With only European football (soccer) teams left in the running to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup, France and England are considered front-runners, according to data provided by Russia’s Public Opinion Research Center.
The survey polled 1,600 respondents aged 18 and over. Most respondents, precisely 21 percent, said they favor France, while England came in second place with 18 percent. Croatia and Belgium received 17 and 14 percent, respectively.
France faces Belgium in St. Petersburg Stadium today, and England and Croatia battle it out in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium tomorrow. These games will decide the final winners.
For the first time since 1990, England has ensured its place in the semi-finals of a World Cup, after beating Sweden in a game that ended 2-0 in England’s favor.
Croatia secured its place in the semi-finals after a dramatic win over Russia, which lost 4-3 due to penalties. France scored two goals in its match against Uruguay, which has led to it facing off against Belgium – a team that beat five-time World Cup champion Brazil.
Unpredictability is the operative word for this year’s cup, as no one predicted that only European teams would be left on the field; that Brazil would have been knocked out of the semi-finals; and that Russia had gone as far as it did.
Russia is hosting this year’s cup for the first time, and enjoyed ‘home court advantage’ no doubt, as it secured a place in the quarterfinals for the first time ever, after a victory over Spain. Despite losing to Croatia, all members of the Russian team are being recognized as national heroes.