WORLD CUP 2018: Germany, Brazil & Spain Are Favourites

World  Cup, the 21st edition of the international soccer tournament held under FIFA auspices, will be held in Russia for the first time from June 14 to July 15. The 20th FIFA WC was held in Brazil where Germany won the title for the fourth time while Argentina became runner-up, The Netherland was placed 3rd and the host Brail finished at 4th position. A total of 32 teams will be competing, with the group stage set for June 14-June 28, Round of 16 from June 30-July 3, quarterfinals on July 6-7, semi-finals on July 10-11 and the final on July 15. Germany are the defending champions. June 14-July 15. The most celebrated soccer players in the world will be joined in Russia by some of the biggest stars of today’s international music scene. As part of another exciting collaboration between FIFA and Sony Music, Will Smith, Nicky Jam and Era Istrefi will perform ‘Live It Up’, the Official Song of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ produced by DJ and songwriter Diplo.says FIFA.

Meanwhile,  UBS claims  that it is the first among the banks to reveal its predictions for the outcome of this year’s World Cup. These are calculated using econometric tools normally used to assess investment opportunities; it says .England came in fourth-most likely to lift the cup, while Germany took the top spot. Brazil and Spain were in second and third place respectively. As per calculations Germany, the current trophy holder has 24 per cent chances of retaining the coveted trophy while Brazil has a 19.8 per cent chance and Spain has a 16.1 per cent chance. The likelihood of one of these three teams winning is 60 per cent, according to UBS’s calculations. Factors  in favour  of Germany, Brazil and Spain are the favourites, are the teams’ Elo ratings, their successful qualification rounds – Germany won each match, Spain didn’t lose, and Brazil lost only its first game back in 2015 – and they have all won the tournament before. England has just an 8.5 per cent likelihood of taking the trophy home, but a 35.1 per cent change of reaching the semi-finals in Russia.FIFA website says music stars will warm up  80,000 spectators at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium and around one billion people watching on TV just a few minutes before the two finalists come out on to the pitch. Until then, fans will have enough time to learn the lyrics as “Live It Up” will be released on multiple streaming platforms this Friday, 25 May. The FIFA World Cup Official Music Video will be available as of 7 June.“It’s an honour to be asked to perform at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. This global event brings people from all over the world together to cheer, laugh and experience magic. Collaborating with Nicky, Diplo and Era on this track represents harmony, eclectic flavours and genres coming together. At the end of the day, we just want to see the world dance”, said world-renowned Grammy Award-winning actor, songwriter and artist Will Smith, FIFA added .Participation in the 2018 FIFA World Cup is a lifetime achievement. Not many artists have the privilege of being able to say they’ve been part of this. I’m so proud and happy, I can say to my grandkids ‘I’ve made it’,” says Nicky Jam, one of Latin music’s most noted artists and a Latin Grammy Award winner. The countries  which have confirmed participation are: Russia, Brazil ,Iran ,Japan, Mexico, Belgium, Russia, Brazil, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Belgium, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Germany, England ,Spain Nigeria, Costa Rica, Poland, Egypt, Iceland, Serbia, Portugal, France, Uruguay, Argentina, Colombia, Panama, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, Switzerland, Croatia, Sweden, Denmark, Australia and Peru.(inputs from USA Today, Telegraph.co.uk , NBC, NY Times )

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