The wait is finally over. The day has arrived! Billions will be watching from all around the globe, as the biggest carnival in the world kicks off! 736 players, 32 teams, 1 winner.

We’ll guide you through all the details before the big game at 8:30 PM. Stay with us as we build up to the Group A opener – Russia vs Saudi Arabia

8:00 PM IST 

We are all set for the opening ceremony!

7:51 PM IST

The World Cup is in the house!

7:47 PM IST

Igor Akinfeev’s experience will come handy under extreme pressure.

7:44 PM IST

The Luzhniki Stadium is beginning to fill up!

We are just half an hour away from the start of the opening ceremony.

7:33 PM IST

Lineups are here!

7:29 PM IST

“The opening ceremony will focus on a series of musical acts, with Robbie Williams headlining. 

Around 500 dancers, gymnasts and trampolinists will also be performing in the opening extravaganza that will pay homage to all things Russian

According to FIFA, the 2018 World Cup opening ceremony will have a slightly different format compared to previous editions of the tournament, with a particular focus on musical acts.” – Firstpost

7:23 PM IST

Fantastic artwork by Aces_whip. Artists and writers have had a busy few days leading up to the World Cup, with all the new content being pumped out. The Gaurdian in particular have covered the build up exceptionaly well.

7:17 PM IST

Who remembers Paul the Octopus? We’ll be hearing a lot more about Achilles this time!

7:13 PM IST

Only Italy (1934 and 1938) and Brazil (1958 and 1962) have managed to win consecutive World Cups in the past. Germany will look to emulate them this time around.

7:07 PM IST

The Pope has spoken!

6:59 PM IST

Reports now emerging that Alisson is very close to joining Real Madrid.

6:42 PM IST

Loving the artwork on this preview by ITV.

6:29 PM IST

A wonderful thread by James Montague. He relives all the beautiful stories from the FIFA World Cup Qualifying campaigns of Bhutan, Panama, Iran, Egypt etc. Worth a read!

6:24 PM IST

Who stole the World Cup?

6:20 PM IST


6:13 PM IST

Well well well! The news everyone has been waiting for is finally here! Mohamed Salah is set to play in Egypt’s opening match!

5:55 PM IST

Russia and Saudi Arabia’s Group A rivals, Egypt, have had quite the run to their first World Cup since 1990. Find out more about their story here:

5:35 PM IST

Each World Cup has their own batch of breakout stars, the previously unheard bunch that takes the global stage by storm. Here’s who to keep an eye out for from Group A:

The Scout’s Guide to the World Cup: Group A

5:30 PM IST

How’s this for a blast from the past? A dog named Pickles found the Jules Rimet trophy, the original prize of FIFA World Cup, seven days after it was stolen ahead of the tournament’s 1966 edition. The dog found the trophy wrapped in a newspaper near his owner David Corbett’s neighbour’s car. Safe to say it’ll be a bit harder to pull off such a heist in 2018.

5:20 PM IST

Nothing gets us hyped for the World Cup like the official TV opening now, does it?

5:15 PM IST

A reminder that today’s match could be the first time we see VAR in action at the World Cup finals. FIFA’s referee committee chairman Pierluigi Collina confirms VAR officials will be dressed in full referee kit, despite being in a studio far away from the ground… we’re all for VAR, but maybe that’s a bit much?!

5:10 PM IST

The falcons are ready to take flight. The atmosphere outside the stadium continues to build. The hosts have home support on their side, but plenty in green of Saudi Arabia have made the trip!

5:05 PM IST

ICYMI – Fernando Hierro, who takes over from Julen Lopetegui as Spain manager after yesterday’s extraordinary turn of events, is due for a press conference. Meanwhile Lopetegui is set to be officially unveiled as Real Madrid manager today as well. The games between club and country continue…

4:55 PM IST

The opening ceremony before tonight’s kick off will see performances by Robbie Williams among others!

4:45 PM IST

And we’re back! Just under 4 hours to go, and the tension is starting to build outside the Luzhniki Stadium! It’s easy to forget that today’s about the 3 points, with both teams up against it in Group A. Check out our preview here:

World Cup Group A analysis

4:12 PM IST

That’s all for the afternoon session guys! We’ll be back shortly!

4:05 PM IST

Kolkata finally gets its 4-year football tonic


3:58 PM IST

Ahead of the 21st World Cup, Genting Bet put together 21 stats sure to impress, including fastest goal, highest number of red cards and even furthest miles travelled to qualify.

3:53 PM IST

Check out all our Group Analysis’ over here.

3:43 PM IST

Forgive me for going off topic here! But you need to check out this tactical preview made by Tifo! It looks at Germany’s chances of retaining the World Cup

3:39 PM IST

Bloomberg Quint takes a look at the 5 most valuable footballers playing in the World Cup this year. 

3:35 PM IST

GOALS! Who doesn’t like goals? Let’s take a look at the greatest goals ever scored at a World Cup! This should take 10 minutes of your time. Trust me you are going to enjoy it, no matter how many times you have seen these goals.

3:32 PM IST

Photograph: Kommersant Photo Agency/REX/Shutterstock

3:30 PM IST

Saudi Arabia fans have been having a gala time thus far! They do BELIEVE. Let’s hope we get to witness a cracking match later today.

3:26 PM IST

We compiled a list of players who we feel could make a huge impact in the World Cup.

World Cup 2018: Players to watch

3:22 PM IST


3:16 PM IST

Eight-year-old female African elephant Nelly kicks a ball into the Mexican goal and so predicts a win for the German team in their first World Cup match during a photo assignment at the Serengeti Park zoo in Hodenhagen, northern Germany. Since her first appearance as the zoo’s official soccer oracle during the Women’s World Cup in 2011, Nelly has a hit rate of more than 90% according to the Serengeti Park’s officials. Photograph: STRINGER/EPA via Gaurdian


3:12 PM IST

3:05 PM IST

We have witnessed some earth-shattering matches in the World Cup in the past. We thought of reliving those matches yesterday!

Do have a read.

World Cup Matches that Shook the World in the 21st Century

3:00 PM IST

Also, keep an eye out on these two players!

2:59 PM IST

Check out BBC’s 2018 World Cup Trailer! An incredible 600 Tapestries were made for it. 600!!!

2:53 PM IST

With VAR to be used for the first time at the FIFA World Cup, FIFATV released a video 5 days back to guide us through how the system will work at the tournament. I think you should watch this one!

2:47 PM IST

“The Saudis are one of seven teams at this World Cup from largely Muslim nations and their game tonight comes during the festival of Ramadan. Fasting during daylight hours is, of course, obligatory during Ramadan, which poses a few problems for the players. The Saudis’ situation has been further complicated by the fact they are based in Saint Petersburg, where summer days are lengthy – there is currently 18 hours of daylight to be precise. Paul MacInnes profiles the teams affected, and how they have found various ways of tackling the issue.” – Gaurdian

2:45 PM IST

The Scout’s Guide to the World Cup took a look at the players to keep an eye from Group A. Today, our focus will be on Mario Fernandes from Russia and Mohammed Al-Sahlawi from Saudi-Arabia.

The Scout’s Guide to the World Cup: Group A

2:42 PM IST

Let’s take a quick look back at the opening game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup

2:37 PM IST

Here is the official match preview by FIFA.

2:20 PM IST

2:13 PM IST

You can take a look at the Russian and Saudi Arabian squads and how they might line up in our Group A World Cup Analysis article.

World Cup Group A analysis


2:10 PM IST

Another huge development took place yesterday as North America was awarded hosting rights for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Can USA, Canada and Mexico pull off a successful glitch free World Cup?

2:03 PM IST

Here is an interesting piece on all the drama that unfolded in the Spanish camp yesterday. The Spanish FA found Lopetegui’s actions extremely unprofessional and took strict action in order to uphold their values.

2:00 PM IST

Over the past week, there has been a lot of preview material that has been published. We forgive you for not having read all! I’ll try my best to guide you through the most insightful pieces before the opening match starts!

1:57 PM IST

The wait is finally over. The day has arrived! Billions will be watching from all around the globe, as the biggest carnival in the world starts in less than 7 hours! We’ll guide you through all the details before the big game at 8:30 PM. Stay with us as we build up to Russia vs Saudi Arabia

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