World Cup 2018

The stories, profiles and data you need throughout the tournament

© Nigel Buchanan

We crunch the numbers to see which nation has the most creative players 

Goalscorers born weeks apart in same city can propel La Celeste into second round

Two goals for captain cannot hide flawed performance

Supplies of gas run dry in Europe as plants close for maintenance

Youth teams used as pipeline for tournament in effort to offset inexperience

Daily reports from across Russia as part of the FT’s coverage of the tournament

More from this Series

As fans fret about the hosts’ performances, Sergei Galitsky believes he can transform the sport

The Leicester City striker’s unselfish, unflashy style has endeared him to his country’s fans

We’ve crunched the data to find out who comes out on top in terms of quality and experience

Henry Mance on England’s latest enigma

Ex-communist nation benefit from proximity to game’s western Europe stronghold

The team stands for an idea: that nationhood can be something subtler than the blood-and-soil kind

Fans in Egypt, Iceland, Panama, Peru and Senegal tell FT correspondents how it feels

Will Argentina finally stop asking their superstar to win the World Cup single-handed?

Manager Gareth Southgate is copying methods that have helped other European teams win

Plus: an interview with dancer-choreographer Akram Khan

Simon Kuper on the footballers choosing between two homelands

Gideon Rachman, Murad Ahmed and Simon Kuper in Paris join Jonathan Derbyshire to discuss the World Cup. Produced by Murray Withers

Iberian World Cup clash pits the Portuguese captain against his Real Madrid clubmates

We’ve got the data to answer the question in our new tournament briefing

Neil O’Sullivan on the strange case of Germany’s playmaker

President Vladimir Putin handed opportunity to show attempts to isolate country have failed

The way the game is experienced away from the pitch is the latest powerful example of digital disruption

Do switch off Twitter, don’t make predictions: lessons from a tournament veteran

France will beat Spain in the final, with Brazil in third place . . . maybe

World Cup comes at nadir for national side that reflects problems in domestic game

Opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia gives ordinary players chance to shine

But trying to take advantage of sporting success can be a risky game

Today’s footballing heroes are rich, fit and fashion-mad. But who’s got the best style game?

As fans flock to sport’s greatest spectacle, efforts to clean up the beautiful game have run into the sand