The 2018 FIFA World Cup has been full of surprises we have already had 32 games and none of them were goalless. The favorites have struggled and minnows are continuing to surprise us. The VAR has been controversial yet has been very successful.
Russia was already written off by many before the World Cup had started, they had a poor Confederations Cup campaign in 2017 and were on a bad form before the World Cup had started. To the surprise of many the have probably had one of the best ever starts by the hosts in the history of the World Cup.
The biggest and most shocking news before the start of the World Cup was Spain sacking their manager Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the World Cup after he signed up as the next manager of Real Madrid without the consent of their FA. Lopetegui had recently extended his contract with Spain until 2020 and was undefeated as their manager.
Argentina were surrounded by a lot of negativity before they started their campaign, they were never expected to win the World Cup but in a group consisting of Iceland,Croatia and Nigeria they were easily expected to go through to the knockouts round but have miserably failed and are sitting at the bottom of their group. Lionel Messi who was the main reason for their qualification for the World Cup has hardly been instrumental and even missed a penalty against Iceland which could have won them the game.
Before the start of the World Cup Javier Hernández ( Chicarito ) had made a statement that he was confident of Mexico beating Germany and even go on to win the World Cup, many took his statement as a joke. Germany were favorites for many to win the competition but lost 1-0 to Mexico in their opening game. Not only the result but also the performance of Mexico was lauded as they dominated the World Champions and if they were more clinical they would have had won with a much bigger scoreline.
Brazil over the years have always been favorites at most of the World Cups . Their start to World Cup was a bit surprising as they were deservedly held by Switzerland and had to win against Costa Rica in the extra time. This group has been marred by controversies. Granit Xhakha and Xerdan Shaqiri who are of Albanian heritage made gestures of Albanian ‘double-headed eagle’ flag after scoring against Serbia. Families of both Xhakha and Shaqiri have suffered at the hands of Serbia’s war crimes.
Japan and Senegal were written off their group mainly because they were from Asia and Africa respectively. Japan defeated group favorites Colombia and Senegal eased past Poland , these results have surprised many. Both Japan and Senegal are now the favorites to go through this group.
VAR had been implemented in many leagues across the World but it was full of controversies, especially in England were it was reportedly unsuccessful after being used in the League Cup and FA Cup. Despite being one of major talking points in the World Cup one cannot deny the fact the VAR has been hugely successful in making right decisions.