World Cup 2018

The stories, profiles and data you need throughout the tournament

© Nigel Buchanan

Inside the stadiums, Russia 2018 felt like a triumph. But what will it mean for Putin?

Pogba and Kanté v Modric and Rakitic: the midfield duel that will decide a tantalising showdown

Sons of immigrants in national team are products of France — in ways good and bad

Southgate’s team return to bad old long-ball ways on a disappointing night

Samuel Umtiti header sets up final clash against Croatia or England

Enlightened employers have encouraged staff to take in every match

More from this Series

Which football team should an American in London support?

Tottenham wing-back delivers the crosses that drive the team’s progress

World Cup semi-finalists combine best of British and continental traditions

Why France are likely to create chances and Raheem Sterling is key to England’s success

One of the world’s least nationalist nations finds someone worth cheering on

Suddenly the young team find themselves unstoppable in the air

‘I can write about the genius of French forward Kylian Mbappé, knowing the FT is also covering Russian elite corruption’

This set of players is not significantly better than the maligned teams of the past

The manager has shaped a young squad and broken old dogmas to make history

The football team’s diversity makes us realise there is an England that we can share

The Red Devils’ best team since 1986 must outwit the South Americans’ best since 2002

Passing prowess or counter-attacking flair: which style has been the most productive?

Henry Mance on England’s latest enigma

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

Get ready for the next act in the Uruguayan’s World Cup drama

Penalty unpredictability deemed crucial to tournament success 

The French teenage star’s early goalscoring exploits outshine most of the game’s greats 

Gareth Southgate’s team through to World Cup quarter-final with nail-biting win

Lambasted side hopes self belief and belated support will see them through

Listen in on the characters who populate modern offices

Control measures kick in to damp hooliganism and release novel spirit of respect

Southgate must ensure his players are positive, patient and ready for penalties

Where did reigning champions Germany go wrong — and who are best placed to take their crown?

A gifted and cosmopolitan generation is having fun as they reach their peak

Victory shortens Red Devils’ odds of facing impressive Brazil in the quarter-finals

But the forward might yet prove a uniquely Brazilian saviour as his team meets Serbia

The White Stripes’ guitar riff went from the charts to the supporters of Jeremy Corbyn — and beyond

But under Deschamps, Les Bleus have so far played sterile football

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

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

‘It’s a rare luxury – a constant supply of games you don’t care about’

Disastrous result proves no one can defy football’s eternal need for renewal

Smartphone betting apps are used by millions — and for some it’s a dangerous addiction

As previous champions battled to stay in, Group G rivals face a different challenge

Captain’s World Cup hat-trick in 6-1 thrashing confirms arrival of an in-form team

‘The idea of the president as a puppeteer manipulating his people gives him too much credit’

We examine the tactics that may help nations progress further than expected

England sees itself reflected in a young and diverse group of football players

South Americans struggle to find formation that allows their matchwinner to thrive

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

Barcelona veteran, now full of stress and flashes of anger, should rediscover the kid

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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