10 FIFA 2018 World Cup Stats-Facts

France clinched their second FIFA World Cup title winning a scintillating final 4-2 against Croatia that epitomised a tournament packed with drama, goals, glory and heartache.

Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann both took their World Cup goal tallies to four with strikes in the Moscow showpiece, while Paul Pogba scored his only goal of the 2018 competition and Mario Mandzukic put through his own net to make France the first team to score four in a final since Brazil in 1970.

Didier Deschamps’ men won all but one of their seven matches en route to lifting the game’s most coveted trophy for the first time in 20 years, scoring 14 goals and conceding six, while Croatia claimed the unwanted record of being the first team in 44 years to lose in their first World Cup final.

But it wasn’t just the finalists who racked up the numbers across the course of an entertaining tournament that was statistically remarkable – and even better to watch.

Below are some of the statistics that went unnoticed….

1 – Croatia are the first team to lose in their debut appearance in a World Cup final since Netherlands in 1974 (2-1 against Germany).

2 – England finally won a penalty shoot-out at the World Cup for the first time since 1990. The Three Lions won a penalty shoot-out at the World Cup for the first time following their match against Colombia in the last 16.

3 – Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic also became the first player to score an own goal in the final of the FIFA World Cup.

2 – The two winners of the Ballon D’Or in the last decade Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have not scored a goal in a World Cup knockout match, with both failing to end their drought in Russia. Ronaldo is on a six game World Cup knockout match drought while Messi is on eight games.

3 – Germany became the third successive defending champions to be eliminated in the group stages of the competition after Spain four years ago and Italy in 2010.

4 – Didier Deschamps is the third person to win the World Cup as both a player and a manager, after Brazil’s Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer with Germany.

5 – France became the first team to score four goals in a World Cup final since Brazil beat Italy 4-1 in 1970.

6 – Brazil have been eliminated by a European nation in each of the last four World Cup tournaments (France in 2006, Netherlands in 2010, Germany in 2014 and Belgium in 2018).

7 – Rafael Marquez featured in his fifth World Cup (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018), becoming just the third player to achieve this feat along with Mexican compatriot Antonio Carbajal (1950, 1954, 1958, 1962 and 1966) and Germany’s Lothar Matthaus (1982, 1986, 1990, 1994 and 1998).

8 – Russia’s victory against Saudi Arabia on matchday one means the host nation has never lost their opening match in any of the 21 editions of the World Cup (16 wins, 6 draws, no losses).

9 – Cristiano Ronaldo is the oldest hat-trick scorer in World Cup history, with the Portuguese star aged 33 years and 130 days when netted his treble against Spain – the previous record holder was Rob Rensenbrink in 1978 for Netherlands against Iran (30 years, 335 days).

10 – Mexico’s Rafael Marquez also became the oldest outfield player to start a World Cup knockout match since 1954, at age 39 years, 139 days. Stanley Matthews (39years, 145 days) in 1954 for England v Uruguay was the last player to achieve that feat.

Paris Renames Metro Stations To Honour World Cup Stars

Six Paris metro stations were temporarily renamed in honour of France’s World Cup-winning champions after their 4-2 rollercoaster victory against Croatia.

Among the changes, station Victor Hugo became “Victor Hugo Lloris”, named after the team’s captain and goalkeeper, whose second-half mistake gave Croatia faint hopes of a late comeback.

The metro stop at Bercy has become “Bercy les Bleus”, a play on words to thank the team. The station Avron has taken the name “Nous Avron Gagne”, a play on the French to mean “We have won”.

Charles de Gaulle-Etoile was turned into “On a 2 Etoiles”, meaning “We have two stars” — referring to the country’s first World Cup win on home soil in 1998 and last night’s victory in Russia.

Notre-Dame des Champs has become “Notre Didier Deschamps”, while Champs-Elysees- Clemenceau has been changed to “Deschamps Elysees-Clemenceau” — both stations pay tribute to the team’s coach Didier Deschamps, who was also a midfielder in the 1998 side.

The changes represent “winks” to the team, Paris transport operator RATP said Monday.

It said the squad will use an open top double-decker electric bus to greet fans between the Place de l’Etoile, site of the Arc de Triomphe, and the Elysee Palace.

The players are expected to land at Roissy Airport on Monday afternoon and will be taken directly to the celebrations before being received by President Emmanuel Macron.

AFP

World Cup 2018: Harry Kane Disappointed at Loss in Last Games

England captain Harry Kane admitted the Three Lions must improve if they are to build on reaching the World Cup semifinals after losing the third-place playoff 2-0 to Belgium on Saturday.

Gareth Southgate’s side made the last four for the first time in 28 years, but a second defeat in the tournament to Belgium means they ultimately lost three of their seven games in Russia.

“We closed it for sure (the gap to best top teams). But today shows, and some other games show, that there is still room for improvement,” said Kane.

“We’ve said that all along – we’re not the finished article yet, we’re still learning, we’re still getting better.

“We don’t want to wait another 20-odd years to get to the semifinal in big matches. This is the level we’ve got to stay at now. We’ve got to improve, we’ve got to get better, but it will come.”

Kane failed to find the net in England’s final three games of the tournament, but still remains on course to win the Golden Boot thanks to his six goals against Tunisia, Panama and Colombia.

“Obviously I’m disappointed I couldn’t get a goal in the last few games,” added the Tottenham Hotspur striker.

“Sometimes it goes for you, sometimes it doesn’t. But if I win it, it’ll be something I’ll be very proud of.”

(Supersport)

Southgate: We Are Proud Of Our Achievement In Russia

England coach, Gareth Southgate, says that he is pleased with his side despite their semi-final defeat to Croatia at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, and that their people are proud of the team’s overall achievement in Russia.

England side surrendered a one goal lead after Kierian Trippier’s curtain-raiser in the fifth minute as Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic’s goals secured the win for Croatia.

“At the moment we all feel the pain of the defeat. Did we expect to be in this position? I don’t think realistically any of us did,” Southgate said during his post-match interview.

“But when you’ve got to this pint and you’ve played in the way we have and played as well as we have in the first half you want to take those opportunities in life.

“The dressing room is a very difficult place at the moment. But what I will say is I’m remarkably proud of a group of players who have really advanced.

“I think the reaction of the supporters to them, compared to two years ago, tells them that, first and foremost, that experiences with England can be positive, the country are very proud of them and the way that they’ve played and there will in time be a lot of positives to take.”

Perisic, Mandzukic Shoot Down Three Lions As Croatia Reach First Ever World Cup Final

Croatia qualified for their first ever final after defeating England 2-1 in their semi-final clash of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow on Wednesday.

Mario Mandzukic scored in 109th minute of extra time to seal the win for Croatia.

Kieran Trippier opened scoring for the Three Lions with free kick after five minutes.

Ivan Perisic drew Croatia level in the second half.

Croatia will face France in Sunday’s final, while Belgium and England will fight for the third place on Saturday

England troubled Croatia with their pace in the opening minutes of the game with Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli, Jesse Lingard all finding spaces behind the Croats defence.

In the fifth minute, Croatia conceded a free kick at the edge of the box after Luka Modric’s clumsy tackle on Lingard.

Trippier stepped up and curled in his shot past Danijel Subasic.

England had chances to double their lead but Sterling, Lingard and Harry Kane all missed.

Croatia also had opportunity to draw level through Ante Rebic but his shot was fired straight at Jordan Pickford.

Croatia were rattled in defence and that forced them in making too many errors in their defensive line during the latter stages of this first half.

Ivan Perisic and Ivan Rakitic had rare chances to draw Croatia level before half time but they wasted their opportunities.

ln the second half, Croatia added more urgency to their game and they started carving out chances to score but Mario Mandzukic, Perisic missed the initial opportunity they had.

Perisic drew Croatia level in the 68th minute after he had hit the post with a shot.

The Juventus striker stabbed in Sime Vrsaljko from the right flank his 20th international goal for Croatia.

With extra time looming Perisic threatened with another attempt at goal.

In extra time, John Stones saw his goal bound header cleared off the line by Rakitic.

Mandzukic scored the winner for Croatia inbthe 109th minute capitalizing on a poor clearance from the English defence.

Ndidi Rated Has Having Most Tackles, Interceptions After World Cup Group Stage

Nigeria may have been eliminated from the 2018 FIFA World Cup but Super Eagles midfielder Wilfred Ndidi has been rated as the player with the most tackles and interceptions so far at the competition.
This was confirmed by football facts and statistics website, whoscored.com on their verified Twitter handle.
According to whoscored.com, he has made 15 tackles and 12 interceptions more than any other player at the 2018 WorldCup so far.
Ndidi was in action for the Super Eagles who narrowly missed out of qualification for the round of 16 from Group D.
The Leicester City star played in all three Group D games of the Super Eagles at the tournament.

Germany Exit Won’t End World Cup Bonanza – Adidas

German sporting goods maker Adidas said on Thursday that it expects to sell around eight million football shirts this year even after former champions Germany’s shock exit from the World Cup.

“Of course we’re disappointed, but that’s sport, we’re sponsors, we’re there in good and in bad moments,” a spokeswoman told AFP.

“Together (with Germany) we’ve become world champions four times and European champions three times in the past,” she added.

Bavaria-based Adidas sponsors some 12 teams taking part in this year’s Russia World Cup, six of them definitely qualified for the knockout stage: Russia, Sweden, Mexico, Spain, Argentina and Belgium.

Colombia and Japan could also still make it past the group games.

The firm expects combined sales of all its sponsored teams’ kits to reach around eight million, more than during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Looking to competitors, US-based Nike boasts England, Brazil, Croatia, Portugal and France among its remaining lineup.

Meanwhile Germany’s Puma is hoping its leaping-cat ensign will bring luck to Switzerland, Uruguay and Senegal.

AFP

Etebo Beats Messi To Highest Rate Of Successful Take-Ons At 2018 World Cup

Super Eagles midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo is the player with the highest percentage of take-ons so far at the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup.

This was confirmed by football facts and statistics website Squawka Football on their verified Twitter handle on Wednesday.

According to Squawka Football, Etebo’s 88.89% successful take-ons rate is higher than any player to attempt 10+ so far.

Etebo failed just two take-ons at the 2018 World Cup, with 18 attempted and 16 completed.

Etebo has therefore been more successful at dribbles than superstars Lionel Messi, Eden Hazard, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo.

He was in action in all the Super Eagles’ group games.

Messi: Super Eagles Made Us Suffer

Argentina skipper Lionel Messi has admitted the Super Eagles made them suffer in their nervy 2-1 win in Tuesday’s Group D Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup clash.

Messi gave Argentina the lead early in the first half before Victor Moses drew the Super Eagles level.

But with four minutes left Marcos Rojo scored the winner to take Argentina through to the round of 16.

“We suffered a lot,” Messi said on FIFA.com.

“There was a lot at stake. It was a huge relief, a relief for all of us. We didn’t think we would suffer this much.”

And ahead of their round of 16 clash against France, Messi said they will be prepared for a tough game.

“We have watched every single France game. We follow every game. France is a very good team with skilled individual players. They have very fast players who can really make a difference. I know what we will have to do. It will be a very tough game, no doubt.”

Rohr: Super Eagles Unlucky Vs Argentina; I Shouldn’t Have Started Iheanacho

Super Eagles manager Rohr Gernot insists his side were unlucky to have bowed out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Lionel Messi scored a superb first-half opener in the 14th minute which was cancelled out by a penalty by Victor Moses six minutes into the second half.

Marcos Rojo scored an 86th-minute winner to send Rohr’s men packing from the competition.

“It was a little bit down to luck and we didn’t have it today,” Rohr said in his post-match interview.

“We did so well. We had the problem of having one day less than Argentina to prepare. Perhaps, at the end of the match, that was dangerous.”

He also admitted that he erred in starting an unfit Kelechi Iheanacho.

“Everybody did well. The goal was coming. When I see what happened in the first half, perhaps I wouldn’t start with the same team because Iheanacho wasn’t fit,” Rohr explained.

On the appeal for a second penalty for his team when Marcos Rojo handled the ball, Rohr claimed that it was handball.

“I believe it was a hand. I didn’t see the video. It’s difficult for the referee to make a good interpretation of the video.”

Mikel: Super Eagles Are Ready To Make Nigerians Proud Vs Argentina

Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi has assured that he and his teammates are good to go against Argentina in tonight’s crucial Group D Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup clash.

The Super Eagles will hope to replicate their impressive 4-2 friendly win against Argentina last year.

They must avoid defeat against the two-time World Cup winners to stand a chance of progressing into the round of 16.

In their last four meetings with Nigeria at the World Cup, Argentina have emerged victorious.

“Ready for a big game tonight. Thank you for all the support, we are ready to do you proud,” Mikel, who fractured his hand in the 2-0 over Iceland on Friday, tweeted on Tuesday, hours before the 7pm kick-off.