The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia kicked off on Thursday after a gala opening ceremony followed by the first match between Russia and Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The football world will be extremely busy in the next 30 days as all cameras will be focussed to capture nail-biting action at Russian stadiums.
Thirty-two football teams have begun their pursuit for the biggest glory in the world of football. Star players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr and others will be representing their home country, a scene that cannot be missed.
There are many interesting facts about the Russia campaign that you may have no idea. How many of the players have been to a previous World Cup? Which clubs and countries are best represented? Absences, appearances, goals and ages of players are something will give you a better understanding of the ongoing football extravaganza.
We have filed top 10 interesting stats about players and teams in the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia.
1. Out of the 736 footballers from different countries in Russia, 200 have already played in the previous World Cup editions. A total of 186 were at Brazil in 2014, 61 were at South Africa in 2010, 21 were at Germany in 2006 and one was at Korea-Japan in 2002.
2. The entire England team players are from the country's national league. Senegal and Sweden didn't pick a single player from their domestic championship, while Belgium, Iceland, Nigeria and Switzerland selected only one player from their respective league.
3. Ffity-three players in Russia have already scored in the previous Fifa World Cup tournaments. Germany's Thomas Muller leads the table with 10 goals followed by James Rodriguez (6), Tim Cahill, Gonzalo Higuain, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez (5).
4. Egypt's goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary at the age of 45 is the oldest player to ever make a World Cup squad. He was born over six years before the second-oldest player at Russia 2018 – Mexico's Marquez.
5. The 71-year-old Uruguay coach, Oscar Tabarez, is the oldest manager in Russia. Tabarez is the second-oldest coach in World Cup history behind Otto Rehhagel.
6. At 19 years and five months, Australian winger Daniel Arzani is the youngest player at Russia 2018. The average age of the 736 players in Russia is around 28 years which is the oldest in the tournament's history.
7. English Premier League champions Manchester City have sent out 16 players to Russia. They are followed by Real Madrid (15), Barcelona (14), Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham Hotspur (12).
8. Mexico's Rafael Marquez and Argentina's Javier Mascherano are the players in Russia with the most World Cup appearances. The duo is followed by Lionel Messi (15), Mesut Ozil (14), Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer, Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo (13).
9. Costa Rican midfielder Randall Azofeifa and Poland's goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski return to Fifa World Cup action after 12 years of absence. Azofeifa appeared as a substitute against Germany in 2006 while Fabianski was a non-playing back-up for Poland's Artur Boruc.
10. Coach Joachim Low has selected 9 members of Germany's Brazil 2014-conquering squad in Russia too. Benedikt Howedes, Christoph Kramer, Andre Schurrle and Mario Gotze are shocking omissions.