66 days to go: Willie sparks mascot mania

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ is getting closer – 66 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.

66 The colourful tradition of FIFA World Cup™ mascots started at the 1966 edition in England. World Cup Willie was the first tournament mascot ever - and is still considered the best by many people!

The English lion, who sported a Union Jack shirt with the words 'World Cup' on the front, stood as a symbol of the host nation at the 1966 finals. It was thanks to World Cup Willie's success that mascots were introduced at other major sporting events.