The Talking Points From The 2018 World Cup in Russia
It’s now more than three months since the 2018 World Cup ended on a high note with France lifting the trophy for the second time after a thrilling 4-2 win at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. But the interest surrounding it hasn’t gone yet, which is quite understandable considering that this World Cup is regarded as the best World Cup ever. The Sports Techie community blog was tuned in to the epic FIFA event through Fox Sports and streaming companies like YouTubeTV and Fubo TV. For me, Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology was one of the stars of the month long show, including during the final match.
World Cup Data Break Down
According to the infographic below created by bettingsites.me.uk, it provided lots of exciting and memorable moments that will keep fans talking for years to come.
The introduction of VAR, for instance, added more spice to the sport despite criticism of it killing the flow of the game. In fact, it’s the reason that there was a record-breaking number of penalties awarded in this tournament – 29 in total – compared to the last record of 18 penalties (1998 and 2002).
Many of them were given after the referees used VAR to review the game. And indeed, if it weren’t for VAR, we would have seen Argentina go home surprisingly early in the group stages against Nigeria. As the group stage rolled on however, VAR was actually used less and less through the final. That needs to be fixed.
Argentina’s stay, nevertheless, was short-lived. The team was knocked out just like Portugal, thus bringing a sad end to the international careers of the best footballers of our time – Messi and Ronaldo – since they might be too old to compete in Qatar 2022. But you never know.
The constant shocks of the tournament didn’t stop there, as we saw Russia knockout Spain for the first time since the Soviet Union era and actually make it to the quarter-finals, again for the first time as their fanbase roared on in approval.
Even team England showed that team effort is more vital than individual talent as it managed to reach the semi-finals after 28 years. Moreover, its great performance at this year’s World Cup was further rewarded by Sir Harry Kane winning the golden boot after he scored the most goals in the tournament (6).
Croatia led by Golden Ball winner, Luka Modric, completed new milestones by reaching the finals for the first time in its history after an impressive run of beautiful attacking football for a proud nation that boasts 4.1 million citizens.
But even with all that, this world cup edition wouldn’t have been as exciting as it was if it wasn’t for the spectacular goals scored.
Some of the goals worth are the stunner scored by Benjamin Pavard in the knockout game against Uruguay and the goal that saw Belgium clinch a 94th minute win against Japan in a game that many believed was going into extra time. We should also not forget about Mario Mandžukić’s own goal in the final which made it the 12th own goal in the tourney, a truly shocking result.
The name you truly want to remember though is Mbappe, French superstar. It has been some 60-years since a player the age of 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe tallied a goal in a World Cup Final no less tallying 3 total scores as a teen . We can never forget when then 17-year-old Pele for Brazil scored versus Sweden in 1958 to set the record.
Add to this list the fact that this was the highest scoring final in regular time going back that Swedish finale.
To further understand why the 2018 World Cup was so special, check out the team facts and stats from the infographic below.
Sports Techie, the NFL may own most American broadcasting records for now but what most fans around the world call football is truly the world’s most popular sport and U.S. television records will most likely reflect that by 2026 when America along with Canada and Mexico, co-host the world’s best sport tournament, the World Cup. Will the 2026 final finally push the Super Bowl to second place?
Thanks to advances in tech, soccer matches from Russia were streamed over the Internet throughout all parts of the globe paving the way for record viewership, enabling fans to engage through social media over the spectacular play, a trend you can bet is here to stay and growing.
The fact is analytics are the name of the game and the World Cup in Russia paved the way.
See ya later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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