-off in Russia. Just to help kick start the World Cup festival, here are a bundle of interesting facts to remember ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

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  • FIFA 2018 will be played in 12 stadiums in 11 cities of Russia while in 2002 it was played in 20 venues; highest so far in FIFA history. It was hosted jointly by South Korea and Japan.
  • 9 of the 12 World Cup stadiums in Russia are built just for the tournament

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  • Total Prize money : $791 million (approx Rs 5150 Crores)
  • Winning team will get $38 million (approx Rs 250 crores)
  • FIFA WC 2018 will be the first world cup to feature ‘Video Assistant Referees’ to prevent real referees from making mistakes while awarding goals, penalties, red cards or player send-offs.
  • No visa is required to travel to Russia for the FIFA World Cup 2018. World Cup tickets holders will be given a Fan ID – the special permit which will act as an entry and exit visa to and from Russia and transport pass from  June 4 to July 25.
  • Essam El Hadary 45, Egypt team’s goalkeeper will be the oldest player and will be playing his first World Cup.
  • Australia’s Daniel Arzani will be the youngest player at this year’s World Cup, at 19 years and 152 days of age.
  • Iceland and Panama making their debuts in the competition.
  • Least populous country taking part : Iceland (population 3 Lakhs)
  • Most populous country taking part : Brazil (population 21 Crores)
  • Poorest Country taking part : Senegal ( per capita income $1038)
  • Richest Country taking part : Switzerland ( per capita income $80,591)
  • At 99kg, Panama’s Roman Torres will the heaviest player of FIFA World Cup 2018.
  • As many as 16 players will be playing in FIFA WC 2018 are from Manchester City Football club. They will be representing 8 countries in this World Cup.
  • 11 players from Juventus Football Club will be playing this World Cup and will be representing 10 countries in FIFA WC 2018.
  • Rafael Márquez of Mexico will be playing his 5th World cup. There are 9 players who will be playing their 4th world cup including Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
  • Remember Paul the Octopus who in 2010, got the outcomes of all seven of Germany’s matches right, and even Spain’s win.  This time it is Achilles, a deaf cat who lives in the Hermitage Museum and chooses between two bowls of food, each bearing a team flag.

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  • Zabivaka -The official mascot of the 2018 World Cup is a wolf whose name translates “the one who scores”.

FIFA World Cup: Historical and Interesting Facts

  • All World Cups have been won by European (11) or South American (9) sides.
  • There have only been four times when a team has won all of their games at a World Cup (Uruguay, 4/4 in 1930), Italy (4/4 in 1938) and Brazil (6/6 in 1970, 7/7 in 2002).
  • The last two reigning champions were knocked out in the group stages: Italy in 2010 and Spain in 2014.
  • Mexico has qualified 16 times without winning the trophy – more than any other country.
  • The record for most goals in the World Cup stands at 171 in 1998 and 2014, while that with least goals is 145 in 2010 World Cup.
  • The most goals in a single World Cup match occurred in 1954, when  Austria defeated Switzerland by 7-5.
  • Most yellow (306) and red cards (28) shown in FIFA WC 2006.
  • Most goals by an individual in single World Cup: 10 by Gerd Muller of Germany in 1970.
  • Sir Vivian Richards is the only sportsperson who have represented his country in Cricket World Cup and Football World Cup qualifier.
  • Brazil is the only country who have played all 21 editions of FIFA world Cup including the current one. They have won the World Cup 5 times.
  • India qualified by default for the 1950 FIFA World Cup finals as a result of the withdrawal of all of their scheduled opponents, but had to withdraw because the rules of the game did not allow players to play barefoot on the field.

FIFA World Cup’s next destination in 2022 is Qatar.

 

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