A complete month of football mania and adrenaline rush has witnessed its final showdown last Sunday. The biggest carnival in the football world was better in every way possible compared to the last event. FIFA 2018 was nothing less than a rollercoaster ride, especially for the underdogs of the tournament.
Teams like Mexico and South Korea vitiated the presence of mighty Germany, the world champions. Every match of this world cup witnessed a goal, except for one between France and Denmark. So here I am listing, out of the many remarkable moments, the ones those caught the whole world by storm.
1. Russia crushing Saudi Arabia by their 5-0 victory in the opening match, surely fueled them enough that they made it to the Quarter Finals of the world cup for the very first time in the history (not being the part of Soviet Union). The hosts were in positive aggression and they even knocked out the favorites of the tournament, Spain in a thrilling penalty shootout.
However, Croatians got the better of them and their journey ended. But they surely left a mark of their improvement.
2. Iceland equalizing to Argentina in their first ever world cup match was again spectacular. The lucky save by Halldórsson against the penalty shot by Messi himself revived them in the game and restricted Argentina from scoring even though they had around 80% of the ball possession and attempted 10 corners.
However, Iceland was unable to make it through Group Stage.
3. Portugal had a pretty supercharged start in their campaign to the cup. Ronaldo thrashed Spain’s defense and scored a hat-trick, which included an awestruck free kick. Diego Costa even managed to attract some limelight with his first goal for Spain.
But Ronaldo and Co. were unable to survive the knockout stage, hence were kicked out.
4. Germany had a rough tournament in their history of football. They are one of the most prolific National team and were the defending champions.
Though it seemed like their stats and history turned the blind eye on them, as they faced the disastrous defeat against the Mexicans by 1-0, later mortified by South Korea by 2-0, ending their journey in group stage itself. The whole world was shocked. Their defeat made clear that no grandee is safe and miracles are bound to be witnessed.
5. Harry Kane brought a mighty hurricane with his skills and leadership. Though he didn’t manage to bring “it” home, he procured the Golden Boot of the tournament by scoring 6 goals which included a hat-trick against Panama.
Harry Kane proved that he is a long shot and holds the promising future for the English football.
6. The best thing about this tournament was its ending. The first half of the final was the jittery scenario. However, Croatians fell short of their ball possession in the next half and the French young guns clinched the cup for their country 20 summers later.
Pogba and Mbappe were in splendid form throughout the tournament.
The heroic journey of Croatia didn’t go unnoticed as their midfielder earned the Golden Ball for tournament’s best player. They missed the opportunity of being the smallest country in the tournament to win the cup, but they managed to mark their presence in the world.
This world cup was full of fortuitous moments and turns. The sudden downpour during the closing ceremony added joy to the champagne celebration of France.