Russia 2018 will go down in history as one of the most exciting World Cup (WC) ever. This one-month tournament was full of surprises, thrilling games, and on top of that, saw many new records. More so, it was the first WC to use the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology which added more drama to an already unpredictable sport.
The facts from the infographic below by BettingSites suggest that this tournament saw many unexpected developments.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was that the lowest ranked team at the tournament, Russia, managed to reach the quarter-final for the first time since the breakup of the Soviet Union, and beat football giants Spain.
Also, Croatia surprised everyone by fighting its way to reach the World Cup final for the first time after beating England in the semi-final, making it England’s 100th competitive defeat.
Whereas Belgium, who was such a delight to watch at this year’s WC, not only managed to score the most goals (16), but it also eliminated the five-time champions Brazil. This made it the fourth European team to knock out the Samba boys in four consecutive tournaments after France, Netherlands, and Germany.
And much as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were kicked out early from the tournament, they managed to set a few records with Ronaldo becoming the oldest player to score a hat-trick in the WC history during Portugal’s game against Spain. He also went on to become the European footballer with the most goals at international level after he scored his 85th goal against Morocco.
On the other hand, Messi set a new personal record by attempting 11 shots in Argentina’s first game at the WC against Iceland. This is the most he has ever attempted in a single game at the WC, even though he failed to score and also missed a penalty.
As for France, besides winning the tournament, a couple of its players set new world records. Kylian Mbappe became the second teenager to score in a WC final and also to score many goals (3) in a WC tournament after Pele scored six in 1958. Moreover, France also had the youngest team in Russia.
For more facts and numbers on the top 16 teams at the 2018 World Cup, check out the infographic below (here’s the original URL):