19/06/2018

Back of the net

Ranking topics: World Cup winners

It started with a bang. Russia, the hosts, netted five past Saudi Arabia. The only time more goals were scored in an opening game was in 2006, and eight of the previous 20 World Cup openers were either 0-0 or 1-1 draws. Expectations for the second game were high, but Uruguay took 89 minutes to limp past Egypt. Five of the six top-ranked teams played in the first weekend of games, with only Portugal v Spain providing another goalfest, a 3-3 draw. The Portuguese captain, Cristiano Ronaldo, staked his claim to be the world’s best player (his hat-trick helped thwart the 2010 champions), while Lionel Messi’s Argentina failed to beat debutants Iceland. There were more surprises to come. Current champions (and top-ranked team) Germany were stunned by 14th-placed Mexico, and Brazil were held by Switzerland. While England kicked off their campaign with a 2-1 win against Tunisia.

Follow our interactive for all the goals and to compare this World Cup to previous competitions.