ever as 98 of the stadiums were sold out, there were three billion viewers. At the close of the World Cup Russia was widely praised for its success in hosting the tournament, with Steve Rosenberg of the BBC deeming it "a resounding public relations success" for Putin, adding, "The stunning new stadiums, free train travel to venues and the. As such, there were eventually four bids for the 2018 fifa World Cup, two of which were joint bids: England, Russia, Netherlands/Belgium, and Portugal/Spain. Archived from the original on Retrieved "Qatar World Cup organizers ready to fight for 2022". Archived from the original on Retrieved "Fan Dream Team and prize winners revealed!". Retrieved "Match report Group H Poland v Colombia" (PDF). For the first time since 1938, Germany (reigning champions) did not advance past the first round.
101 102 At the start of the ceremony, Russian president Vladimir Putin gave a speech, welcoming the countries of the world to Russia and calling football a uniting force. Squads Main article: 2018 fifa World Cup squads Initially, each team had to name a preliminary squad of 30 players but, in February 2018, this was increased. Retrieved 24 November 2018. Archived from the original on 11 November 2017. Retrieved "Match report Final France v Croatia" (PDF). Pot 1 contained the hosts Russia (who were automatically assigned to position A1) and the best seven teams, pot 2 contained the next best eight teams, and so on for pots 3 and.