The paradoxes of the world Cup: a curious figures, which can not argue

Now, when the 32 participants of the world Cup four survivors of the scenarios is less and less. Two teams, becoming the strongest on the planet, will challenge two never owned a major football trophy. No need to be a mathematician to calculate: final versions of all 4, but more on that later.

Photo: AGN “Moscow”.

All 4 contenders at least once already played in the semi-finals. But Belgium and Croatia have never in their history did not become world Champions. This brings to mind an interesting tradition: in the years that end in eight, football is born a new champion! 1958 — Brazil. 1978 — Argentina. 1998 — France. The only exception was Italy-1938, which simply confirmed the pre-war fields of their status. France owned it the FIFA world Cup, remember it well and the 30-year-old fans. But England, modern trophy, crowned with a globe in his hands is never kept! In 1966, she went to the Jules Rimet Cup, in other words, the “Golden goddess”, who survived the Second world war by being hidden in the boot, but the stolen “ends” from the office of the Brazilian football Federation (the country the award was given on eternal storage in 1970 for 3 world title according to the will of Rome).

In General, the final combinations are possible 4: France — England France — Croatia, Belgium — England Belgium — Croatia. Only one of them could theoretically happen again, but as you know, the British in the only decisive match was played with the Germans, and the French — with the Brazilians. So we are waiting for the final, something that didn’t exist.

Another unique thing. Croatia on the Russian fields repeated what before was only Argentina, namely to win two penalty shootouts in a row. In 1990, in the quarterfinals the team of coach Menotti drew 120 minutes with Yugoslavia, and in the penalty shootout 3:2, although not scored by Maradona and Trolio. Reigning world Champions saved first rod, and then double-goalkeeper Goicoechea. In the semi-finals after a 1:1 with Italy, speakers of the house, was also appointed the 11-meter strikes, Argentina scored all 4 (Maradona set point) and blows Donadoni played and Serena fought back all the same Goicoechea. Now, his role turned into a Croat, though.

As for the post-match lottery, there is another curious fact. All 4 episodes occurred in games from the bottom of the grid the playoffs. It’s two games involving Croatia as well as in the games of Russia and Spain and England against Colombia. All 4 times won by those who beat the second.

Finally, as a consolation, the Russian fans. Our team officially took 5th place at the home world Championships. This is due to the fact that the team never lost in regulation or in extra time. 6-th place has of Brazil: five-time world Champions lost with a difference of only 1 goal (1:2 from Belgium).


Achievements. World champion: 1998 (France). Silver medalist of: 2006 (Germany). Bronze winner: 1958 (Sweden) and 1986 (Mexico).

Nicknames. Blue, Tricolor.

Head coach. Didier Deschamps.

Captain: Hugo Lloris.

Way through the tournament in 2018. Team (1st place): Australia – 2:1. Peru – 1:0. Denmark – 0:0. 1/8 finals: Argentina – 4:3. 1/4 finals: Uruguay – 2:0.

Scorers: Antoine Griezmann and Kilian Mbappe (3 goals).


Achievements. Semifinalist: 1986 (Mexico)

Nickname. Red devils.

Head coach. Roberto Martinez (Spain).

Captain. Eden Hazard.

Way through the tournament in 2018. Team (1st place): Panama – 3:0. Tunisia – 5:2. England 1:0. 1/8 final: Sweden – 3:2. 1/4 final: Brazil – 2:1.

Strikers: Romelu Lukaku (4 goals).


Achievements. World champion: 1966 (England). Semifinalist: 1990 (Italy).

Nickname. The three lions.

Head coach. Gareth Southgate.

Captain. Harry Kane.

Way through the tournament in 2018. Group (2nd place): Tunisia – 2:1. Panama – 6:1. Belgium – 1:2. 1/8 finals: Colombia – 1:1, 4:3 in penalties. 1/4 finals. Sweden – 2:0.

Scorer. Harry Kane (6 goals).


Achievements. Bronze medalist: 1998 (France).

Nickname. Checkers.

Head coach. Zlatko Dalic.

Captain. Luka Modrić.

Way through the tournament in 2018. Team (1st place). Nigeria – 2:0. Argentina – 3:0. Iceland – 2:1. 1/8 finals: Denmark – 1:1, 3:2 in penalty shootout. 1/4 finals: Russia – 2:2, 4:3 in penalties.

Scorer. Modrić (2 goals).


July 10 21.00.

Saint-Petersburg, the stadium “St. Petersburg”. France — Belgium. Live broadcast on the First channel.

July 11, 21.00.

Moscow, Olympic stadium “Luzhniki”. England — Croatia. Live broadcast on TV channel “Russia 1”.

The 2018 world Cup . Chronicle of events

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