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5 Countries That Made The 2018 World Cup Amazing

How certain countries' impact on the 2018 FIFA World Cup made it the best one yet.

5 Countries That Made The 2018 World Cup Amazing

Every four years, countries bring together their most elite and skilled soccer players to compete in the FIFA World Cup. The 32 nations compete to win one of the most prestigious accolades in all of the sports, and only one team can be victorious. Every world cup is filled with joy, heartbreaks, upsets, favorites, underdogs, and nail-biting penalty kicks, but Russia had something special in store for the world to witness.

The 2018 Fifa World Cup was the most thrilling one to date.

1. Russia

The hosting nation of the 2018 World Cup was the lowest ranked team going into the tournament. Despite all the pride and hope Russians had, critics said it would be a miracle for the team to make it out of the group stage. As underdogs do, Russia defied the odds and silenced critics after not only making out of the group stage but also by stunning Spain, one of the favorites to win the finals, by beating them in penalty kicks 4-3 in the round of 16.

Although their tournament run was cut short by Croatia, they still had a surprising run for being a team that arguably only qualified for the tournament because they were the hosting nation.

2. Iceland

Iceland, also one of the lowest ranked teams going into the World Cup, shocked the world. Heimir Hallgrimsson, the coach for Iceland's national soccer team, not only led the country to its first World Cup, but he also directed them to their first; tie, win and round of 16. Despite these outstanding achievements, it gets better and more exciting for Iceland.

Coach Hallgrimsson is not just a coach, but he is also a part-time dentist. This coach does not simply dedicate all of his life to soccer, but also to the cleaning of teeth of adults and children. Some of Iceland's players were in the same boat, they had to actually request time off of their jobs in order to compete in the world cup. Iceland was able to pull off a major upset by tieing Messi and Argentina in the group stage.

3. Croatia

Croatia had lots of historical moments in fifth World Cup appearance, some of the historical players and fans will hold above their heads for a lifetime, but some events they will try to hide in shame. Mario Mandzukic, a well-known player for Croatia, scored a goal in the world cup final, and made history, but not the good kind. Coming in from a set-piece from France, he headed the ball past his own goalie and into the back of the net.

Mandzukic scored the first own goal in final history. Despite coming up short in the finals, losing 4-2 to France, this small country played their hearts out. Croatia's total population is around 4 million people, and to put that into perspective, Pennsylvania has more residents than Croatia does. To see such a small country put together such a strong and fearless team is fascinating.

4. Mexico

In Mexico City, Mexico, there was a tiny 'earthquake' after the stunning win against Germany, the defending champions. In the 35th minute, Hirving Lozano scored a goal that remained the only in the game. Mexico fans were so excited, and rightly so, that after the goal was scored the jumping and celebrating in Mexico City actually caused a slight disturbance of seismic movement in at least two of Mexico City's sensors. Although there was no actual earthquake, it is extremely cool to see a country celebrate a victory together in this way.

5. France

France, the winners of 2018 FIFA World Cup, they will forever go down in history as winning the tournament in 2018, but some of the players have done special things that hopefully will not go unnoticed. For example Kylian Mbappe, a 19-year-old that scored France's fourth goal in the finals, and is the youngest player to score in the finals since Pele.

Besides being amazing on the field, he is the same, if not better of a man off of it. Mbappe has decided to donate his World Cup check to Premiers de Cordes, an organization that puts together and funds sporting events for children with disabilities. Although the $500,000 check is only a fraction of what he makes yearly, the young adult went the extra mile and that donation could change lives.

Despite the 2018 FIFA World Cup being filled with the usual heartbreak, goals, spectacular saves, dangerous slide tackles, and hysterical flops, it is one that the underdogs were able to truly shine, and warm the hearts of many all across the globe. This tournament will be one that will not be forgotten.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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