2018 World Cup fan guide: Everything you need to know

By Michelle Kaufman - Miami Herald

2018 World Cup Ultimate Fan Guide

When: June 14-July 15

Where: Russia.

Cities: Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kazan, Sochi, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Saransk, Ekaterinburg, Rostov-on-Don

No. of Teams: 32 Past 5 Champions:

2014: Germany (Runner-up Argentina).

2010: Spain (Runner-up Netherlands)

2006: Italy (Runner-up France)

2002: Brazil (Runner-up Germany)

1998: France (Runner-up Brazil)

TV (Full Schedule below): FOX Sports, Telemundo. Fox will show 38 games live, most-ever for English-language U.S. network. FS1 will show 26 matches, and all 64 are on Fox Sports Go and Fox Sports Match Pass. Telemundo will air 56 matches live, the other 8 on Universo.


A-Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay

B-Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran

C-France, Australia, Peru, Denmark

D-Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria

E-Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia

F-Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea

G-Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England

H-Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

Favorites: Germany, Brazil, Spain, Argentina, France

Underdogs to Watch: Belgium, Iceland, Mexico, Colombia

Standout Players: Lionel Messi (Argentina), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Neymar (Brazil), Mo Salah (Egypt), James Rodriguez (Colombia), Gabriel Jesus (Brazil), Eden Hazard (Belgium), Luis Suarez (Uruguay), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay), Harry Kane (England), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Kylian Mbappe (France), Timo Werner (Germany), Robert Lewandowski (Poland), Luka Modric (Croatia), Romelu Lukaku (Belgium).

Must-See Group Games

June 14, 11 a.m. — Russia vs. Saudi Arabia: The tournament opening game is always fun. Russia is one of the weakest teams in the field but will have home-field advantage.

June 15, 2 pm. — Portugal vs. Spain: The past two European champions meet in a huge Group B game. Cristiano Ronaldo vs. his Real Madrid teammates.

June 16, 9 a.m. — Argentina vs. Iceland: Lionel Messi and Co. vs the underdog team with its lovable fans and their ThunderClap cheer.

June 17, 11 a.m. — Germany vs. Mexico: The winner of this Group F match is in good shape going forward.

June 28, 2 p.m. — England vs. Belgium: EPL stars Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne vs. English players they know very well.


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By Michelle Kaufman

Miami Herald