Is it any wonder the cost of hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia is reportedly US$11.8 billion (S$15.8 billion)? After all it's one of the biggest events, sporting or otherwise, to be televised globally. The Russian government will shell out US$6.7 billion, with the rest coming from regional governments and private or state-run companies. Thirty-two countries will duke it out across 11 cities in Russia from June 14 to July 15. You know what that means — late nights for soccer fans in this part of the world once more.
45: How old the oldest player to play in the World Cup, Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary, is. The player who Chelsea’s Didier Drogba described as the “best opponent” he’s ever faced is set to make his first historic appearance at this year’s tournament.
10: The record for most World Cup goals among the participating players this year. German footballer Thomas Müller, who’s vice captain of both Bayern Munich and the German national team, scored five goals each in the 2010 and 2014 tournaments. The all-time top goalscorer with 16 goals is fellow countryman and retired football legend Miroslav Klose. Talk about German efficiency.
11: The most no. of red cards a country has received in the competition’s 88-year history. The badass title belongs to Brazil, with Argentina trailing behind with 10, followed by Uruguay with nine.
US$400mil ($536 million): The total prize pool of this year’s tournament, a 12 per cent increase from 2014. Besides eternal glory, the winning team will walk away with US$38 million and the runners-up, US$28 million.
10%: How much Germany’s birth rate rose nine months after hosting the 2006 World Cup. It may have been due to the excessive amount of beer drunk coupled with the fun atmosphere, which led to heightened intimacy, according to several German doctors interviewed on the phenomenon. Maybe the Singapore government should consider this unorthodox method of increasing birth rates…
US$108,000 (S$145,000): How much the first Singaporeans to have reached a World Cup earned. An eSports version of World Cup, that is. Local pro gamers Joseph Yeo and Amraan Gani were the champions at this year’s FIFA Online 3 East Asian Champions Cup Spring, a multiplayer online football game tournament, and earned a spot in the FIFA eWorld Cup Global Series Playoff in Amsterdam this month.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia is on Jun 14 to Jul 15. Catch select matches (including semis and the final) on okto. To watch all matches, subscribe to Toggle’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Pass. For more info and telecast details, go to https://tv.toggle.sg/en/shows/2018-fifa-world-cup-russia.