Let's start with the basics of the World Cup. Each fourth year 32 nations fight to win the World Cup trophy. 31 countries qualify through qualifications matches, while the host nation is directly qualified. This year the host nation is Russia and they will play the first match against Saudi Arabia on the 14th of June at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. We are going to see 48 group matches, and a total of 64 matches with knockout stages, throughout 12 different stadiums in 11 Russian cities. To start off the World Cup we are going to have 8 groups playing their games where the top 2 team from each group proceeds to the knockout stages. From there it’s win or go home, until the World Cup champions has been found on the 15th of July.
The first World Cup was held in 1930 in Uruguay, and the winner was the hosts from Uruguay. Since then every fourth year a World Cup tournament has been held, with exception of 2 World Cups during the second World War, and now we are going to have our 21st World Cup tournament. 8 different nations have won the World Cup and with Brazil being the country which have won the tournament most times, with a total of 5 World Cup trophies.
But with a total of 211 nations battling for qualification for the tournament, a lot ended up short to get to the World Cup. Traditional big nations such as United States, Netherlands, Chile, Cameroon and Italy are some of the nations we aren’t going to see in Russia. But other teams have made history by qualifying for the World Cup. Take Iceland for example, they will contest for the first time ever, and they will also be the smallest country to qualify in the history of World Cup, with a population of 335000.
With a lot of different nations throughout the years, we also got a lot of different top scores. All of the players on the list have been some of the most lethal attackers known in football. Just Fontaine might be the one with the best track record of them all, because he scored all 13 goals in a singel World Cup tournament in 1958, what an achievement. At the moment we have Miroslav Klose on the top of the list, but his record might be broken by his fellow countryman Thomas Müller, who at the moment has 10 goals and only need 7 goals to be on the top of the list.