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2018 FIFA World Cup: Recap, Controversy, and France’s Victory

2018 FIFA World Cup


Russia hosted the 2018 FIFA WC between June and July 2018. It was the 21st edition of the tournament.

The choice of Russia as hosts for the 2018 men’s World Cup was not without controversy. Including being banned from Olympic competition because of state-sponsored systematic doping of athletes, there were question marks over the bidding process, with criminal conspiracy allegations. There were concerns about the levels of racism in Russian football.
Despite this, FIFA President Sepp Blatter resisted calls to move the tournament.

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The 2018 FIFA World Cup teams, numbered 32 in all – 31 of them had come through qualifying via their respective regional Football Confederations. Russia as host qualified automatically.
Two teams made their World Cup debuts – Iceland and Panama, while Uruguay, Spain, France, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, and England were the previous winners featured in the tournament.

However, Italy missed out after failing to qualify (a dubious feat they matched four years later).
The teams split into eight groups of four, with the top two teams progressing to the knock-out stages of the 2018 football World Cup.


Arguably, the biggest shock in the group stages of the world cup 2018 results came in Group F.

Germany was the defending champions from the previous tournament in Brazil- their 2014 semi-final defeat of the host’s ranks among the most incredible World Cup performances of all time –and as the 2014 world cup winner, they were among the favorites to claim the trophy again.

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However, they lost their opening match to Mexico and never recovered. In their last group match, a two-goal defeat to South Korea condemned them to last place, leaving them destined to fly home early.

The Russians delighted their home fans by qualifying from their group behind Uruguay and beating the champions of 2020 Spain until their run was ended at the quarter-final stage by Croatia.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup semi-finals, were an all-European affair, with France playing Belgium while Croatia fought England.
A single goal was enough to take France through to the final for the second time, while Croatia came from behind to defeat England in extra time.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup final was played at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15th.

France took an early lead, but Croatia equalized before goals either side of half-time enabled the French to assume control. Kylian Mbappé sealed the match for his side with the decisive fourth, and although Croatia pulled a goal back, it was only a consolation effort.

France were crowned the 2018 FIFA world cup winners for the second time. It was a particular triumph for the French Meastro, Didier Deschamps – he had been captain of the side that first won the trophy in 1998, and, twenty years later, he was manager.

He joined Mario Zagallo of Brazil and Franz Beckenbauer of Germany as the only two men to manage this feat in World Cup history.


The 2018 FIFA World Cup set new viewing figures worldwide. According to FIFA, the 2018 world cup final between France and Croatia reached an average live audience of 517 million viewers globally, with more than 1.1 billion catching some part.

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In terms of the tournament itself, independently verified figures show that 3.572 billion watched at least some of the action during that month. That was more than half the world’s adult population, dwarfing into comparison with any other sporting event in history.

It may also be the last time Russia hosts an international sporting event of any magnitude for many years to come. Their armed invasion of Ukraine has made the country a pariah, not only in sporting aspects but also in humanitarian terms, bringing this possibility in the future a rarity.

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