In an event of sports which is to see convergence of millions of people, The FIFA World Cup 2018, is set to kick off tomorrow. This edition is promised to be bigger than ever. 32 countries divided in 8 groups of four, are going in the competition that receives a worldwide fan attention. With few hours remaining for it to start, we look at the tournament and some major talking points of it
One day to go
Taking place periodically, at an interval of four years, we are only a day behind. The first match will be played between the hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia. With finals slated to be on 15th July, the speculations had begun long ago on the potential winner. Kicking off the football fever in the fans, Nicky Jam along with Will Smith and Era Istrefi, presented the theme song for FIFA 2018, titled ‘Live it up’. Though the reception has not been up to the expectations but still it has managed to garner attention. Approximately all the teams have arrived in Russia and some have started training sessions.
The big guns
The world remains divided on the best but still defending champions Germany go in as the favorites, with players like Marco Reus, who has been declared probable of winning the Golden ball in his first FIFA WC appearance. On the other hand, players like Messi, Ronaldo ,boast of their capacity to turn around a match single handedly. France and Egypt are also as dangerous as any other team, with likes of Paul Pogba and Md. Salah respectively. These two players have spurred hope in their respective countries of late. The 2010 champions, Spain, too can’t be ignored. With many players probably playing their last world cup, extra effort would be put by the team. The only team to play all the World Cups, Brazil poses threat to every other side. With none willing to relent, one can just speculate about the winner until the results of finals are out.
Injury and Fitness
Being a game that tests physical capacity, the probability of injuries multiplies for a player. Most often, it becomes difficult to pass one season without any injury.
Coming back in the national side after surgery of left foot, Neymar’s presence has boosted Brazil’s chance. While Egyptian, Mohammed Salah who injured his shoulder in the recently concluded Champions League, is back for national side. In a recent news, Colombian Frank Palacios and Argentine, Manuel lanzini have been ruled out of the tournament. Both of them have ruptured anterior cruciate ligament of their knee and would not be there for national service.
The game of football has not been away from fitness issues and such happenings are as common as growth of nails on the fingers.
Atmosphere in India
As we are getting close to the FIFA World Cup 2018 the atmosphere is also building up in India. Major fan base being Bengal, Kerala, North East and Goa. With recent performance of India in the Hero Intercontinental cup 2018, people have been attracted to this game. Serious fans of football have been following the game and the world cup in particular for long. Earlier this month, there was a roadshow in support of Brazil in Kerala. Individual star power of many football players has converted support of Indian fans to their particular nation. With no serious competition in other sports going on, football has got the best time to keep Indian audiences glued to television.
With all the positive hopes, we look for good sporting month ahead that absolves us from everything for a while!