Are you a football lover? Do you have a favorite football club? Of course you do. You probably also have guessed which club is going to win in this 2018 FIFA World Cup, right? Although you know most things about football and football clubs, you probably do not know 17 incredible facts of FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia.
Well, don’t worry as below are the 17 facts that you should know about the World Cup as football fan.
- Russia received the right to host the FIFA World Cup in December 2, 2010. Surprisingly long, right? It was also the first time Russia receiving such right in history. Besides, it was the first time Europe being the host of the World Cup since 2006. Moreover, it was for the first time ever that the match being in East Europe.
- The match that began in June 14 ended in July 15.
- Three point two billions of people went to Russia for the 21st match. The number was almost half of the population in the world.
- The theme of the World Cup explores dream and cosmic outer space. FIFA unveiled in October 2014. Besides, the logo was designed to look like World Cup Football trophy with folk motives, like matryoshkas and firebirds.
- Mascot Wolf Zabivaka was selected through online voting after Russia held a national competition of mascot designing. About the mascot, Zabivaka means goalscorer and the designer was Tomsk State University student Ekaterina Bocharova. She won the voting by 52.8% of total voters against a tiger and a cat.
- Meanwhile, renowned Russian artist Igor Gurovich designed the tournament’s official poster. It featured an image of Russian goalkeeper Lev Yashin. Lev played in the 1958 and 1970 World Cups. Moreover, he was the only goalkeeper to ever win the Ballon d’Or. The reason of the selection of such figure was because Igor wanted “a symbol of Russian football as the main figure.”
- Russia held the match in 11 cities. Those were Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Ekaterinburg, Samara, Kazan, Volgograd, Nizhny Novrogod, Saransk, Rostov-on-Don and Kaliningrad. Moreover, the last matched was held at Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow. This was due to the stadium is so big that it can hold 81,000 spectators. The number was twice more than Otkrytie Arena, Moscow’s second biggest stadium, can hold. Also read: famous place in Moscow.
- There were 13,000 people who had involved in construction and renovation of those stadiums for the World Cup. Moreover, the construction had created 100,000 jobs for local people.
- The architects who built Kazan Arena also designed Wembley Stadium and Arsenal’s home ground, the Emirates. The Kazan Arena can hold up to 45,000 spectators. The stadium was where Australia played its first match against France in the group stages. Also read: architecture of Catherine Palace.
- There were 32 teams taking part in the match. Russia, alongside 13 national teams, also represents European zone as Russia was the host to the match. This was Russia’s 11th appearance in World Cup. There were also five national teams from African zone, ten from Asia and South America and three from North American zone. Italy was not among those teams and it was the first time for the country since 1958. However, there were two new teams, which were Iceland and Panama.
- To celebrate the first ever appearance in FIFA World Cup, 66,000 Iceland’s fans booked the ticket for the tournament. It meant that 20% of the total population wanted to go to Russia. For your information, Iceland only had 330,000 population. It is the smallest nation in the world to ever qualify for the match. Moreover, team’s coach Heimar Hallgrimson is famous for combining the life
- Russia hosted another FIFA tournament that was the Confederations Cup from June 17 to July 2, 2017. There were 8 teams participating in the tournament. Those included Russia as a host country of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Germany as the current world champion, Australia as the winner of the 2015 Asia Cup, Chile as the winner of the 2015 Copa America, Mexica as the winner of play-off match between the winners of the 2013 and 2015 Golden CONCACAF Cup, New Zealand as the winner of the 2016 OFC Nations Cup and Portugal as the current champion of Europe.
- Four cities hosted the Confederations Cup at each city’s stadium. Kazan and Sochi hosted semi-finals, Spartak Stadium in Moscow hosted the semi-final for the third place match and Saint Petersburg hosted the first semi-final and final match of the cup.
- Volunteers who managed and hosted the 2018 FIFA World Cup received training for 20 functional directions. There were more than 5 thousands volunteers working in FIFA Consideration Cup. Meanwhile, there were about 20 thousands volunteers called City Volunteers for the World Cup.
- Brazil had the most expensive squad that worth AU $1 billion. Meanwhile, Panama brought the least expensive squad that worth AU $7.8 million.
- Elected ambassadors represented each city and FIFA World Cup. They were people who were either born in those cities, or are somehow related to them. The ambassadors promoted sports and healthy lifestyle as well as the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
- Football matches aside, guests were able to visit FIFA Fan Fests. Those were special events organized by FIFA. Those areas were for those who could not come to the stadium and wanted to watch Confederations Cup 2017 matches.
Those are 17 incredible facts of FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia that you need to know.