The 21st World Cup begins in Russia on the 14th of June where 736 players representing 32 teams will compete over 64 matches across 12 different cities and 11 host venues to claim the greatest prize in sport. At the end of each round we’ll bring you some standout statistics.
14th June. Day 1.
Sergei Ignashevich (38 years, 335 days) is the oldest outfield player to feature in a World Cup match since Roger Milla in 1994.
Russia recorded the second biggest victory by a host nation in their opening match in World Cup history, after Italy vs USA in 1934 (7-1).
None of the first three scorers at Russia 2018 – Yuri Gazinskiy, Denis Cheryshev, and Artem Dzyuba – are in the official Panini stickeralbum.
Brazil, Mexico and Russia emoji flags are the most used in World Cup conversation.
Instagram created global team based on the World Cup players with the highest amount of Instagram followers. This line up includes Ronaldo with 126.7M, Neymar with 93.5M and Messi with 91.8M.
— Instagram (@instagram) June 14, 2018
15th June. Day 2.
Egypt had to wait 10,221 days to play a game at a World Cup finals – the last was on June 21st 1990, when they lost 0-1 to England.
Uruguay’s Oscar Tabárez will be managing at his fourth World Cup (after 1990, 2010 and 2014) which is more than any other manager at this year’s tournament.
Cristiano Ronaldo is the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships, Copa America).
Cristiano Ronaldo is the fourth player to score in four separate World Cup tournaments (also Pelé, Miroslav Klose and Uwe Seeler).
Cristiano Ronaldo’s 86th minute equaliser against Spain was his 51st career hat-trick. It was also the 51st time a player had scored a hat-trick at the World Cup. He is also the oldest player to have scored a World Cup hat-trick.
16th June. Day 3
The France starting 11 (24 years & 6 months) was the youngest one for Les Bleus in an opening game of the World Cup since 1930 (23 years & 11 months v Mexico).
Kylian Mbappe (19 years & 6 months) is the youngest France player ever to play a game in a major tournament.
Alfred Finnbogason scored Iceland’s first ever goal in a World Cup finals tournament.
17th June. Day 4.
Mexico’s Rafael Márquez is appearing in his fifth different World Cup finals tournament, equalling the record held by Antonio Carbajal (Mexico) and Lothar Matthäus (Germany).
Germany have lost their opening match at a World Cup for only the second time, also doing so in 1982 against Algeria. They went on to reach the final that year.
Since 1966, Brazil have scored 37 goals from outside the box at the World Cup; 11 more than any other team.
A giant inflatable ball has become a highlight of the World Cup after getting the meme treatment.
18th June. Day 5.
Hold onto your hats! Today Panama played in their first ever World Cup match; the last side to win on debut were Senegal in 2002.
Harry Kane is the first player to score against two different goalkeepers in the same World Cup match since Diego Forlan vs South Africa in 2010.
19th June. Day 6.
57% of goals scored so far have been from set pieces (including penalties).
Shinji Kagawa becomes the first player with a part of the lower body in his name to score a World Cup penalty since golden boot winner Oleg Salenko in 1994.
Japan have become the first ever Asian side to defeat a South American team at the World Cup.
Carlos Sanchez’s red card after two minutes and 56 seconds is the second fastest shown in World Cup history, after Jose Alberto Batista for Uruguay vs Scotland in 1986 (54 seconds).
20th June. Day 7.
Russia’s eight goal total in their two games at the 2018 World Cup is equal to the tally that Spain scored overall when they won the World cup in 2010.
21st June. Day 8.
Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored more international goals than any other European player in the history of football.
Surely the biggest World Cup win so far? Iran lose 1-0 to Spain but their women secure a long overdue victory. After 37 years Iranian women were allowed entry to the Azadi Stadium in Tehran to watch Iran’s match against Spain.
Spain ended Iran’s unbeaten run of 23 competitive matches, which was one of the longest runs in international football.
22nd June. Day 9.
Today Iceland faced Nigeria, a nation who, in the space of 26 days, will see their population increase by a size equivalent to the entire population of Iceland.
With 56 goals Neymar is now the outright third top goalscorer for Brazil, trailing only Pelé with 77 and Ronaldo with 62.
23rd June. Day 10.
No Belgium player has scored more goals at World Cups or European Championships than Romelu Lukaku, who is level with Jan Ceulemans on 6.
There have been more penalties in the 27 games played so far than in this World Cup than in all 64 games at the last World Cup.
Romelu Lukaku is the first player to score 2 or more goals in consecutive World Cup games since Diego Maradona in 1986.
24th June. Day 11.
This is only the fifth time in World Cup history that a team has scored 5 or more goals in the first half of a match, with Germany vs Brazil in the 2014 semi-final the most recent occasion.
Harry Kane is only the third England player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup match, after Geoff Hurst in the 1966 final, and Gary Lineker vs Poland in 1986.
There were 14 World Cup goals scored today, which is the most on a single day of action (where a maximum of three games took place) since 10th June 1990.
25th June. Day 12.
At the age of 45 years and 161 days, Egypt’s Essam El-Hadary breaks the record for the oldest player to appear at a World Cup finals. He went on to save a penalty in their 3-1 defeat by Saudi Arabia.
Uruguay are the first team to win all three of their World Cup group games without conceding a single goal since Argentina in 1998.
There have been 19 penalties taken at the 2018 World Cup so far, more than in any other previous tournament.
26th June. Day 13.
Peru have won their first World Cup game for 40 years and 15 days, since beating Iran 4-1 in 1978.
The average age of Argentina’s starting eleven against Nigeria was 30 years and 189 days, which is their oldest ever for a World Cup game.
27th June. Day 14.
Jesus Gallardo’s yellow card after 15 seconds for Mexico against Sweden is the fastest shown in World Cup history.
This is only the second time that Germany have been eliminated from the First Round at the World Cup having last done so in 1938.
Germany are the third successive World Cup reigning champions to be eliminated in the group stages after Spain in 2014 and Italy in 2010.
28th June. Day 15.
Colombia have become the only side to reach the knockout stages of the 2018 World Cup despite losing their opening match.
This is the first time an African side hasn’t progressed from the first group stage in a World Cup since 1982.
29th June. Day 16.
Yassine Meriah’s own goal for Tunisia against Panama is the 50th in World Cup history.
Fakhreddine Ben Youssef’s goal for Tunisia was the 2500th scored at the World Cup.
Round of 16
30th June. Day 17.
Didier Deschamps took charge of his 80th game as France, which is a new record as he overtakes Raymond Domenech.
Angel Di Maria’s goal vs France (30.2 yards) is the longest range goal scored at the 2018 World Cup so far.
This is the first time in the history of football that Argentina have lost a competitive match despite scoring 3 goals.
France’s Kylian Mbappe is the first teenager to score at least twice in a World Cup match since Pele vs Sweden in 1958
10 goals were scored at the World Cup today; the most goals on a day of knockout football at the tournament since the 17th June 1970.
1st July. Day 18.
At the age of 38 years and 352 days Russia’s Sergei Ignashevich is the oldest ever player to score an own goal at the World Cup.
Spain recorded the same number of passes against Russia in a single game as Russia have done in all four matches at this years World Cup.
Mathias Jørgensen’s goal for Denmark vs Croatia after 57 seconds is the quickest goal of the World Cup so far.
2nd July. Day 19.
At the age of 39 years and 139 days, Mexico’s Rafael Marquez is the oldest outfield player to start a World Cup knockout match since Stanley Matthews in 1954 for England v Uruguay.
Mexico have now been eliminated from the World Cup at the Last 16 stage in each of the last seven tournaments.
Belgium become the first team to come from two goals down to win a World Cup knockout round match in 90 minutes since Portugal in 1966.
3rd July. Day 20.
Always the bridesmaids never the bride. Sweden’s game against Switzerland will be their 50th at the World Cup. Only Mexico have played more without ever winning the competition.
England win a penalty shoot-out at the World Cup for the first time.
Jordan Pickford is the first England goalkeeper to save a penalty in a penalty shoot-out at a major tournament since David Seaman at the 1998 World Cup against Argentina.
An audience of 23.8 million tuned in to watch England beat Colombia on penalties. The biggest audience since the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympics.
6th July. Day 21.
France’s Antoine Griezmann has scored seven goals in his last six appearances in the knockout stages of major tournaments.
Belgium are unbeaten in their last 23 matches, winning 18 and drawing 5, which is a national record and the longest current run of any team left in the 2018 World Cup.
Brazil have now been eliminated by a European nation in each of the last four editions of the World Cup.
Belgium’s Eden Hazard completed all 10 of his dribbles against Brazil – the most dribbles attempted by a player with a 100% success rate in a World Cup match since 1966.
7th July. Day 22.
Eight of England’s 10 goals at the 2018 World Cup have been scored via set pieces.
Jordan Henderson has not ended on the losing side in any of his last 30 England matches, winning 23 and drawing 7, which is the longest unbeaten run of any England player in history.
Croatia are just the second side to progress on a penalty shootout in consecutive knockout games in a World Cup tournament after Argentina in 1990.
10th July. Day 23.
The omens are looking good. This is the first time since 1998, when France last won the World Cup, that 3 of their defenders (Lizarazu, Blanc, and Thuram) score a goal at the same World Cup. This time the scores have been Pavard, Varane, and Umtiti.
Since reaching their first one in 1998, France have reached more World Cup finals than any other nation.
11th July. Day 24.
England have scored nine goals from set pieces at the 2018 World Cup – the most by any team in a single World Cup tournament since 1966.
Mario Mandzukic’s goal was the latest scored by Croatia and the latest conceded by England in a World Cup game.
Third Place Play-Off
14th July. Day 25.
Thomas Meunier is the 10th different player to score for Belgium at the 2018 World Cup – the joint-most different scorers for a team at a single World Cup.
This will be England’s 100th game at a major international tournament, with 69 of those coming at the World Cup finals and 31 at the European Championships.
15th July. Day 26.
Antoine Griezmann has scored or assisted 11 goals in nine knockout games at major tournaments, which is more than any other player for France over the last 50 years, ahead of Zinedine Zidane (8) and Michel Platini (6).
France have been behind in games for just nine minutes and 12 seconds at the 2018 World Cup.
Kylian Mbappé is the second youngest player to score in a World Cup final after Pelé for Brazil in 1958.
Olivier Giroud didn’t attempt a single shot on target in 546 minutes at this World Cup for France.
Didier Deschamps has become the third person to win the World Cup as a player and as manager after Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer.
None of this would have been possible without the diligent work of Opta.
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