FIFA World Cup 2018 | Sportzwiki

The world is getting ready for yet another edition of the FIFA World Cup – one of the biggest sporting extravaganzas on the planet.

Under the governing body, Fédération Internationale de Football Association, or just FIFA, the competition has been held every four since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. 13 teams had taken part in the inaugural edition which was won by Uruguay. Since then, the competition has only grown from strength to strength.

The 21st edition of the competition will be held in Russia. The competition kickoffs on June 14 while the final will be played on July 15.  32 teams will fight it out for the holy grail of the football as the fans are looking towards another enthralling edition of the tournament which has always lived up to expectations.

Of the 32 teams taking part, 20 of those will be making back-to-back appearances, including reigning champions, Germany.  There are also some teams who are appearing in the World Cup for the very first time such as Iceland and Panama. On the other hand,  this edition would also be the first in 60 years without the participation of Italy. The four-times World Cup winners missed out this time after losing to Sweden in the qualifying playoff in November.

Hosts Russia will take on Saudi Arabia in the curtain-raiser at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Defending Champions Germany will open their campaign against Mexico on the 17th, before taking on Sweden and Korea Republic in their remaining fixtures.

Last editions’ runners-up Argentina will take on Icelandbefore locking horns against  Croatia and Nigeria. Lionel Messi & Co. are one of the favourites to lift the tile.

Reigning European champions Portugal will fight it out against Spain in their first game of Group B which also consists of Morocco and Iran.

The much-awaited tournament will witness a watershed moment in the game. The upcoming edition will be the first World Cup in history to make use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

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FIFA World Cup 2018

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FIFA World Cup 2018 Awards

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FIFA World Cup 2018

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Jurgen Klopp says Croatia and Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has been in phenomenal touch. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

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Ivan Rakitic

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