When it comes to popular sporting events, it does not get any bigger than the World Cup. With fans from all over the world flocking to the host nation and watching around the world, it is unlike anything else in sport. In this guide to betting on the World Cup at William Hill, we will break down the history of the World Cup as well as how to wager on it at one of the world’s top bookmakers.
How Does The World Cup Work?
World Cup Qualification
The World Cup is structured to have the best football nations in the world compete to determine a world champion. Teams must qualify for the World Cup by winning enough matches during qualification to outperform other nations. Qualification is done by region, with each region getting a predetermined number of teams into the competition. For example, Europe may get eight teams in the final tournament, while North and Central America may get four in a given cycle. That means that a team in Europe would have to be one of the top eight teams in qualification to earn a place in the tournament.
World Cup Draw
Once qualification is complete, the World Cup draw determines who will be in which group once the tournament starts. Teams are broken into a predetermined number of pots for the draw, with the top teams in the competition being in pot one, and lesser teams being in lower rated pots. A team from each pot is put into each group, until the tournament field has been set.
Every year, the draw produces one group that is tougher than the rest. That group is referred to as the Group of Death, as it is the most difficult to advance from. This generally happens when the toughest teams from lower pots are drawn into a group with powerful squad from pot one. While the teams in that group are not pleased, those watching the tournament are always excited to watch them play.
World Cup Finals Tournament
Once the tournament begins, the structure is simple and the action is exciting. Each group plays a round-robin format against one another. Once every team has played one another, the top teams in each group advance to the knockout stages. Winning your group comes with a reward of playing a lesser team from another group in the next round. But whether or not your team wins their group, the goal is to simply be in a good enough position to advance to the next round.
In the knockout stages, teams play in a single elimination tournament to determine who is the champion of the world. In these matches, games that cannot be decided in 90 minutes move to 30 minutes of extra time, followed by penalties if a winner is still not decided. This produces world class drama, and has been responsible for some of the more dramatic moments in the history of the event.
At the very end of this tournament, the final two teams standing take part in the World Cup Final, where the winner gets to lift the World Cup. Doing so puts you in the history books as one of the greatest international football teams of all-time.
World Cup History
The first World Cup took place in 1930, and has taken place every four years since, with the exception of a period between the 1938 and 1950 World Cups. The tournament has been competed in by over 75 nations all-time, with that list growing to accommodate first-time entrants regularly. Host nations have frequently been in Europe and South America, with North America, Asia, and Africa beginning to get involved in the more recent editions of the tournament.
Brazil has been the winningest side in the history of the World Cup, lifting the trophy five times in total. Germany and Italy have done so four times in their history, with the former winning the 2014 World Cup with a dramatic extra time winner from Mario Gotze to defeat Argentina. These three countries have accounted for more than half of the World Cup championships that have been won over the first 85 years of the tournament’s history.
As far as memorable individuals at the World Cup, Miroslav Klose comes to mind as the top goalscorer in the history of the competition. Klose racked up 16 goals in his World Cup career, breaking the record of 15 that was previously held by Brazil’s Ronaldo. In a bit of cruel irony for Brazilians, Klose scored his record-breaking goal against Brazil in Germany’s 7-1 destruction of Brazil when Brazil was the host nation in 2014.
Then there are the more infamous individual moments in the history of the World Cup, where players have gone down in history for all of the wrong reasons. Tops on that list has to be Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez. In back-to-back World Cups, Suarez committed an intentional handball to cheat his team ahead of Ghana in the quarterfinals in 2010. He then bit an Italian opponent in the 2014 World Cup, which saw him banned for the knockout stages, where Uruguay was demolished by Colombia.
What World Cup Betting Markets Can I Bet at William Hill?
With the World Cup being as popular as it is, there are no shortage of World Cup betting markets at William Hill. Bettors can wager on individual match results, as well as more exotic wagers such as who will win the Golden Boot over the course of the tournament and what continent the winner will come from. There are also plenty of novelty wagers available, such as who the company that manufactures the kit of the winners will be. And with a William Hill promo code, there is the ability to increase your bankroll before the tournament even kicks off.
With the best teams and players in the world taking part, and all of the drama and infamy that goes with that level of pressure, the World Cup is one of the best events in the world. And betting on the World Cup at William Hill makes that great event even better.