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- 2018 will be the 21st Fifa World Cup, 88 years after the inaugural tournament in Uruguay (1930) and for the first time in Russia.
- This is the first World Cup since 2006 to be hosted in Europe.
- Italy failed to qualify for the first time since 1958, being the only one of eight teams to have won the competition who won’t compete in Russia.
- The 2018 World Cup matches will be held in 11 cities and 12 stadiums: Moscow, St Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Kazan, Samara, Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Rostov-on-Don, Kaliningrad and Sochi.
- The 2018 World Cup opening match and final will be played in Moscow at the Luzhniki stadium.
- Brazil’s Pele is the only player to win three World Cups: in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
- The highest scoring game in World Cup history was in 1954, when Austria defeated Switzerland 7-5.
- Russia’s Oleg Slanko holds the record for most individual goals in a single match, netting five goals against Cameroon in 1994.
- India withdrew from the competition in 1950 when they weren’t allowed to play barefoot in the tournament.