FIFA 2018: Cool, fun facts diehard footballs fans would know. Do you?

Ever since Brazil won its second World Cup in a row in 1962, no other nation has been able to pull off the mean feat. This and more fun FIFA facts!

FIFA Fun Facts That All Football Fans Would Love to Know:

1. FIFA 2018 FACT: This is not only the first time in history that Russia plays host to the FIFA World Cup from June 14 to July 15, 2018, but also the first time ever a World Cup will take place in Eastern Europe. Geographically speaking, Russia is the biggest host country in World Cup history.

2. FIFA 2018 FACT: The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the first time that matches were held in two different countries — South Korea and Japan. 2018 World Cup is the first in history to witness matches in two different continents — Europe and Asia.

3. FIFA 2018 FACT: The 2018 World Cup mascot, the representative symbol of the tournament was chosen via online voting. The mascot is a wolf named Zabivaka, which was designed by a student Ekaterina Bocharova. Readers would be interested to note that FIFA World Cup matches didn’t include mascots until a lion known as “World Cup Willie” became the face of the England 1966 tournament. Since then, the 12 other World Cup mascots have included everything from an orange (Spain 1982), to a jalapeño pepper (Mexico 1986), to a three-banded armadillo (Brazil 2014).

4. FIFA 2018: The distance between the easternmost host city (Ekaterinburg) and the westernmost host city (Kaliningrad) at the 2018 World Cup is over 2,415 km. For the sake of comparison, that’s about the same distance as Moscow to London, England!

5. FIFA 2018 FACT: A fun foodie FIFA fact: The official partner of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, McDonald’s is garnering quite some attention in the host country, thanks to the official FIFA website. Amongst the various tabs on the website under the Host Cities section is one labeled McDonald’s clicking on which guides you to every outlet in the city. Interestingly, the first ever McDonald’s in the USSR opened in Moscow in 1990 and is still in operation.

6. FIFA FACT: The tournament will take place in a total of 12 stadiums across the 11 host cities. Moscow is the only city with two stadia — Luzhniki and Spartak. The centrepiece stadium for the World Cup, the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, has a capacity of 81,000 people. It is the biggest stadium rebuilt in Russia ahead of the FIFA tournament while keeping its old architectural facade intact.

7. FIFA FACT: All World Cups before this one have been won by Europeans (11) or South Americans (9) teams. Guess one has to be born in one of the two continents to clench that golden FIFA trophy!

8. FIFA FACT: We’ve come a long way from 1930! While the fewest number of fans recorded to watch a World Cup football game was 300 back then in Uruguay, the highest attendance ever tuned in to watch the 2014 World Cup. With approximately 3.2 billion spectators all over the world and an average attendance of 53,000 fans per game, the 2014 FIFA tournament broke all records.

9. FIFA FACT: Ever since Brazil won its second World Cup in a row in 1962, no other nation has been able to pull off the mean feat. Germany, the champions of 2014, will try their luck at the 2018 championship to win back the Cup. If that works out, Germany will be the second team to have five World Cup titles to their name.

10. FIFA FACT: A curious case of nationality — every team that has ever won a FIFA World Cup has done so under a coach who shares his nationality with his team. There have not been any exceptions to this rule so far, so what happens in Russia will be interesting to watch.

11. FIFA FACT: If all goes as planned, Oscar Washington Tabárez will witness his fourth World Cup as coach to the Uruguay national team, a commendable record in the making in Russia. Talking of goals, the oldest goal scorer in World Cup history was Roger Milla, who was 42 in 1994 when he scored a goal for Cameroon against Russia. Russia’s highest held position in all World Cups was the fourth place in 1966, which the country has never surpassed in all the years they have played. 2018 will mark Russia’s 11th World Cup appearance.

12. The prize money given by FIFA to the winning team is a hefty $35 million. The runner-up team gets $25 million. No wonder, losing the game is also worthwhile! Actually, there are no losers, for even the participating teams take home about an $8 million cheque each!

by Shreya Gupta of

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