Why Fifa World Cup 2018 was the best World Cup ever? From shock results, favourites exiting early, VAR decisions, outstanding performances, goals galore, late drama, penalty shoot-outs and much more this world cup gave us more than we had ever hoped for making it the best ever world cup in the history of the tournament. We take a look at the stand-out statistics, mind-boggling facts and incidents that made this tournament a classic that will forever be etched in our memory. Check out the reasons, statistics and figures that show as to why Fifa World Cup 2018 was the best World Cup ever.
It was first time the competition was held in Eastern Europe and Russia was also the largest country geographically to ever host the tournament. Despite politics claiming to play a big part in up surging the success of the tournament, the Russian police and organising committee ensured that the tournament was a grand success, giving us iconic locations, stadiums and matches.
The first time ever the video assistant referee saw its use being made at a FIFA tournament. With many people pessimistic about VAR, the technology helped win them around, making its use vital to the success of the tournament. Not only did it help give crucial decisions which turned matches around there head but was also integral in ensuring fair play.
After the first knockout stage, 28 penalties have been awarded by the referees of which 10 were awarded after VAR review, breaking the record for the most penalties at a world cup (18) by a country mile. The VAR also saw referees revoke their decision to award penalties which turned out to be a game changer in many matches.
In the 48 group stage games, 335 incidents were checked by VAR. There were 14 on field reviews made by referees and three reviews were made by VAR team on factual decisions like offside calls. The referees made 95% of their calls correctly and VAR has helped improve that to 99.3% according to the data collected from the world cup which is a huge success rate for the technology.
Cristiano Ronaldo became the first European player in history to score in eight consecutive major FIFA tournaments.
Essam El-Hadary (45y 161d) broke the record for the oldest player to appear at a World Cup. He also saved a penalty in this match to add the cherry to his cake.
France’s Kylian Mbappé became the first teenager to score at least twice in a World Cup match since Pele after he got two against Argentina. He also became the second teenager after Pele to score in the world cup final.
Didier Deschamps became the third person to win the World Cup as both a player and a manager, after Brazil’s Mario Zagallo and West Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer.
Mario Mandzukic became the first ever player to score an own goal in a World Cup final.
Mexico have now been eliminated in each of their last eight World Cup knockout matches (QF 1986 + last 16 1994 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 & 2018). This is the longest streak of going out in the knockout stages.
Switzerland have never won a World Cup knockout match.
Now, do you agree as to why Fifa World Cup 2018 was the best World Cup ever?