The 2018 FIFA World Cup is just hours away as millions of fans around the world eagerly await for football’s greatest event to get underway. Russia are hosting the quadrennial event for the first time in history with matches to be held in 12 stadiums across 11 host cities.
Defending champions Germany will be aiming to win their fifth title to join Brazil as the most successful side in the history of the tournament. Brazil, led by Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar, will be looking to banish the ghosts from their disastrous home tournament four years ago and win the title for a record-extending sixth time.
Meanwhile, the Russian edition will provide two of the sport’s greatest players in Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi a last chance to win football’s most-coveted title. While Ronaldo led Portugal to the Euro 2016 title, Messi has had to endure heartbreaks with Argentina after losing two Copa America and a FIFA World Cup final with his country.
2010 champions Spain enter the tournament with a well-balanced side but with coach Julen Lopetegui being sacked just one day before the start of the World Cup, Spain’s campaign has got off to the worst possible start. France, led by Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba, look to win their first major title in 18 years while a Gareth Southgate-led England look to defy critics and challenge for their first major title in 52 years.