72 days to go: The World Cup lands in Asia

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ is getting closer – 72 days to go!

In less than three months' time – on 14 June, to be precise – the 21st FIFA World Cup™ kicks off at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, as the hosts take on Saudi Arabia.

That leaves us plenty of time to enjoy a countdown. Between now and the start of the World Cup, we will take a closer look at a different statistic from the history of the tournament each day.

72 The number of years the FIFA World Cup™ was in existence before it was finally held in Asia. On 31 May 1996, FIFA announced that the 17th edition of its flagship event would be co-hosted by Korea Republic and Japan. The first World Cup to be staged on the largest and most populous continent generated huge excitement and quite a few shocks – including Senegal’s Opening Game defeat of defending champions France, and the latter’s group-stage exit alongside mighty Argentina. In contrast, Korea Republic, buoyed by enormous home support, became the first Asian team to reach the semi-finals, before eventually finishing fourth. However, the ultimate prize would again go to Brazil, who, inspired by the phenomenal goalscoring of Ronaldo, won all seven of their games to claim the world title for a record fifth time.