While FIFA begins its last minute ticket sales for the 2018 World Cup in Russia tomorrow, sales phases 1 and 2 produced a distribution of more than 1.3M tickets for the 64 games. Two of these matches have sold out entirely, and that’s the final game at Luzhniki Stadium and the Group D opening match between Iceland and Argentina on June 16 at Otkritie Arena (Spartak Stadium), both in Moscow.
It is for obvious reasons that Iceland vs Argentina game is a hyped match because Argentina (Rank No. 4) is one of the best teams in the world, and Iceland (Rank No. 18) qualified in the World Cup for the first time. As early as now, fans and punters speculate football betting odds for this match.
However, we think there are two more underlying reasons for this. First, the Russians want to see the world’s best football players, and that includes Lionel Messi of Argentina. This could be Messi’s last attempt to lift (and kiss) the trophy before he retires from international football. Second, the Icelanders made a podium finish to the quarterfinals of Euro 2016, which is a great feat and improvement as they automatically qualified for their first-ever FIFA World Cup, outshining more veteran teams such as Turkey, Ukraine, and Croatia.
ESPN reports that 55,232 tickets were requested from Iceland during the first two ticket sales. This means that out of the 348,580 Icelanders, 15.84% of the population would like to see their football champions in action at the most prestigious international football tournament happening in Russia.