2018 FIFA World Cup - Advantage of Host Nation: Russia

in football •  last year  (edited)

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Host Nation - Russia

Russia was chosen to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It is a first for Russia. And as one can imagine, the preparations started as early as 2009 when the groundwork was being laid. An estimated $10 billion is to be spent for the 2018 soccer tournament. It was announced on 2nd December 2010 that Russia will be host.

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Brief History - Russia Soccer

Looking at the FIFA World Rankings, Russia sits at Number 70. I would have expected Russia to crack at least the top 60, considering Japan is #61 and South Korea #57.

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source

Russia has their own Premier League, which is the best in Eastern Europe – Ukraine's comes close.

When we start looking at Russia’s past record at major tournaments - Euro 2012 & 2016, World Cup 2010 & 2014. It is clear they had under-performed. Many factors were cited. Lack of adaptability to weather / pitch conditions, internal strife, quality of players and coaching staff.

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Euro 2012 Group Stage: Did not qualify for Knockout

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Euro 2016 Group Stage: Did not qualify for Knockout

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World Cup 2010: Did not even qualify - source

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World Cup 2014 Group Stage: Did not qualify for Knockout

A few note-worthy points:

  1. Russia did not even qualify for the 2010 World Cup, which was held in South Africa.

  2. The 2002 World Cup was co-hosted by South Korea and Japan

  3. South Korea finished 4th in the 2002 World Cup!

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2002 World Cup Knockout Stage: South Korea Finished 3rd

Expectation - World Cup Host

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List of Host Country and Winners: Source

It is worth pointing out that the countries which hosted the past World Cups made it to at least the Knockout Stages - Round of 16, with the exception of Team South Africa in 2010, who was eliminated in the group stage.

A majority of those host nations minimally reached the Quarter-Finals.

Sports fans around the globe know the value of home ground advantage, as a study conducted in 2011 showed.

Home Advantage - Round of 16

Russia has already qualified for the last 16, after their excellent 3-1 victory of Egypt yesterday. Full highlights here.

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2018 World Cup Group A

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2018 World Cup Group B

With the knowledge that the Round-of-16 is in the bag, Russia will be facing the winner/runner-up of Group B, in the knockout stages.

Barring any surprises, Russia may likely face Spain or Portugal. Tough opponents, but they could rest their key players in the 3rd match, keeping them fresh for the knockout stages. And playing to a home crowd of 144 million Russians cheering and rooting for their motherland, the question is:

How far can Russia advance in this unpredictable 2018 FIFA World Cup?

I dare say the Quarter-Finals is within Russia's grasp!

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What are your thoughts about the 2018 FIFA World Cup? Has it lived up to your expectation thus far? Can the host nation rise up to the occasion and out-perform their history?

Leave your comments below and we can have a great discussion.

Head over to @steem-oracle to participate in the Wisdom-of-the-Crowd contest to win some SBI. This is a project by my buddy @Culgin. We are @teamsingapore!

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  ·  last year (edited)

Great insights bro! Homeground advantage can never be underestimated. The fact that South Korea made it to the final 4 in 2002 World Cup says it all. I won't be surprised if Russia is able to make to the Semis. Haha..

And thanks for the mention!

For sure anything can happen, some go as far as saying Russia may win! the world cup.

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I'm loving this World Cup so far, so many surprises. Even before starting we had 3 big surprises, Italy, Holland and USA didn't qualify...Who do you think will win? I thought Argentina was going to win this time but after their first match probably not, lol but you never know, some teams start slow...

Yes spot on @talkingwiseshit. Those 3 nations were a surprise. Thus far, many underdogs have stunned the world. Mexico / Japan / Senegal and the list will go on. This year's World Cup is so much more competitive. Every team is going for their opponent's throat.

I had high hopes for Argentina too. But their record for the Finals is disastrous. Messi and co has lost 5 Finals (4x Copa América 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017 & 1x World Cup 2014).

I think Brazil are favorites. But I hope England can triumph!

I root for Argentina coz I put money on them, if not Argentina I really hope for a surprise win, a team that never won...

Argentina still has glimmer of hope if they beat Nigeria. Very rare that a dark horse will win. But that would be a feat to behold.

Yeah

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Who's your pick for the winner of 2018 World Cup?

I think Brazil is my favourite

They are expected to win every World Cup! ahahah

Russia's athletes are doped (PED's) to the gills! There's an amazing documentary that talks about the government sponsored doping scandal found throughout Russian athletics in the documentary Icarus. I highly recommend that you give it a watch.

Yes. But let's give them players the benefit of doubt, because its slightly different in soccer. They are highly paid athletes and need not rely on endorsements, as compared to other sports in the Olympics where it is make or break.

  ·  last year (edited)

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