World Cup 2018 Facts

We’ve put togheter a list of some of the most memorable facts about the 2018 World Cup

With so many giants falling early on, the controversy and drama generated by VAR and only one goalless draw in 64 matches, we must admit that Russia's World Cup has been far from being dull!

The semi-finals were an all European affair, with Belgium, England and Croatia returning to this phase after many decades. 2018 World Cup champions France have had a hesitant start, grabbing two narrow wins against Australia and Peru, and drawing their final match in the group stages against an unimpressive Denmark. Withal, Mbappe’s runs and Griezmann’s overall greatness have driven France all the way to the final, where Didier Deschamps’ men defeated Croatia 4-2 and lifted the trophy for the second time after 20 years.

We’ve put together a list of memorable facts you should be aware of regarding the 2018 edition of the tournament. At the end of this section you’ll find the longest odds you could have wagered on and win on the moneyline markets this summer in Russia:

Germany knocked out at the 2018 World Cup
Defending champions Germany knocked out in Russia

Defending champions haven’t done a pretty good job at the World Cup during the past couple of decades, and Germany seemed to continue the trend started by France back in 1998. At the moment, four out of the last five World Cup Winners have been eliminated in the next tournament at the group stages:

  • Germany – champions 2014, eliminated at group stage in 2018
  • Spain – champions 2010, eliminated group stage in 2014
  • Italy – champions 2006, eliminated at group stage in 2010
  • Brazil – champions 2002, eliminated at quarterfinals in 2006
  • France – champions 1998, eliminated at group stage in 2002



Messi missed penalty kick at the 2018 World Cup
Lionel Messi misses the first penalty at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

A record number of penalties have been awarded: 29, out of which 9 were given after VAR reviews. Interestingly, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were the authors of two of the 7 penalty kicks that failed to be converted into goals this summer in Russia.

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France Denmark 0-0 Draw World Cup 2018
France and Denmark played out the only 0-0 draw at the 2018 World Cup

No goalless draws have been registered in the first 20 matches of the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 64 years. The new record stands at 35 consecutive games with goals. France v Denmark was the fixture that ended the sequence.

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Russian fans at the World Cup in 2018
Russian fans at the 2018 World Cup opening match played against Saudi Arabia

The 2018 World Cup was broadcasted in 210 countries, and the broadcasting rights have generated in excess of 2.2 billion pounds. More so, the total attendance in Russia counted 3,031,768 spectators over 64 matches, with the largest attendance being recorded at the opening match, Russia v Saudi Arabia: 78.011.

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Mario Manduzkic of Croatia scoring an own goal against France in the 2018 WC Final
Mario Manduzkic of Croatia scoring an own goal against France in the 2018 WC Final

We’ve witnessed no less than 12 own goals this summer in Russia – a record in the World Cup. The previous own goals record was 7. Peculiarly, Croatia’s star Mario Mandzukic became the first player to score an own goal in the World Cup final.

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Cristiano Ronaldo celebrating his 3rd goal against Spain
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrating his 3rd goal against Spain

Cristiano Ronaldo became the oldest player to score a hat-trick at the World Cup when his tremendous free-kick effort defeated David De Gea in the 88th minute of Portugal’s 3-3 draw against Spain. The new Juventus signing was 33 years and 130 days old when he scored on the 15th of June. The former Real Madrid legend has also been the fastest athlete in Russia, being clocked at 21.1 miles per hour.

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England's Harry Kane scores the winning goal against Tunisia
England's Harry Kane scores the winning goal against Tunisia

Harry Kane won the 2018 World Cup Golden Boot, having scored 6 goals, two more than Antoine Griezmann, Romelu Lukaku, Denis Cheryshev, Cristiano Ronaldo, Artem Dzyuba and Kylian Mbappe.

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Eden Hazard scoring his second goal against England
Eden Hazard scoring his second goal against England during the third-place playoff

Belgium was the top-scoring team with 16 goals in 7 games: Dries Mertens, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Michy Batshuayi, Adnan Januzaj, Jan Vertonghen, Marouane Fellaini, Nacer Chadli, Kevin De Bruyne & Thomas Meunier put their names on the score sheet for Belgium.

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Colombia's Carlos Sanchez being sent off against Japan
Colombia's Carlos Sanchez being sent off against Japan

The players didn’t seem to forget that the VAR system was in place if we come to think that no direct red card was given at the 2018 World Cup, where we’ve seen only 4 sending-offs. We can’t ignore the substantial disciplinary improvement if we compare this year’s edition to the previous ones: referees awarded no less than 26 red cards in 2006, 17 in 2010 and 10 in 2014.

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German fan disappointed after his team lost the 2018 WC opener against Mexico
German fan disappointed after his team lost the 2018 WC opener against Mexico

The two biggest upsets of the 2018 World Cup both involve Germany. Low’s side lost on their debut in Russia 0-1 to Mexico, who’s price for a win was standing at 7.50 at this top UK bookmaker. But the highest odds on the 1X2 moneyline betting market that ha won were those offered for South Korea’s win against Der Panzer: the odds for the Asian squad’s victory were priced at an incredible 19.5 at this high limit online bookmaker.

2018 World Cup: no direct red cards, 12 own goals, +3 million spectators, CR7 oldest hat-trick scorer, 10 different goal scorers for Belgium: Click To Tweet


World Cup 2018 Infographics At A Glance

Our first Russia World Cup infographic featured outright betting odds and some interesting facts about the competition:

WC 2018 Russia Betting Infographic

Our second 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia infographic showcases a few crazy outright betting odds for this summer's tournament:

World Cup 2018 Crazy Odds Betting Infographic

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Route To 2018 World Cup Final Russia

World Cup 2018 Full Fixture List & Results

Below are the results of each of the 64 matches played at the 2018 Russian World Cup:

June 14 (Group Stage):

Russia vs. Saudi Arabia (Match 1) – 5-0

June 15 (Group Stage):

Egypt vs Uruguay (Match 2)– 0-1
Morocco vs Iran (Match 3) – 0-1
Portugal vs Spain (Match 4) – 3-3

June 16 (Group Stage):

France vs Australia (Match 5) – 2-1
Argentina vs Iceland (Match 6) – 1-1
Peru vs Denmark (Match 7) – 0-1
Croatia vs Nigeria (Match 8) – 2-0

June 17 (Group Stage):

Costa Rica vs Serbia (Match 9) – 0-1
Germany vs Mexico (Match 10) – 0-1
Brazil vs Switzerland (Match 11) – 1-1

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June 18 (Group Stage):

Sweden vs. South Korea (Match 12) – 1-0
Belgium vs Panama (Match 13) – 3-0
Tunisia vs England (Match 14) – 1-2

June 19 (Group Stage):

Colombia vs. Japan (Match 16) – 1-2
Poland vs Senegal (Match 15) – 1-2
Russia vs. Egypt (Match 17) – 3-1

June 20 (Group Stage):

Portugal vs Morrocco (Match 18) – 1-0
Uruguay vs. Saudi Arabia (Match 19)  – 1-0
Iran vs Spain (Match 20) – 0-1

June 21 (Group Stage):

Denmark vs Australia (Match 21) – 1-1
France vs Peru (Match 22) – 1-0
Argentina vs Croatia (Match 23) – 0-3

June 22 (Group Stage):

Brazil vs Costa Rica (Match 25) – 2-0
Nigeria vs Iceland (Match 24) – 2-0
Serbia vs Switzerland (Match 26) – 1-2

June 23 (Group Stage):

Belgium vs Tunisia (Match 27) – 5-2
South Korea vs Mexico (Match 28) – 1-2
Germany vs Sweden (Match 29) – 2-1

June 24 (Group Stage):

England vs Panama (Match 30)– 6-1
Japan vs. Senegal (Match 32) – 2-2
Poland vs Colombia (Match 31) – 0-3

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June 25 (Group Stage):

Saudi Arabia vs. Egypt (Match 33) – 2-1
Uruguay vs. Russia (Match 34) – 3-0
Iran vs Portugal (Match 35) – 1-1
Spain vs Morocco (Match 36) – 2-2

June 26 (Group Stage):

Australia vs Peru (Match 37) – 0-2
Denmark vs. France (Match 38) – 0-0
Iceland vs Croatia (Match 39) – 1-2
Argentina vs Nigeria (Match 40) – 1-2

June 27 (Group Stage):

Mexico vs Sweden (Match 41) – 0-3
South Korea vs Germany (Match 42) – 2-0
Serbia vs Brazil (Match 43) – 0-2
Switzerland vs Costa Rica (Match 44) – 2-2

June 28 (Group Stage):

Japan vs. Poland (Match 47) – 0-1
Senegal vs Colombia (Match 48) – 0-1
England vs Belgium (Match 45) – 0-1
Panama vs Tunisia (Match 46) – 1-2

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June 30 (Round of 16):

France vs Argentina (Match 49) – 4-3
Uruguay vs Portugal (Match 50) – 2-1

July 1 (Round of 16):

Spain vs. Russia (Match 51) – 1-1 (1-2 p)
Croatia vs Denmark (Match 52) – 1-1 (2-1 p)

July 2 (Round of 16):

Brazil vs Mexico (Match 53) – 2-0
Belgium vs. Japan (Match 54) – 3-2

July 3 (Round of 16):

Sweden vs Switzerland (Match 55) – 1-0
Colombia vs England (Match 56) – 1-1 (1-2 p)

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July 6 (Quarterfinals):

Uruguay vs. France (Match 57) – 0-2
Brazil vs Belgium (Match 58) – 1-2

July 7 (Quarterfinals):

Sweden vs. England (Match 59) – 0-2 [1-6 Corners]
Russia vs Croatia (Match 60) – 1-1 (1-2 p)

July 10 (Semifinal):

France vs Belgium (Match 61) – 1-0

July 11 (Semifinal):

Croatia vs England (Match 62) – 1-1 (2-1 et)

July 14 (Third-Place Match):

Belgium vs England (Match 63) – 2-0

July 15 (Final):

France vs Croatia (Match 64) – 4-2

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  1. Ivan says

    England don’t seem to have what it takes I’m afraid… My World Cup 2018 winner prediction would be Spain: They’ve finally got a decent striker after Villa and pretty much top players on every position, not to mention De Gea’s awesome form. The perfect mix of veterans and young talent. Brazil will probably fail at some point, just like back in 2014 when they were battered by Germany…

    1. Stu says

      Spain without Morata. Who would’ve thought. Honestly speaking the World Cup outright odds are a joke. Brazil can never be favourites, no sir. Germany and France look stronger, Spain might do alright. England back home on the first plane after the group stages, hehe

  2. Robbie says

    Nice betting preview. Groups D and H are really tough to predict IMO. There’s no way you can tell how those teams will show up and who will need what result during the last match in order to advance. What do england need to get through to the next round? A miracle I’d say, hehe. Honestly, we will probably fail to defeat Spain/Portugal in the round of 16.

  3. Tommye says

    Can’t see Colombia defeating Senegal, they’re just overrated because they’ve got a few big names. I’d grab Senegal to get through to the last 16 and maybe them to win the tournament or reach the semis with the intention of selling the bet after I see who they will face next…

  4. Ribeiro says

    Favourites performed poorly, all of them except Belgium. Who do you think can win the competitio guyz??

    1. BettingInstitute says

      England, Belgium, Croatia and Senegal showed good form so far. The other favourites may have been unconvincing as of yet, but those world class players usually deliver in key moments, so we shouldn’t write off the likes of Germany, Spain & France. It’s really hard to say who can go all the way at this point, but the good part is that the competition is really exciting!

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