The World Cup is nearly here. We’ve got the lowdown on everything you need to know from its history to where you can catch up on every important free kick decision.

Once every four years, there’s one special event the world looks towards. It’s bigger than Eurovision and lasts longer than Glastonbury; of course, we’re talking about the World Cup. As many of us start to prepare for the viewing parties to support our nation in the footballing tournament, we’ve got the lowdown on everything you need to know. And if you’re heading off to Russia to experience everything live, don’t for get to check how to activate your roaming, so you can keep your friends posted.

World Cup history

The first ever FIFA World Cup was held in 1930, when FIFA president at the time, Jules Rimet decided he wanted to stage an international football tournament (you might recognise his name from the famed football anthem Three Lions – “Jules Rimet still gleaming!”). So, mission decided, he and 13 international teams travelled to Uruguay to battle it out on the football field, with Uruguay facing and defeating Argentina in a breath-taking final.

Since 1930, the World Cup has taken place every 4 years without fail, aside from in 1942 and 1946, due to World War II. And since then, the number of teams entering has grown, and the format has evolved into what we know today.

 

What’s going on this year?

This year, 32 teams will battle their way through a variety of stages in Russia, to reach the final and represent their country. First, each of the 32 teams are sorted into 8 groups of 4, and a round-robin style tournament is played within each group. The top 2 teams from each group process into the knockout stages, where the losing team are eliminated after losing just one match.

Finally, surviving teams progress through the quarter-and semi-finals, to reach the coveted final match. The winner of the final then raised the famed FIFA World Cup itself.

With superstars, such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and breakout celebrity Mohamad Salah all lined up as forwards for their respective countries, it’s likely to be an explosive year for World Premier League football.

When is the World Cup?

The World Cup starts on Thursday 14 June, between host country Russia and Saudi Arabia.

 

What’s happening with England?

If you’re supporting England this year in the World Cup, you can take a deep breath and begin to hope for the best. Our track record as a country isn’t great, with just one World Cup win in 1966, but we’ve announced our squad and are ready to go. England are in Group G, with Panama, Tunisia and Belgium. Their first fixture is on Monday 18 June against Tunisia, and with some old favourites like Joe Hart left out from the squad this year, it’s going to be an interesting one.

Worried about missing all the action? Don’t forget that with TVPlayer, you can Go Binge all you like and catch up every important free kick decision and every World Cup result.

 

Want to keep up to date on all the action?

Check out football apps like FIFA (Free on iOS and Android) or Onefootball (free on iOS and Android), that’ll help you keep up to date with the latest rumours and live scores.

Or, why not try your hand at playing or managing a football team yourself with FIFA Mobile (Free on iOS and Android) or Football Manager Mobile (£8.99 on iOS and Android).

Fancy showing off your own skills?

If you think you’re hotter than Henderson, we challenge you to come into store and try our Wall Ball challenge. #ThreeWallBall is on throughout the World Cup in 15 of our stores across the country and all you have to do is flick the ball with your foot against a wall and catch it back on your foot, as many times as possible. Get down there if you can, because anyone who enters our #ThreeWallBall challenge goes into the prize draw to win the ultimate football party (worth more than 5k) on World Cup final day. The winner will get a money-can’t-buy experience for themselves and five mates, with a football legend as their personal pundit, Samsung prizes, and more. Result!

It’s all about control; so if you think you’ve got what it takes, get down to a your nearest Three store (or load a video of yourself to social media if you can’t get to a participating store) and give #ThreeWallBall a go.

And if you’re feeling super lucky, why not enter our awesome prize draw for the ultimate season ticket?   Thanks to our rewards app, Wuntu and football gaming gurus Dugout, we’re offering you the chance to win tickets to 10 top flight games of your choice during the 2018/2019 season. Because it’s ALL about the football.