The 2018 FIFA World Cup was the 21st FIFA World Cup, an international football tournament contested by the men’s national teams of the member associations of FIFA once every four years. It took place in Russia from 14 June to 15 July 2018.
This was the first World Cup to be held in Eastern Europe, and the 11th time that it had been held in Europe. At an estimated cost of over $14.2 billion, it is the most expensive World Cup ever. It was also the first World Cup to use the video assistant referee (VAR) system.
The finals involved 32 teams, of which 31 came through qualifying competitions, while the host nation qualified automatically. Of the 32 teams, 20 had also appeared in the last tournament in 2014, while both Iceland and Panama made their first appearances at a FIFA World Cup. A total of 64 matches were played in 12 venues across 11 cities. The final took place on 15 July at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, with France and Croatia competing for the World Cup. France won the match 4–2 to claim their second World Cup title, and this result marked the fourth consecutive title won by a European team, after Italy in 2006, Spain in 2010 and Germany in 2014.
The opening ceremony took place on Thursday, 14 June 2018, at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, preceding the opening match of the tournament between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Former Brazilian World Cup-winning striker Ronaldo walked out with a child wearing a Russia 2018 shirt. English pop singer Robbie Williams then performed two songs before he and Russian soprano Aida Garifullina performed a duet while other performers emerged, dressed in the flags of all 32 teams and carrying a sign bearing the name of each nation. Dancers were also present. Ronaldo returned with the official match ball of the 2018 World Cup which was sent into space with the International Space Station crew in March and came back to Earth in early June.
France snatches world cup glory from Croatia to win the second title. Sliding over the rain-drenched turf holding the World Cup trophy tight, adolescent Kylian Mbappe and the rest of France’s players acted like the energetic cluster they are. The 19-year-old Mbappe turned out to be just the second-high scorer after Pele to score in a World Cup last, helping France beat Croatia 4-2.
“I don’t generally acknowledge yet what it is. The World Cup, it’s a great deal,” forward Antoine Griezmann said. “I’m extremely glad for this team.”
Mbappe had recently demonstrated his electrifying speed in the 52nd moment when play was held up by four nonconformists who ran onto the field. Putin was later on the field to award medals to the players in a ceremony soon drenched in rain and joy. As thunder boomed and lightning cracked, FIFA president Gianni Infantino handed France captain Hugo Lloris the gold-and-malachite World Cup trophy.
Around 12 minutes after a dissident gave Mbappe a double high-five on the field, Mbappe sent a right-footed shot from 25 yards (meters) past goalkeeper Danijel Subasic. The objective put France up 4-1, shutting the entryway on Croatia who had been the better group until the point when he became animated.
The main another adolescent to score in a World Cup last was Pele, who was 17 when Brazil beat Sweden 5-2 out of 1958.
Mbappe, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain in the French league, was born months after France won its only other World Cup title in 1998.
Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann, France’s two other key creative players, also scored.
But it was Mbappe who put the match out of reach with a furious passage of play in the second half.
In the 59th, a run from Mbappe started a play that ended up with Pogba on the edge of the penalty area. With his second attempt, the midfielder curled his shot beyond Subasic.
Griezmann scored from the penalty spot in the 38th minute fully four minutes after his corner kick was knocked out of play by Ivan Perisic’s arm. The referee ruled it handball only after a video review, just as the first thunders claps boomed around the stadium. France took the lead in the 18th when Croatia’s tallest outfield player, 1.90-meter (6-foot-3) forward Mario Mandzukic, rose to meet Griezmann’s free-kick with the top of his head. He deflected it past his own goalkeeper.
Perisic and Mandzukic both scored for Croatia, first to equalize in the 28th minute and later as a consolation goal in the 69th, embarrassing Lloris with a flicked shot as the France goalkeeper tried to dribble the ball out of his goalmouth.
France coach Didier Deschamps became only the third man to win the World Cup as a player and a coach. He joined Mario Zagallo of Brazil and Franz Beckenbauer, who captained West Germany.
Deschamps, France’s captain 20 years ago, was lifted up by his players on the field and flung into the air several teams and caught. The normally staid coach did a few skipping dance steps in the rain before stopping and laughing at himself.