By the numbers: 2018 Soccer World Cup
SWC 2018 (adidas)
Johannesburg - The World Cup finally kicked off on Thursday and the host nation, Russia, surprisingly beat Saudi Arabia by a landslide 5-0.
The win, which is biggest by a host nation in the opening game of a World Cup since Italy hosted in 1934, gives Russia three precious points in a tournament that is only going to get harder for Stanislav Cherchesov’s men.
Russia still have fixtures against Egypt and Uruguay in Group A.
Here is the World Cup in a few other numbers:
$14 billion - Hosting an event that is being held across 11 cities and spread over 2 897km does not come cheap. A reported $14 billion (R188 billion) has been spent on bringing football’s biggest showpiece event to the world’s largest country. Much of the outlay has been on building or refitting 12 new stadiums, modernising 20 railway stations, repairing hundreds of kilometers of road and expanding airports.
186 Players in Russia who were also in the 2014 Brazil World Cup.
11 Juventus players at the tournament, despite Italy failing to qualify.
2.01m The height of the tallest player, Croatian goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic.
1.64m The height of the shortest player, Saudi Arabian winger Yahya Al-Shehri.
736 Players from 311 clubs are taking part.
4 Players born in the 1970s who will be at Russia: Essam El-Hadary (Egypt), Rafael Márquez (Mexico), Sergei Ignashevich (Russia) and Tim Cahill (Australia).
184 Appearances for Egypt’s Ahmed Hassan, the most capped player in football history so far.
16 Germany’s Miroslav Klose holds the World Cup record of 16 goals.
1 Appearance at the World Cup by Iceland and Panama, who are making their debuts.
16 Players come from Manchester City, the largest number to feature from one club. Real Madrid (15) and Barcelona (14) follow closely behind.
49 Players were born in France.
200 000 Fans are visiting Russia to support the 32 teams in the tournament.
15 - The 15-minute show produced by Russia’s state Channel One broke from World Cup tradition, focusing on musical acts such as the performance of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s music in front of full stands at the capital’s Luzhniki Stadium.
500 Dancers took part in the performance extravaganza celebrating Russian culture. – CNN, The Guardian, Reuters and Al Jazeera