The FIFA World Cup 2018 journey is over for 16 of the 32 teams. The other 16 have reached their first destination – the knockout stage or the Group of 16 second round, the pre-quarterfinals.
It has been an intense 16 days of travel, practice and match play which have seen the 32 teams collectively flying over 1.35 lakh kilometres over the Russian skies to complete their Group Stage matches. The draw for sure has not been favourable to some of the teams as far as long journeys were concerned, while some others have been at extreme ease for shorter distances between the venues for their games.
The most travelled Egypt, who covered 8,510 kilometres of travel for their three Group A matches have been in flights almost 700% more than the least travelled team Colombia, who had to fly a mere 1,224 kilometres for their Group H Games.
The 32 teams for the Group Stage games have flown to an approximate, aggregate distance of 1,35,828 kilometres. Argentina and Colombia are the two teams to have travelled less than 1,500 kilometres for their Group Stage matches, while there are 11 teams to have covered over 5,000 km of air travel to play their first-round games.
Lionel Mess’s Argentina had to travel a just 1,320 km – a mere 10 km more than the hosts Russia. While Portugal have covered 2,008 km for their three games.
Egypt, Nigeria, Poland, Denmark, South Korea, Switzerland, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, England, Peru and Sweden have all boarded flights to cover over 5,000 km between their base camp cities and match venues.
While 16 of the 32 teams fly home, the pleasant journey continues for France, Argentina, Uruguay, Portugal, Spain, hosts Russia, Croatia, Denmark, Brazil, Mexico, Belgium, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, Colombia and England.