When it comes to football, the FIFA World Cup is the main stage where everyone wants to be.
32 countries from all the continents compete for one trophy. The competition is always filled with tears, laughs, and shocks. The 2018 edition of the event, hosted in Russia, was no exception. According to the infographic below provided by bettingsites.me.uk there were many unexpected scores.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup saw France emerge as the winners, and also saw the defending champions, Germany, knocked out in the group stage. This made the team the third consecutive defending champions to lose at that stage of the competition.
Another shock was the Round of 16 losses of Argentina and Portugal. These are the countries of two of the 21st century’s greatest footballers – Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi’s Argentina lost 4-2 to France, and hours later, Ronaldo’s Portugal lost 2-1 to Uruguay.
Many fear that the duo might have lost their last chance to win the trophy since they would be 35 and 37 respectively when the competition comes around again in 2022.
Once these two lost in the round of 16, the lights were turned on to several younger stars, like Hazard of Belgium, Neymar of Brazil, Griezmann and Mbappe of France, and so on. However, of all these, Mbappe seemed to rise to the highest point of prominence at the tournament.
Kylian Mbappe, the 19-year-old French forward, scored the last goal that saw France lift the trophy, becoming the second teenager to score in a World Cup final.
The greatest shock of the competition, however, came from Croatia.
Before the competition, Croatia was not even considered contenders as it came to the competition through the play-offs. Its group was tough, with Argentina, Iceland, and Nigeria, and the Croats earned the “underdog” title.
However, their captain, Luka Modrić, carried his team through the group stage, winning every match and coming away with maximum points. The team squeezed out victories on penalties in two consecutive games, win in extra time against England in the semis, before losing 4-2 to France.
Luka Modrić proceeded to win the Golden Ball, an award given to the best outfield player of the tournament. He also won the FIFA Men’s Player of the year 2018, breaking Messi and Ronaldo’s ten-year reign over the award.
This world cup came with a lot of surprises and shocks. Now we look forward to the next edition of the tournament and what it has to offer.
Meanwhile, enjoy the infographic below for more facts on Russia 2018.