The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) simply known as World Cup is the most popular footballing event in the world. It is held once in four years and the country to host the event is chosen by bids and votes of the member associations (MAs) and the governing body of the FIFA association.
The World Cup is the most prestigious association football tournament in the world as well as the most widely viewed and followed, sporting event in the world, exceeding even the Olympic. Russia won the bid over many other countries and is set to hold the tournament from June 14 to July 15 across 12 stadiums that are spread over the country.
Here are the list and description of the 12 different stadiums in Russia where the FIFA World Cup 2018 Games will be played.
Luzhniki Stadium was first built in 1956, and the stadium was the central venue of the 1980 Moscow Olympics. It has since hosted the 1999 Uefa Cup final, in which Parma defeated Marseille, and the 2008 Champions League final, which saw Manchester United beat Chelsea on penalties.
The stadium is located in Russia's capital city and is situated on the Moskva River in the west of the country. It has been reconstructed and after development work, it has reopened in 2018 with the capacity of 81,006. This summer, the stadium will be hosting the first and the last match of the World Cup finals.
Situated on the site of Moscow's former airfield in the district of Tushino, the stadium hosted its first match on 5 September 2014 and is the first permanent home of 22-time Soviet/Russian champions Spartak Moscow.
With the capacity of 43,298, the stadium is located in the North-west Moscow, where the temperature average highs to 23C and lows to 18C with a 50% chance of rain. The stadium features hundreds of connected diamonds, reminiscent of chainmail which are colored red and white and will be one of the beautiful stadiums to hold the World Cup.
Inspired by the aspects of nature in the Volga region, the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium draws on wind and water in its circular design. This is embodied in what Fifa describe as a "semi-transparent undulating facade". Like all good modern stadiums, it also lights up at night.
With the capacity of 45,331, the construction on the stadium began in 2015. Approximately lying at a distance of 265 miles from the capital Moscow, with climate averaging from highs of 23c and lows of 13c with 60% chance of rain.
Situated in the Volga basin, Saransk is located in the south-east of Moscow. With it's planned orange, red and white exterior, Mordovia Arena promises to be one of the most colorful venues for the 2018 World Cup.
It will initially have a capacity of 45,000 for the World Cup, approximately lying at a distance of 400 miles from the capital. The temperature will average with highs of 23c and lows of 12c with a 13% chance of rain.
Completed in July 2013, the ground has since been used as the home of Rubin Kazan. The stadium has a familiar look to the new Wembley and Arsenal's Emirates Stadium as it was designed by the same firm of architects but on a smaller scale, housing just under 45,000 people.
The stadium lies approximately 510 miles from Moscow and it also might be the most versatile venue at this summer's World Cup, having also hosted some of the competitions at the 2015 World Aquatics Championships, for which the football pitch was replaced by two swimming pools.
Situated in the south-eastern part of European Russia at the confluence of the Volga and Samara Rivers on the east bank of the Volga. With the capacity of 44,807, the stadium lies at a distance of about 655 miles from the capital.
With its dome structure, metallic look and capacity to light up at night, it is designed around the theme of space to reflect the region's renowned aerospace sector. It will even be called Cosmos Arena once the World Cup is over.
Many of the 2018 World Cup venues have unique design elements, but only one stands out as the testament to the notion of the necessity of being the mother of invention as it is nominated as a host city for the tournament.
Russia's fourth-largest city, Ekaterinburg is on the geographical borderline of Europe and Asia, at the foot of the Ural Mountains. It is the most eastern stadium to be used in the World Cup and has the capacity for about 35,000 people.
Situated on the Neva River, at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea it is the most northerly venue with the capacity for 68,134 people. The stadium was opened in 2017 and is located at a distance of about 425 miles from Moscow.
Built from Kisho Kurokawa's "The Spaceship" design, and equipped with a sliding pitch and retractable roof, the stadium is one of the most technologically advanced in the world. The stadium will be home to Russian club side Zenit St. Petersburg and is also scheduled to host three group-stage matches and a quarter-final in Euro 2020.
Based on the design of Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena, the newly-built Kaliningrad Stadium has been troubled by delays and difficulties and had to be scaled back to the more modest, roofless 35,000 venue that will host four first-round group matches in the 2018 World Cup.
With altitude averaging highs of 22c and lows of 12c with 50% chance of rain, the Kaliningrad Stadium is located around 77o miles from the capital city of the country.
Situated in south-west Russia, on the western bank of the Volga River, Volgograd Arena is being constructed on the site of the demolished Central Stadium, which had been there since 1958 for the sole purpose of hosting the World Cup.
With the capacity for 45,568 people, the stadium is one of the more distinctive venues for the competition. According to Fifa's official website, "the special way in which the stadium's roof has been constructed, with cables reminiscent of the spokes of the wheel on a bicycle, lends the arena an extra element of airiness".
Situated south of Moscow on the Don River, 20 miles from the Sea of Azov, Rostov Arena has a capacity for 45,145 people. The groundbreaking for the stadium began in 2013 during which in-tact shells from World War II were found and was completed by the end of 2017.
FC Rostov, the 2014 Russian Cup winners, will play its home games at the stadium following World Cup, with the capacity reduced to 25,000.
The Fisht Stadium was built as the centerpiece venue for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, which helps explain it's unique sloping look, designed to resemble snowy peaks. The official Fifa website states: "Fisht Stadium was originally named after Mount Fisht, a peak in the Caucasus range of mountains.
The two ends of the venue were previously open, allowing a view of the Krasnaya Polyana Mountains to the north and the Black Sea to the south. But these have been filled with temporary seating for the World Cup, in order to boost capacity to Fifa stipulations and it has the capacity for 47,700 people.