The Russia 2018 World Cup came to a close on Sunday when France beat Croatia in Moscow, capping a thrilling four weeks of football that have been hailed by many as the best tournament ever. Here are some intriguing World Cup stats:
519 centimetres made Luka Modric (1.72m), Eden Hazard (1.73m) and Antoine Griezmann the smallest combined height of the adidas Golden, Silver and Bronze Ball recipients since Toto Schillaci, Lothar Matthaus and Diego Maradona had merely 512 centimetres between them in 1990.
72.5 kilometres is what Ivan Perisic covered during the tournament – more than any other player. Xavi (80km) and Thomas Muller (84km) ran unprecedented totals at South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014 respectively.
48 years had passed since a team had overturned a two-goal deficit and won a knockout-phase match at the World Cup until Belgium rallied to stun Japan 3-2. The last had been West Germany, who came from two goals down to edge England 3-2 at Mexico 1970, albeit with the aid of extra-time.
40 years have passed since a World Cup Final was without a player from Bayern Munich or Inter Milan. The German giants had their status preserved by Corentin Tolisso coming on for France against Croatia, who started Marcelo Brozovic and Ivan Perisic of I Nerazzurri.
21 hours and 10 minutes is the combined total Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have, staggeringly, gone without scoring in the knockout phase of the World Cup. The Argentinian and the Portuguese have made eight and six appearances in the knockout rounds respectively.
18 matches is what Asian sides had gone without beating South American opposition in the World Cup until Japan bucked the trend with a 2-1 defeat of Colombia.
12 own-goals were registered at Russia 2018, doubling the previous record of six, set at France 1998. Morocco’s Aziz Bouhaddouz netted the latest one in World Cup history in the 95th minute against IR Iran; Sergei Ignashevich, just before his 39th birthday, became the oldest player to score an own-goal in the competition and ensured three straight Russia matches involved one; and Mario Mandzukic posted the first one in the Final.
11 shots is what England centre-half Harry Maguire registered – surprisingly more than Gabriel Jesus (10), Luka Modric (10), Gylfi Sigurdsson (10), Raheem Sterling (10), Robert Lewandowski (9), Falcao (8), Kylian Mbappe (8), Paul Pogba (8), Sergio Aguero (6) and Dele Alli (5). Neymar had the most shots (27), followed by Ivan Perisic and Philippe Coutinho (22 apiece).
5 teenagers have now scored multiple goals in a World Cup game after Kylian Mbappe became the first since Pele 60 years ago to achieve the feat. The 19-year-old Frenchman then became the third teenager to appear in the tournament’s decider, after Pele and Giuseppe Bergomi in 1958 and ’82 respectively, and the second to score in it after ‘The King’.
4 saves in World Cup penalty shootouts is what Danijel Subasic became the third goalkeeper to make following West Germany’s Harald Schumacher and Argentina’s Sergio Goycochea. Croatia, who went past 90 minutes against Denmark, Russia and England, became the second side to go to extra-time in three consecutive ties in the competition after England in 1990.