FIFA World Cup 2018: 32 countries, 1 trophy and 1 dream
FIFA World Cup 2018 Photograph: (Reuters)
Happy World Cup day!
The day has come for which we all were waiting, it's June 14 and the football World Cup will start from today. The event will start with a glitzy opening ceremony followed by the first match of the tournament which is between the host Russia and Saudi Arabia at Luzhniki Stadium.
Thirty-two countries from different confederations have qualified for the tournament and will go for the kill to clinch the most decorated trophy in the sporting world, the golden hand-and-ball.
A month-long carnival has attracted tourists from all over the world and the matches will be played in 12 beautiful stadiums of Russia and the finale will take place on July 15 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. All of the stadium venues are in European Russia to keep travel time manageable.
All eyes are on the host country Russia as they will play the first match on day one of the tournament. Amidst several controversies and adversities, the most awaited tournament is finally underway.
Five-time winners Brazil are there, as are defending champions Germany, plus Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, England, France, Iceland, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia and Uruguay set to claim the title of world champions.
Each FIFA World Cup since 1966 has its own mascot, similarly, Russia also unveiled their mascot for the upcoming World Cup. The mascot designs represent a characteristic feature of the host country.
This year's official mascot is a wolf named Zabivaka which means "the one who scores" in Russian. Zabivaka is charming, confident and social and has always dreamt of becoming a football star.