The 2018 FIFA World Cup of football is to be hosted by Russia from June 14 to July 15. Thirty-two teams are to take part in the 21st edition of the world's biggest international football tournament.
Russia was granted the right to host the 2018 World Cup after a vote by the FIFA Executive Commitee in late 2010, the same meeing at which the 2022 World Cup was awarded to Qatar.
Reaching the final of the Asian Cup is the biggest success in Qatar's footballing history. But will this give football a long term boost in a country that was controversially awarded the right to host the 2022 World Cup.
After the win over heavyweights Saudi Arabia, tiny Qatar look a real threat in the knockout stages of the Asian Cup. The success of the 2022 World Cup hosts comes despite a regional trade blockade and power struggle.
The German national team will have been glad to see the end of 2018. After failing to get past the group stage at the World Cup, they were relegated in the Nations League. Coach Löw has tough decisions to make in 2019.