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?

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!



Language level

Upper intermediate: B2

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


I believe it's difficult to predict which team will win, but I'm gonna cheer up for Brazil, of course! So do I concerning the players.

It's quite impossible to predict who will be winner. However, based on FIFA raking, there is a good change that the trophy goes to German.
Best of luck, all competing football team in World Cup 2018.

Hi, everybody. I am Russian and married to an Argentinean, so I will support the local team and hope Messi would raise the Cup. Come to support your teams to the host cities! There will be a lot of events and activities for all the fans.

Soccer these days , has taken a dramatic dimension, overriding the old nortion of favourites lifting up trophies, Though we still have exceptions to the rule, Basically every team today is strong enough to be champions. At this stage, the diffending champions are my possible bete to lifting the iconic trophy.

I will be cheering up for Brazil. Although, Neymar´s injury on 'Quinto metatarsal' in his right foot which demands to rest and to be patient is being seriously following by professionals and we Brazilians are praying for him to be ready for the matches. Let´s get popcorns ready and take a sit for whatever it comes. And be positive is fundamental!


My favorite team is Italy, this year they already lost everything, I can only wish them good luck for next time. This season they already loose everything. Really quite difficult predict which team will lift the World Cup...
Maybe will Portugal ???

What’s news from russian cities? they are recepting of the World Cup trophy. I have interest to read a lot, about this,the fans and the russian people going for the host cities to share yours thanks. This event was began in 2006, like a tradition in the world cup, and this is one event that is simply not possible to ignore, too. I belief that’s russian team goes ahead in the group stage and let us to hear your cheer, in the first goal of the tournament.

Uruguay wiil win!!

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.