Magazine: The 2018 FIFA World Cup

The FIFA World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world. Which country do you think will win this year’s tournament in Russia? And who will be the star players?

Do the preparation task first. Then read the article and do the exercises.

After four years of waiting, it’s time again to prepare your voice for a few weeks of shouting at the TV screen. The FIFA World Cup starts in Moscow on 14 June. The tournament will see 32 countries battle to decide who will lift the iconic golden trophy. Considering the last World Cup was watched by around 3.2 billion people – that’s almost half the world’s entire population – this is one event that is simply not possible to ignore.

The host country

This will be Russia’s first time hosting the tournament. The matches will take place in 12 stadiums, distributed across 11 cities. Russia is an enormous country, so most of the matches will be played in cities towards the west of the country to reduce travel time between matches for fans and teams. Even so, the distance between the host cities will be up to 1,500 miles. That’s about the same distance as between Moscow and London!

The Group Stage

The initial two weeks of the competition are called the Group Stage. The 32 competing countries have been divided into eight groups. Each country plays a match against the three other teams in their group. In this stage, any team can win, lose or draw a match. Based on the results of these matches, two teams from each group go through to the next round.

The round of 16

Once the Group Stage finishes, the rest of the tournament works as a knockout phase. This means that it is only possible to win or lose a match. If the score at 90 minutes is a draw, the match goes to extra time (30 minutes) or even a penalty shootout. The first stage of the knockout phase is called the round of 16, in which the teams who have qualified from the Group Stage play against each other. This decides which eight teams will move on to the finals.

The finals

On 6 and 7 July, the quarter-finals will take place. From the competing eight teams, the four winning teams will go through to the semi-finals. Finally, two remaining teams will go through to the World Cup final in Moscow on 15 July.

Experts’ predictions

Of course, everybody has their favourite team who they want to win. But the experts agree that some teams have a stronger chance. The winners of the last World Cup were Germany. They are still at the top of the FIFA global rankings and many people think that they could win the trophy again. Another team with good chances is Brazil. With five previous World Cup trophies, Brazil are the most successful team in the history of the tournament and could be able to win again. Other teams who are expected to do well are France, Argentina and Spain.

Star players

All eyes will be on football’s biggest superstars: Lionel Messi (for Argentina) and Cristiano Ronaldo (for Portugal). Despite their many successes in the Spanish league, neither player has ever lifted the World Cup trophy. Both players are in their thirties, meaning that this could be their last chance. Another player to watch will be Mohamed Salah, the Egyptian player who has scored so many goals for his UK club (Liverpool) this season. The top scorer of the 2014 World Cup was Colombia’s James Rodriguez, who is expected to impress fans once again. Brazilians are hoping that their star player Neymar will have recovered from a recent injury.

With so much talent, there’s no doubt that the 2018 World Cup is going to be an international obsession this June and July. So make sure you’re watching. And if you’re fortunate enough to be from one of the 32 competing nations, best of luck!

Discussion

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Upper intermediate: B2

Comments

hi everyone,
nice article, i learned a lot about the process of qualifying teams in world cup.
although the world cup is finished and France has won the competition and lifted the beautiful trophy of this competitions,the thing is you guys should have to mentioned France name before Germany and Brazil's name instead you mentioned them beside Argentina's name because from very beginning of the FIFA world cup 2018 every one knew that France has the youngest,fastest and best squad of this tournament.
what ever article was great and i enjoyed it.

This year Belgium team is very impressive with a team spirit. Eden Hazard is the best player. They may win furthermore it will be their first star. Good luck.

In my opinion, I think france will win the cup. They have a very good organized team. Mbappé was the best star in this tournament.
As an Egyptian, I am sorry for Mo. Salah because he was really performing very well with Liverpool but he was unfortunately injured 3 weeks before the start of the tournament. I am still one of his fans wishing he could keep it up in the next season.

I think there are maybe three teams have chance to win the world Cup. Brazil in first, France, second and finally Belgium.
All of them have good players and coaches. Their strategy is very smart and their players are very skillful. Every world cup there is a surprising team. In this world cup, I think Sweden can be the revelation team. They don't have super star players but they are very tough team. Good luck to all teams.

Braziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiil
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In my opinion, the team most able to win the 2018 World Cup is Spain because its team is composed of players from the greatest teams in the Spanish league and even the European league. In fact, Real Madrid Football Club is this year's winner of the European Champions League. This club played 125 matches and scored a goal 401 times. We must keep in mind that the Spanish team is a mix of the greatest names in Real, like Vásquez and Ramos, and Barcelona FC, like Iniesta and Piqué... There are also some good players from Atlético like Koke and Diego Costa. With such great players in defense, the midfield line, as well as offense, all positions of football are covered, and then Spain will never fail. Viva España

Nigeria will win the 2018 FIFA world cup. i trust

all the best wishes to Nigeria ... Tunisia failed :'(

Germany will win, as it is predicted from the FIFA global rankings.

There is a big battle between Latin American teams and European teams. I would love to see a Suramerican team lifting the trophy. What I enjoy about football is the show so every match will be interesting to me. At the same time, I will see all the stars players of every team because their way to play at the tournament.

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