Once every four years, the world comes together and holds its breath, celebrates, and bathes in happiness for a span of 30 days as the world’s most beloved sports competition is played. Still, every edition of the World Cup has something that makes it truly unique, and the coming World Cup will be no exception.
With it being placed during the twilight of the Messi-Ronaldo era and birth of rising superstars that will one day rule a whole new football dynasty, the 2018 World Cup is bound to go down in history.
1. Final World Cup for legends
For a decade, the living legends, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the world of football, both winning five Ballon D’ors each. Yet, what comes up must come down, as both superstars reach the age of 30 and over, they are starting to show signs of decline, and it won’t be long before both of them stop playing at such an out-of-this-world level. With this World Cup possibly being the last one they will ever play during their prime, and the fact that none of them has ever won this prestigious tournament, it is safe to say that both of them will go all out for one final time, and their opponents should be terrified to face either of them.
Also, not to be overlooked, superstars such as Iker Casillas, Iniesta, and Mascherano have all decided to retire from international duty after this final World Cup, all of which shall be missed dearly by their fans and their national teams.
2. First World Cup for rising superstars
Despite, so many legends leaving the game, football fans have no reason to despair, because the 2018 World Cup will be the first World Cup for many rising superstars.
Outstanding young talents, such as Kylian M’bappe, who transferred from Monaco to PSG for a mouth-watering fee of 180 million pounds, and Marco Asensio, who will be Real Madrid’s front runner after Ronaldo retires, will be playing their first World Cup of their exciting young careers.
Marcus Rashford, Gabriel Jesus, and Dele Alli are also shining their boots and relishing at the thought of being able to compete for the fabled FIFA World Cup trophy for the first time.
3. The Debut of Iceland
Having a dentist as your manager does not seem like a winning formula, however Iceland proved everyone wrong when they knocked England out of the 2016 Euros, and this time they are coming back for their World Cup debut.
With a population of about 330,000, they boast the record of being the least populated country to have ever qualified for the World Cup, and they also took the world by storm when they started the Viking thunderclap to celebrate their qualification of the World Cup. This is not to say that they are going to Russia just for a show, they are also going to rise to the challenge and shock the world once more.
4. The absence of traditional powerhouses
The 2018 World Cup qualifications have been full of dark horses. However, football is a cruel sport, for one team to rise, another must fall. Familiar faces of past World cups, such as the Netherlands, Chile, and Italy, have all fallen victim to the unpredictability of football, and have been knocked out during the World Cup qualifications. For these nations and their fans it will be a devastating blow, as countries such as Italy haven’t missed World Cup action for more than half a century.
Even so, their absence would mean an opportunity for teams that haven’t played the World Cup for decades to have a go at football’s greatest ever achievement. As Egypt, Morocco, and Peru gear up to play for their first World Cup in decades, their fans are thrilled to see them play once more in World Cup.
5. The thrill of it being the World Cup
The name FIFA World Cup, speaks for itself. Since it’s introduction to the world in 1930, it has grown enormously, becoming the world’s most-watched sporting event, with 3.2 billion people tuning in on the previous World Cup, which is nearly half the world’s population. Even in countries where football isn’t a major sport, such as Taiwan, the World Cup is still considered a massively important event, and can whip any country into a football frenzy.
The world waits in anticipation, as in less than 100 days, the globe shall be filled once more with outstanding skills, remarkable goals, and the roaring of billions around the globe.