By Prince Etim
After a two-day hiatus, the Russia 2018 World Cup resumes today with the first semifinal game between France and Belgium. The second match tomorrow will decide if England or Croatia would be the other finalist. For the first in decades, the final four countries would not have a South American nation as all four of them are from Europe.
Here are a few more stats to usher in the 2018 World Cup semis.
1. After breaking out for the former Yugoslavia, Croatia has been to the World Cup five times (1998, 2002, 2006, 2014 and 2018). Their highest ever finish was third place at their France 98 debut.
2. France has the highest number of migrant/foreign-born players (14) in their 23 man squad.
3. Belgium is next with 8.
4. England’s last appearance at the World Cup semifinal was at Italia 90.
5. The Three Lions are ranked number 12 in the world while Croatia is ranked 30.
6. Belgium at number 3 is ranked higher than France- 7.
7. There have been 157 goals at the Russia World Cup. France 98 and Brazil 2014 are tied as the tournaments with the most goal scored.
8. England’s Harry Kane is the leading goal scorer at this tournament.
9. France’s Kylian Mbappe and Antoinne Greizman both have three goals each.
10. Croatia’s last two games were settled by penalty shootouts.
11. All four coaches – Didier Deschamps (France), Roberto Martinez (Belgium), Gareth Southgate (England) and Zlatko Dalić (Croatia) are all former football players.
12. More fans are expected in the match between England and Croatia- the stadium can take 81,000 people while the St. Petersburg Stadium has a 65,000 capacity.