The countdown began … now all roads point to Russia.
For 32 days, from June 14 to July 15, the biggest stars of the most popular sport in the world will be at the center of the Russian stage. Be prepared that it is already around the corner.
That’s why we have a quick guide to follow the mother of all sporting events: the 2018 Soccer World Cup, played for the first time on two continents – Europe and Asia.
These are the data you should know before the tournament starts.
1.-The 10 games that should not be missed in the group stage (According to Euronews)
Friday, June 15, 10pm: Portugal – Spain
Sunday, June 17, 7pm: Germany – Mexico
Thursday June 21, 10pm: Argentina – Croatia
Friday June 22, 8pm: Serbia – Switzerland
Saturday June 23, 22h: Germany – Sweden
Sunday, June 24, 10pm: Poland – Colombia
Tuesday, June 26, 10pm: Nigeria – Argentina
Tuesday June 26, 6pm: Denmark – France
Wednesday June 27, 10pm: Serbia – Brazil
Thursday June 28, 8pm: England – Belgium
2. Debut of the var
For the first time in the history of the FIFA World Cup, the VAR (Video Asistent Referee) will be used in search of greater equity in the game.
The system debuted in the penultimate edition of the Club World Cup where it helped to sanction a penalty in favor of Kashima Antlers in the game against Atlético Nacional during the semifinals.
However, in the match between America and Real Madrid, the system caused confusion in a Cristiano Ronaldo goal that was first validated by the referee, then it was canceled and finally it was considered legal, all this in a matter of seconds.
3.- The true king: Telstar 18
In Russia 2018 all teams will use Telstar 18 from Adidas. It is a reinvention in black and white of the first Adidas ball used in a World Cup, the classic Telstar of 1970. It consists of only six panels and, of course, has the iconic golden Adidas logo.
4.- Do not wait to see these equipment
Italy. For the second time in their history the four times world champions failed to get their ticket to the tournament.
Holland. He is the other great absentee in Russia 2018 after having finished a disastrous qualifying campaign in which he finished behind Sweden.
U.S. For the first time in more than three decades, the national team will not compete.
Chile. The winner of the last two Americas Cups is also out of the World Cup.
Cameroon. This team had qualified for six of the last seven World Cup tournaments since reaching the quarterfinals in 1990.
Ivory Coast. His fans will also not have a team to cheer for in Russia 2018 had attended this event from Germany 2006.
5.- The two big surprises
Panama. The unexpected defeat of the United States against Trinidad and Tobago in the qualification phase opened the doors to the first qualification for the World Cup of the selection of the Central American team.
Iceland. With a population of 330,000, it became the smallest nation in history to qualify for the final phase of the World Cup, securing its place in the tournament for the first time in its history.
6.- Zabivaka the official mascot
Zabivaka is a wolf, whose name means “the one who marks” in Russian. Take over from Goleo VI (2006), Zakumi (2010) and Fuleco (2014) as the official mascot of the World Cup. You can follow it on your Facebook page.
7.- Eleven cities
The inaugural and final matches are scheduled at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
The World Championship will be held in 11 cities: Moscow, Kaliningrad, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Saransk, Rostov-on-Don, Sochi and Yekaterinburg.
Yekaterinburg east of the Urals is the furthest.
8.- Three hours of difference with Europe
The matches will be played 3 hours before the Central European summer time.
9.- No visa is required
To facilitate attendance at the World Cup of Russia 2018 to fans from around the world, the Russian government, in July 2016, passed a law that established a visa exemption during the period of the competition, ie, between June 14 and July 15, 2018.
To be able to enjoy this visa exemption, two conditions must be met: firstly, to have access to a match of the World Cup and, secondly, to obtain the FAN ID card or the Amateur Passport.
10.- Hot air for stadiums
At the Zenit Arena in St. Petersburg, an innovative system has been installed that will introduce 5 million cubic meters of hot air into the stadium. This technological advance will be used so that the temperature, in the stadium where a semi-final match will be played and the third and fourth place, will always be 21 degrees.