When Russia was awarded the 2018 FIFA World Cup, many thought the event would be at best a modest one. But the World Cup surpassed all expectations and will go down as one of the best ever.
What’s more, the host nation also surprised all and sundry by punching above its weight match after match until the loss to Croatia, World Cup runners-up, in the quarterfinals.
As the following infographic by bettingsites.me.uk shows, Belgium played the most exciting football by scoring the most goals (16) in the tournament. However, it was the never-say-die attitude of Croatians that won the hearts of football fans all over the world.
This world cup had it all, from exhilarating to hair-raising moments and fairy-tale performances (Croatia and to a certain extent England) to absolute shockers.
Shared ahead are the two biggest shockers of World Cup 2018.
VAR Blunder In The Finals
This was the first world cup in which Video Assistant Referee system (VAR) was used. Many football experts had expressed reservation about its accuracy before the start of the event.
However, as the World Cup progressed, many naysayers started supporting VAR, because the system proved its usefulness in several initial matches.
But then the blunder in the finals happened. And in a flash, all opinions turned against VAR.
VAR failed miserably in the most important match of the World Cup and brought millions of Croatians to tears in turn.
Football experts and impartial fans across the globe, as well as the whole of Croatia, believe France shouldn’t have won the penalty that gave it its second goal. No doubt the ball had hit Ivan Perišić’s hand in the penalty area, but was it a deliberate handball?
If that was a deliberate handball, then Bill Gates is my uncle.
Germany’s Early Exit
Germany was the reigning champion and one of the favorites to lift the trophy. As things turned out, it couldn’t even reach the second round.
Shocking as Germany’s early exit was, the team’s pedestrian performance in its three first-round matches was many times more disturbing. Toni Kroos, who embodies German resilience, summed up the team’s performance succinctly and accurately when he said, “We got what we deserved. We were not unlucky.”