With this year’s World Cup now a matter of weeks away it’s time to brush up on your World Cup history so that you can join in all of the football-related conversations at work, in the pub or just out and about!
The tournament gets underway on Thursday 14th June and England are the sole representatives from the Home Nations this time around with Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland failing to qualify.
Whether you’re a dedicated football fan with an abundance of football knowledge stored away in your brain or someone looking to get behind your country for the World Cup; our brief history of the World Cup will give you everything you need to know so that you’re ready for kick-off! If there’s anything else you need, just ask your smart speaker!
When was the first football World Cup, and who won?
The first World Cup was held in Uruguay in 1930 and was won by the hosts who defeated Argentina 4-2 in the Final. The competition involved 13 teams, stark contrast to the 2018 competition which is being contested by 32 nations.
Have England ever won the World Cup?
England have won the World Cup once, back in 1966 when England – like Uruguay – were the host nation. Having progressed to the Final England met West Germany at Wembley and went 1-0 down inside 15 minutes. However, England were soon level and went on to lead until a late equaliser from Germany forced extra-time.
In the extra 30 minutes England scored two more goals to win 4-2 with Geoff Hurst scoring a hat-trick and Martin Peters netting the other. The Jules Rimet Trophy was lifted by Bobby Moore and that remains the one and only time that England have won the World Cup… to date!
Where is this year’s World Cup being held?
The 2018 World Cup is being held in Russia with 32 countries playing across 11 different cities: Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Volgograd, Samara, Rostov, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Yekaterinburg and Kaliningrad.
This is the first time that the competition has been held in Russia where 13 of the 16 stadiums have been built especially for the World Cup.
Who are the current World Cup holders?
The current holders of the World Cup are Germany, who triumphed 1-0 against Argentina after extra-time in the Final held in Rio de Janeiro back in 2014. Mario Götze scored the only goal of the Final with 7 minutes of extra time left to play.
Germany reached the Final having beaten hosts Brazil 7-1 in the semi-final in one of the most famous matches in World Cup history. Brazil were favourites to win the tournament in their own country but found themselves 5-0 down to Germany after just 29 minutes to the shock of the largely Brazilian crowd and those watching around the world.
The holders go into this year’s tournament as one of the favourites, along with Brazil and Spain.
Who do England play in this year’s World Cup?
In the group stage of the 2018 World Cup England will play Tunisia, Panama and Belgium.
The opening fixture against Tunisia is on 18th June with a 7pm kick off. The next game is against Panama at 1pm on 24th June; before England’s toughest game on paper against Belgium at 7pm on 28th June.
Where can I watch the World Cup?
The World Cup is one of the few sporting competitions that must be shown on terrestrial television. Along with Wimbledon and, until recently, the FA Cup Final; the World Cup is to be shown on the BBC and ITV. BBC also just announced that 29 of its World Cup games will be broadcast in 4K!
England’s group fixtures against Tunisia and Panama will be shown on the BBC before the big clash with Belgium which is live on ITV. Should England make it through the group stages then those fixtures will also be on the BBC and ITV.
With that in mind, now is the perfect time to upgrade your current TV and sound system so that you’re fully equipped with everything you need to get that stadium atmosphere in your own living room.
Whether you’re watching on your own or you’ve got a house full, there’s nothing quite like watching the biggest sporting events on a brand new 4K Ultra HD television complete with one of the latest soundbars to bounce the sound of the crowd and commentary around your living room.
It’s the next best thing to being out in Russia supporting your team, so head over to the BT Shop online store today to find your new TV and home theatre system.