The 2018 World Cup has begun. The world's best players are on display in Russia from June 14-July 15 for the global showpiece finals.
You can follow all the developing action in Russia with The National, with our daily live updates blog. There will also be expert analysis and features throughout proceedings from our team of writers.
There is analysis on each of the 32 sides competing in the group guides, and our staff have all put their respective credibility as sports pundits on the line with their predictions for what is going to happen. Come back throughout the tournament to find out how right, or wrong, they have proved to be.
There is a also a full listing below on where to watch the games in the UAE.
Look below to find everything you could possibly want to know about the 2018 World Cup.
THE ACTION AS IT HAPPENS
There will be a daily blog on every day of live action at the World Cup, keeping you informed on team news, results, goals and reports from news conferences.
You can follow a record of how World Cup 2018 unfolds here. Day 13: Rojo goal sends Argentina through to last 16 Day 12: Uruguay maintain 100 per cent start, Spain pip Portugal to top group Day 11: England hit six as Colombia eliminate Poland Day 10: Germany leave it late as Mexico and Belgium win Day 9: Delight for Switzerland as Brazil and Nigeria win Day 8: Messi and Argentina on brink of early exit Day 7: Ronaldo on target again as Portugal and Spain both pick up wins Day 6: Russia on brink of last 16 after defeat of Egypt Day 5: England, Belgium, Sweden off to winning starts Day 4: Mexico shock defending champions Germany as Brazil held by Switzerland Day 3: Messi misses penalty as Argentina draw with Iceland as France helped by VAR Day 2: Ronaldo hits hat-trick as Egypt beaten by late Uruguay goal Day 1: Russia off to a flying start with Saudi Arabia victory ____________ INTERACTIVE WALL CHART
Here's your chance to keep on top of the tournament in Russia, from the group stages all the way through to the final.
____________ FEATURES Profile: Marcus Berg, the self-deprecating successor to Ibrahimovic who Sweden rely on for more than just goals John McAuley: Mohamed Salah apologies to Egypt fans following World Cup exit and vows 'we will be back again in 2022' Dejan Lovren: Croatia can go 'a long way' at World Cup after Argentina win Steve Luckings: Ronaldo's hat-trick, Musa magic and the 10 best moments of the tournament so far Richard Jolly: Mohammed Abdullah Hassan an authoritative figure as referee for France v Peru Jon Tuner: Messi overreaction, Salah's early exit and 10 worst moments so far Steve Luckings: Sadio Mane and the rest of Senegal's modern day stars owe class of 2002 a huge debt Ian Oxoborrow: Why Ronaldo and the set-piece experts are rocking World Cup 2018 John McAuley: Egypt fans keep the faith in Moscow despite losing start to World Cup campaign Gary Meenaghan: Relaxation the key to Brazil's bid to make amends for 2014 trauma in Russia Richard Jolly: Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Iceland ready for World Cup debut and challenge of stopping Messi John McAuley: Ahmed Elmohamady on Mohamed Salah, that win over Congo and reaching a World Cup with Egypt Andy Mitten: Cristiano Ronaldo is up to the challenge of winning the World Cup with Portugal John McAuley: Russians unimpressed by home team but excited about World Cup 2018 Ian Hawkey: Uruguay are dark horses at the World Cup, but can Suarez contain his darker side? Richard Jolly: World Cup 2018 at Russia's doorstep but no sign of winter ending for home team Ian Hawkey: Serial winners Germany in a slump ahead of defence of World Cup in Russia John McAuley: Meet the Emirati World Cup referee who kept Stoichkov and Ronaldo in check Gary Meenaghan: World Cup fever fails to grip a Brazil dealing with bigger problems Richard Jolly: Elder statesman Essam El-Hadary 'a true leader' for Egypt John McAuley: Mo Salah and teammates have a chance ‘to make all of Egypt happy’ ____________ PODCASTS
Ahead of kick off on Thursday, when hosts Russia take on Saudi Arabia in the opening match in Moscow,
The National's Extra Time podcast staged a special World Cup quiz episode.
Two teams battled it out in the ultimate test of World Cup trivia - John McAuley and Jon Turner took on Adam Workman and Steve Luckings with a trophy - Leo the Lion Messi - on offer for the winners and a trip to Emirates Park Zoo planned for the losing team.
Join host and quizmaster Mustafa Alrawi to find out who emerged victorious and who are on their way to feed baby goats at the zoo!
Also listen to:
Extra Time podcast: John McAuley's Road to Russia ____________ GROUP GUIDES
(All Ian Hawkey)
Group A [ Group B ] [ Group C ] [ Group D ]
(All Richard Jolly)
[ Group E ] [ Group F ] [ Group G ] [ Group H ] ____________ PREDICTIONS
Ian Hawkey, Richard Jolly, Andy Mitten, our World Cup reporter John McAuley and the rest of
The National's sports desk give their predictions of who will win, who will flop and who you should keep an eye out for. World Cup 2018: Winners, losers, top-scorers and players to watch ____________ WORLD CUP MEMORIES
The National staff recollect their favourite memories from previous World Cup tournaments.
Part 1: Gazza's tears at Italia 90 Part 2: The Ronaldo mystery at France 98 Part 3: Roberto Baggio's magic at USA 94 Part 4: Mario Goetze's late show for Germany Part 5: Maradona makes his mark at Mexico 86 Part 6: The day Hargreaves became accepted by England fans at World Cup 2006 Part 7: Michael Laudrup and the Danish Dynamite at Mexico 86 Part 8: My favourite World Cup moment: Goal-line drama as England crumble in 2010 Part 9: Michael’s Owen’s breakout brilliance against Argentina Part 10: Remembering UAE at Italia 90 Part 11: Zidane's night of genius and violence in 2006 Part 12: When New Zealand were unbeatable at South Africa 2010 Part 13: O'Leary's winning penalty at Italia 90 Part 14: South Korea's controversial upset over Italy in 2002 Part 15: Gordon Strachan's screamer at Mexico 86 ____________ VIDEOS WATCH: Fans stay back after Brazil's victory in St Petersburg for fireworks and scarlet sails treat WATCH: Egypt and Salah fans down after defeat to Russia in World Cup WATCH: Argentina fan with Lionel Messi tattoo on leg WATCH: Colombian fan gets taste of Mordovian football ahead of Japan game WATCH: Riding for Ronaldo, Portugal fan completes road trip to Russia for charity WATCH: Australian toddler gets first taste of Socceroos action at World Cup WATCH: Mohamed Salah gets a birthday cake from Chechen fans WATCH: Brazilian couple driving around the world stops in Russia for World Cup 2018 GALLERIES In pictures: Oldest World Cup players list now topped by Egypt's Essam El Hadary In pictures: Ronaldo takes part in Portugal training ahead of Iran World Cup match In pictures: Lionel Messi and Argentina fans despair at Croatia loss In pictures: Best images so far from the World Cup 2018 in Russia In pictures: Egypt superstar Salah 'fit' to face Russia in crucial World Cup clash In pictures: Beyond the football in Russia In pictures: England train ahead of World Cup opener against Tunisia In pictures: Lionel Messi and Argentina enjoy last training session before first game In pictures: Mohamed Salah joins Egypt World Cup training session ahead of Uruguay match In pictures: Zidane and France 98 teammates beat Fifa 98 team containing Vieri and Bolt In pictures: Mohamed Salah appears at Egypt's final World Cup training session in Cairo Touchdown: Neymar and his Brazil teammates land in Russia Maradona, Parreira, Cannavaro - the World Cup winners with UAE connections Quaresma, Berg, Tite, Cuper - players and managers with UAE links at World Cup 2018 In pictures: World Cup 2018 home kits ranked In pictures: The World Cup 2018 stadiums as seen from space Absentee XI: Icardi, Morata, Nainggolan and others cut from their World Cup squads In pictures: All 12 Russia 2018 World Cup stadiums In pictures: New captain Harry Kane leads England teammates in training session Absentee XI: Bale, Sanchez, Alaba and others not going to the 2018 World Cup ____________ WATCHING THE WORLD CUP IN THE UAE
The hotels, hot spots and TV packages to watch all the games:
Where to watch: Abu Dhabi Where to watch: Dubai Etisalat offers first Fifa World Cup viewing deals Du and beIN Sports reach deal to show World Cup games Lowdown: How and who to follow on social media