Russia 2018 will go down as one of the most successful FIFA tournaments in history, having raked in revenue, fans, and exposure unlike any competition before it. From the first blast of the whistle till the last one there was non-stop action and drama, with France’s victory over Croatia in the final drawing curtains on the breathless month of football.
The hectic nature of events in Russia was such that some major stories might have slipped under the radar or given minimal attention due to other headline-grabbing events. So, what are some of the major talking points at Russia 2018?
Whether or not you believe that the use of VAR at the World Cup was successful largely depends on what kind of fan you are. The purists will be thrilled, as it mostly takes away the controversies that cloud referees and their decision making. Previously, they had just a split second to make a decision, and a wrong one would turn an entire game on its head.
Others, however, see it to be taking out an element of the game as the controversy and drama is what makes these matches so special.
No matter what side of the fence you stand, there is no denying that the technology is a breath of fresh.
Ronaldo vs. Messi
It’s the never-ending battle between two of the game’s greatest stars. Comparisons between them dominated the early parts of the tournament. Top betting sites had them as favorites to lift the golden boot, and it was thrilling to watch them at the top of their game, maybe for the last time at a World Cup.
Both left at the last 16 stage, with the world title still being one of the rare trophies neither has won.
From the early parts of the tournament right to the knockout stages, the recurring theme of the tournament was global powerhouses getting beat by minnows. The tag of favorites doesn’t guarantee victory in football, and the World Cup proved just that.
Mexico’s 2-1 victory over Germany was one of the highlights of the group stage, along with Germany’s damning defeat to South Korea.
An unfancied Senegal side beat Poland, Croatia thrashed Argentina, and perhaps the most significant of all was the host nation Russia’s victory over Spain in the last 16. It just goes to prove that there is no room for complacency at this level.
Check out the stats and facts collected by Bettingsites.me.uk about the top 16 teams in Russia! Check out the infographic here: https://bettingsites.me.uk/the-football-world-cup-2018-the-top-16-teams-with-interesting-numbers/