32 teams from around the world gathered in Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, all seeking to be crowned the best of the world.
21 days down the line, the tournament had provided football lovers with very entertaining games that will stay in the history books for years to come.
Russia 2018 has also provided a stage for history making, both by individual players and teams.
Here are some of the happenings that have gone into the history books already, even as the tournament continues.
- Debutants: Iceland and Panama participate in a FIFA World Cup for the first time in their history. The two nations joined 30 other teams in Russia, all in search for football glory. Even though both teams finished last in their respective groups, they headed home full of pride, having represented their flags at the biggest football stage, where their performances will live on for years.
- Penalties: 28 penalties have been awarded at Russia 2018 – a record for a World Cup. Twenty-one have been successfully converted. More penalties are expected to be awarded in the tournament, with eight more games still to play.
- V.A.R.: The 2018 FIFA World Cup is the first such tournament in which the Video Assistant Referee technology has been used. The technology enables match officials to review footage from the games in an effort to make the right calls. The hight number of penalties awarded in the tournament may be attributed to the V.A.R.
- Own Goals: Ten own goals have been scored in the tournament so far, with eight games still to play. This is already a new record, as the highest number before Russia 2018 was six, which came at France 1998. Sergei Ignashevich, who turns 39 this month, became the oldest player to score an own-goal in the competition.
- Yeri Mina: The Colombian defender got his name engraved in the history archives by scoring three times in three consecutive World Cup games, including a 93rd header to ensure the Round of 16 match against England went into extra time. Never in the competition’s history has a defender managed that feat.
- The Curse of England’s No.8: No English player donning the jersey 8 has successfully converted their penalty in the country’s World Cup penalty shootouts. The latest, Jordan Henderson, missed his kick against Colombia on Tuesday to join Chris Waddle, David Batty, Frank Lampard and Jordan Henderson, who all wore the shirt number in 1990, 1998, 2006 and 2018 respectively, and missed their spot-kicks.
- 60 Years: That is how long it took before the FIFA World Cup got another teenager to score multiple goals at the tournament. Before Kylian Mbappe’s goals, the last teenager to manage the feat was Argentina’s Diego Maradona.
- Lastly, 48 years had passed since a team overturned a two-goal deficit and won a knockout-phase match at the World Cup, until Belgium rallied to stun Japan 3-2. The last had been West Germany, who came from two goals down to edge England 3-2 at Mexico 1970.