69 days to go: Kroos at the double

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ is getting closer – 69 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.

69 There were exactly 69 seconds between Toni Kroos's two goals in the 2014 FIFA World Cup semi-final that destroyed Brazil's hopes of winning the title on home turf. It was one of the darkest hours in the history of A Seleção, so much so that the match against eventual champions Germany at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte on 8 July later earned its own moniker: Mineiraço (Shock of the Mineirao).

The Real Madrid midfielder's goals in the 24th and 26th minute bumped the scoreline to 4-0 after efforts from Thomas Muller (11') and Miroslav Klose (23') had already stunned the stadium and the rest of the country into silence. Yet, worse was still to come for the Brazilians, as Sami Khedira (29') and Andre Schurrle (69', 79') also found the back of the net before Oscar scored a stoppage-time consolation goal in the 7-1 defeat.

"It was a really impressive performance," said Kroos after the final whistle blew on an encounter, in which he was named Man of the Match. "That's the best display I've been involved in with Germany. If someone had told me beforehand that we'd win 7-1, I wouldn't have believed them, but I think we were outstanding."

The South Americans made amends of sorts when they beat Germany 1-0 in a friendly in Berlin last week.

Yet, that will not alter the fact that in Brazil, people still use a certain expression when misfortune strikes. For example, if they just miss a bus as it pulls away from the stop, they might cry out: "Gol da Alemanha!" ("Goal for Germany!")