It’s less than a week until the most widely watched sporting event in the world begins. Footy fans rejoice and prepare yourselves for 64 matches over just 32 days as the FIFA World Cup takes over life itself.
Last time out the 2014 final was watched by an estimated 1 billion people, that saw Germany beat Argentina in extra time.
It’s been a long 4 years since England left Brazil with their Lions tails firmly between their legs, after finishing bottom of their group they should have qualified from with just a solitary point after defeats against Italy and Uruguay and a goalless draw against Costa Rica.
It’s de-ja-vu as this time around as they should advance from a group that contains Tunisia, Panama, and Belgium – a team where 12 of their 23 squad currently play in England, and additional 4 have been on the books of English clubs, and are currently managed by Roberto Martinez who played and managed the majority of his career in England.
In fact, Panama are one of two teams to be making their debut, with other being Iceland, who will take the honour of being the smallest nation (in terms of population) to play at the World Cup, but coming from a successful Euro’s where they knocked out England.
We won’t be seeing the likes of Italy, Holland, Cameroon, Ghana, or the Ivory Coast however who all failed to make it out of qualification.
Gareth Southgate’s squad is relatively young, with only 3 players aged over the age of 28, and with only 5 members of the 2014 squad making this one.
There comes a risk with the fact that the 3 goalkeepers have a combined total of 10 caps between them, but credit where it is due as Southgate has taken the 3 English goalkeepers with the most form.
Naturally the nations hope’s rest on the shoulders of captain and main striker Harry Kane whom with with 41 goals in 48 games this season has never been in better form.
Confidence should be high throughout the squad after advancing through (albeit a not particularly difficult) qualifying group undefeated.
The tournament starts on Thursday 14th with hosts Russia taking on Saudi Arabia at 4pm, with England’s first match taking place on Monday 18th when they take on Tunisia in a 7pm kick off.
All matches will be shown live on either the BBC or ITV with the final taking place on the 15th July at 4pm.
The official promo video.
This title sequence is inspired by the wonderful designs of the Imperial Eggs by Peter Carl Faberge, which represented the perfect combination of creativity and craftsmanship, with a secret inside. We have interpreted the beauty of the Imperial Eggs into a richly detailed and jewelled football, each panel has its own identity and elements that represent the richness of Russian culture. At the heart of each of these panel sits a jewel, which houses archive of each nation who has won the FIFA World Cup™ - Brazil, Uruguay, England, Italy, Argentina, France, Spain and Germany.
Oh and just because......