A total number of 32 countries will participate in the 2018 World Cup, with Iceland and Panama making their debut in the competition, Slovakia was the last debutant to make it past the group stage of the tournament in 2010.
The tournament will take place in 12 stadiums across 11 cities, Moscow is the only city with two arenas (Luzhniki and Spartak).
Since 1986 (included), the world champions came first in the group stage.
Other than South Africa who hosted the 2010 World Cup, all hosts have reached the second round. In 30% of cases (6/20), they have been champions (the last was France in 1998).
All World Cups have been won by Europeans and South American, European countries have won the tournament on 11 occasions and South Americans have won nine times.
Brazil has won the World Cup more than any other country and Brazil is the only country that has played in every World Cup.
There have only been four times when a team has 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, 7/7 in 2002).
Germany will hope to be the first national team to win back to back World Cups since Brazil in 1962. Only Brazil five have more titles than Germany four.
The last two defending Champions were knocked out of the group stage, Italy in 2010 and Spain in 2014.