The 2018 World Cup in Russia saw France capture a second title against a Croatia side making its first-ever appearance in a final.
Here are some of the best facts & figures via OPTA.
📊 Best OPTA stats from World Cup 2018
- In 2018, France secured their second World Cup triumph, beating first-time finalists Croatia 4-2 in the final in Moscow, Russia – the first tournament to be held in Eastern Europe.
- France’s success in 2018 meant Didier Deschamps became only the third person in FIFA World Cup history to win the competition as both a player (1998) and a manager (2018), following in the footsteps of Brazilian Mario Zagallo & German Franz Beckenbauer.
- At the age of 19 years & 207 days, Kylian Mbappe became only the second teenager to score in a World Cup final (in 2018), after Brazilian icon Pelé (v Sweden) in 1958 (17 years & 249 days).
- The 2018 World Cup final was the ninth all-European World Cup final, and the first since 2010; indeed, at least one European nation has reached the final of the competition in every edition since 1954.
- In the 2018 final, Croatia’s Mario Mandžukić became only the second player to score both an own goal and a goal in a World Cup match, after Netherlands’ Ernie Brandts (v Italy) in 1978 - this the first and only own goal scored in the competition’s final.
- In 2018, Germany became the third consecutive reigning World Cup champions to be eliminated from the competition at the group stages, after Italy in 2010 and Spain in 2014.
- Against Saudi Arabia, Russia recorded the largest victory (5-0) by a host nation in their opening match since Italy beat USA 7-1 in 1934 - the hosts would go on to reach the quarter-finals, losing on penalties to eventual finalists Croatia.
- Two nations made their World Cup debuts at the 2018 tournament - Iceland and Panama – with both sides falling out at the group stages.
- Under Gareth Southgate, England enjoyed their best World Cup finish since 1990, finishing fourth at the tournament in Russia. During their run to the semi-finals, England progressed from a World Cup penalty shootout for the very first time (v Colombia).
- Against Spain in the group stages, Cristiano Ronaldo became the oldest player in World Cup history to net a hat-trick, doing so at the age of 33 years & 130 days.
- Cristiano Ronaldo became Portugal's second-highest goalscorer in the competition (after Eusébio - 9) and the only player to score a right-footed, left-footed, headed, direct free-kick and a penalty goal in a single edition (since 1966).
- Harry Kane won the Golden Boot at the 2018 World Cup with six goals for England - the second Englishman to finish as the top scorer at a World Cup tournament after Gary Lineker in 1986 (also six).
- In 2018, VAR was introduced to a World Cup for the very first time – this edition would go on to record the most penalties ever seen at a World Cup finals, with 22 of the 29 spot-kicks taken being scored.
- At 45y 161d, goalkeeper Essam El Hadary became the oldest ever player to appear in a World Cup game, during Egypt's 1-2 defeat v Saudi Arabia in June 2018, also saving a penalty in that game.
- Neymar Jr attempted the most shots (26) and shots on target (13) at the 2018 World Cup, whilst only Kieran Trippier (24) created more chances for his teammates (23) and only Eden Hazard (27) suffered more fouls than the Brazilian (26) at the tournament.