The talking-points towards the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia
Posted: 5 March 2018 Time: 15:30
The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia is just 100 days away and already there are some interesting talking-points brewing ahead of the global showpiece.
June 10 marks the day of the opening, where hosts Russia welcome Saudi Arabia in Moscow, with Uruguay and African giants Egypt the other two sides competing in Group A.
History has proven that there are still many twists within the next 100 days, but presently the biggest talking points are Video Assistant Refereeing (VAR) and the fitness of Brazil superstar Neymar.
Fifa president Gianni Infantino said a decision on whether VAR would be used at the World Cup will be taken at a meeting on 16 March, however, the recent soundings around football's governing body seem in favour of the technology that's been used in cricket and rugby over the past decade but received lots of criticism in football so far.
"As of today, video assistant refereeing is part of football," Infantino said, as quoted by BBC. "We hope and encourage a favourable decision in this respect because we are very positive about VAR."
Neymar inclusion in doubt?
In the case of the world yearning to see the best players competing, Neymar's recent injury has not only had Brazil fans worried after his recent surgery reportedly ruled him out for the next three months.
While his return from injury is due before the opening fixture, there will still be doubts surrounding his match fitness for the Selecao.
Can Africa finally reign supreme?
With the Pharoes, Morocco, Nigeria, Tunisia and Senegal the representatives for the African continent, the burning question is how far can they go? The five sides are arguably the strongest teams currently on the continent but will they have the mental strength and pedigree to finally go beyond the quarter-finals of the competition, which no African side has done before?
And finally Ronaldo vs Messi
Both players have been subject of worldwide debate over who's the greatest player of the modern era and the 2018 showpiece could go a long way to deciding who will end up in the history books as the most successful.
Messi's Argentina side aren't tipped as favourites due to their near-disastrous qualifying campaign, while Ronaldo's Portugal are also ranked as outsiders, despite winning UEFA European Championship in 2016.
Can either of their individual brilliance result in one or the other writing their name in football folklore?
All we can do as football fans right now, is wait in anticipation.