5 6, the finals involved 32 teams, of which 31 came through qualifying competitions, while the host nation qualified automatically. 105 Ronaldo returned with the official match ball of the 2018 World Cup which was sent into space with theInternational Space Station crew in March and came back to Earth in early June. 61 Of the twelve venues used, the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow and the Saint Petersburg Stadium the two largest stadiums in Russia were used most, both hosting seven matches. "fifa 2018" redirects here. The number of cities was further reduced to 11 and number of stadiums to 12 as Krasnodar and Yaroslavl were dropped from the final list. Shop Animal Print, genevieve, express delivery, luxury direct to your doorstep. The bidding procedure to host the 20 fifa World Cup tournaments began in January 2009, and national associations had until 2 February 2009 to register their interest. 62 Kaliningrad: Kaliningrad Stadium. 100 Russia was placed in position A1 in the group stage and played in the opening match at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on 14 June against Saudi Arabia, the two lowest-ranked teams of the tournament at the time of the final draw. It is the first time three Nordic countries (Denmark, Iceland and Sweden) and four Arab nations (Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia) have qualified for the World Cup.