The draw for the 2018 World Cup is getting closer. Ahead of finding out who the Caltex Socceroos will face in the group stage at Russia 2018, here are 11 top World Cup facts.
- This is the 21st FIFA World Cup, 88 years after the first tournament in Uruguay (1930). It will be played in Russia for the first time.
- 32 teams are taking part in the 2018 World Cup, with Iceland and Panama the only debut nations.
- 12 stadiums in 11 different cities will be used for the tournament. Moscow is the only city to play host to two venues (Luzhniki Stadium, Spartak Stadium).
- Since (and including) 1986, the winners of each World Cup have always won their group stage.
- The World Cup hosts have always reached the second round of the competition, with the exception of South Africa in 2010.
- 30% of the World Cups have been won by the host nation (6 out of 20), the last being France in 1998.
- All previous 20 World Cups have been won by teams from Europe (11) or South America (9).
- Germany will look to become the first team to win back-to-back World Cup titles since Brazil achieved it in 1962. However, the last two defending champions have been knocked out in the group stages (Italy 2010, Spain 2014).
- Italy have failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958 and are the only one of eight World Cup winning nations not taking part in the 2018 tournament.
- Mexico have qualified for the World Cup the most times (16) without ever winning it.
- All previous 20 World Cups have been won by a manager with the same nationality as the winning team.
Van Marwijk: Socceroos primed for must-win Peru clash
Bert van Marwijk says the Socceroos have the “physical power” to overcome any fatigue in Wednesday morning’s must-win clash against a “dangerous” Peru in Sochi. Australia faces Peru at 12am on Wednesday (AEST) - live on SBS and Optus Sport – knowing only a win will do if they
Press conference: van Marwijk and Ryan talk ahead of Peru clash
Socceroos boss Bert van Marwijk and goalkeeper Mat Ryan have fronted the official pre-match press conference ahead of Australia’s must-win Group C clash against Peru in Sochi on Wednesday morning (AEST). Australia need to beat the South Americans and then hope France defeats D
Vale Andrew Dettre: FFA saddened by loss of Hall of Fame inductee
Football Federation Australia (FFA) is saddened to learn of the passing of legendary football journalist Andrew Dettre this morning. Andrew Dettre was born in Hungary in 1926 and came to Australia in 1949. From 1963 to 1982 he was the editor of Soccer World, a national news
Juric backs front line to fire against Peru
Tomi Juric has forged a career out of taking chances. An AFC Champions League match-winner for Western Sydney Wanderers in 2014, difference-maker for the national side in the 2015 Asian Cup. On the eve of the Socceroos' biggest match in recent memory, the 26-year-old is on