2018 World Cup Stats, Facts & Trends

Ahead of the 2018 Wold Cup, we scoured the internet in search of stats, facts and trends from previous tournaments to help us predict what may happen in Russia.

31 World Cup Stats, Facts & Trends

Below is a list of the World Cup stats, facts and trends that we found.

  1. 2018 will be the 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup, 88 years after the initial tournament was held in in Uruguay (1930) and for the first time in Russia.
  2. At the 2014 World Cup, the 2 teams bookies had as favourites to progress did so in just 3 of 8 groups.
  3. Since 1986 (included), every country that has gone on to win the World Cup topped their group.
  4. Other than South Africa in 2010, all hosts have reached the knockout stages. 6/20 countries went to to become champions (the last being France in 1998).
  5. 16 of 21 sides from AFC and OFC regions have been eliminated in the group phase over the last 4 tournaments.
  6. Every World Cup has been won by a European (11) or South American (9) side. In fact, these are the only two continents represented in a World Cup final.
  7. Only 3 countries have won all of their games at a World Cup (Uruguay, 4/4 in 1930), Italy (4/4 in 1938) and Brazil (6/6 in 1970 and 7/7 in 2002).
  8. 9 of the last 10 World Cup tournaments hosted by countries in Europe have been won by teams from the same continent.
  9. No team has been able to retain the World Cup since Brazil won successive tournaments in 1958 and 1962.
  10. Only 2 of the last 9 World Cup tournaments have been won by the pre-tournament favourites.
  11. The last 2 reigning champions going into a World Cup were knocked out in the group stages.
  12. Portugal are aiming to be the fourth team to win the European Championships and the World Cup consecutively, like West Germany (Euros 72, World Cup 74), France (World Cup 98, Euros 00) and Spain (Euros 08, World Cup 10, Euros 12).
  13. 11/1 are the longest pre-tournament odds of any World Cup winner (Italy in 1982).
  14. Mexico hold the record for the most World Cup appearances without winning the trophy (16).
  15. Switzerland are the only country to avoid conceding in a World Cup campaign – 0 in 4 games in 2006.
  16. 11/62 (17%) of games England have played in World Cup tournaments have ended 0-0 – more than any other country.
  17. The record for most goals at a World Cup stands at 171 (in 1998 and 2014) while the record with the least goals is 145 (in 2010).
  18. Germany have scored the most goals in the last 3 World Cups tournaments (14 in 2006, 16 in 2010 and 18 in 2014).
  19. Every World Cup has been won by a coach who was the same nationality as his team.
  20. Germany were the only UEFA team to win all their qualifying games and had the best goal difference (+39).
  21. Spain and England conceded the joint fewest goals during the UEFA Qualifiers (3 goals in 10 matches).
  22. All of Denmark’s 27 goals at World Cups have come from inside the penalty area.
  23. Only Bolivia (18) scored less goals than Argentina (19) during the CONMEBOL qualifying.
  24. Mexico have been knocked out in the last-16 of the last 6 World Cup tournaments.
  25. 5 of the last 8 goals scored by South Korea at the World Cup have come from outside the penalty area and 12 of the last 13 have come in the second half.
  26. Since qualifying for the World Cup, Saudi Arabia have fired two coaches (Bert van Marwijk and Edgardo Bauza).
  27. Denmark have qualified from the group stage of a World Cup in 3 of their last 4 World Cup campaigns.
  28. Under Adenor Leonardo Bacchi (commonly known as Tite), Brazil managed 41 points (12 wins, 5 draws and 1 defeat) during CONMEBOL qualifying, the best tally since Argentina’s 43 points to qualifying for 2002 World Cup.
  29. Uruguay have gone beyond the last 16 only once in their last 6 attempts World Cup campaigns.
  30. France have topped their group in only 2 of the last 9 World Cup tournaments they have competed in (1998 and 2014).
  31. Under Joachim Low, Germany have reached the semi-finals of all 5 major tournaments they have competed in.

2018 World Cup Prize Money

The World Cup is the biggest, most prestigious and most viewed sporting event in the world. In fact, over 1 billion people tuned in to watch the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil.

Winning the World Cup is the pinnacle for the majority of professional footballers, however, it's not just the gold trophy that they are competing for. Indeed, the financial rewards are extremely lucrative.

Below we've created a table of the prize structure for the 2018 World Cup.

Position Prize (Per Team) Total
Group Stage $8m $128m
Last 16 $12m $96m
Quarter-Finals $16m $64m
Fourth Place $22m $22m
Third Place $24m $24m
Runners-Up $28m $28m
Winners $38m $38m
Total $400m


It goes without saying that nothing is guaranteed in football. However, we can use previous World Cup stats, facts and trends to get an insight into what to expect for this year's tournament in Russia.