What You Wish You Knew About the Cultures of World Cup 2018

During the next five weeks the eyes of the world will be looking to Russia. Not for political reasons (which cannot be ruled out, though), and more so because of sports: Russia is the host of the FIFA World Cup 2018. Call it Weltmeisterschaftmundial de fútbol, كاس العالم, 월드컵, VM, coupe du mondesvjetski kupВорлд Цупcopa do mondo, ワールドカップpuchar świata, Кубок мира, or campionato mondiale – the Soccer World Cup is the largest global, collective sporting event aside from the Olympic Games. It features 32 teams in the final tournament and is played every four years. This year, the World Cup will be hosted by eleven cities across Russia, from June 14 until July 15.

At The Culture Mastery we are just as ball crazy as the rest of the world. That is why we put together an overview of the cultures represented at the tournament. While we are quite aware that most soccer fans around the world have strong opinions which countries will do well in Russia, we let others analyze (and argue over) the athletic capabilities of the competing teams. No, you won’t find any predictions here.

Since this sports event is also a big celebration of different cultures, we decided instead to take a look at the 32 participants through a cultural lens. Of course, as hosts, Russia’s culture will be at center stage but the tournament will draw thousands of fans visiting the world’s largest country from every culture in participation. And many more cultures will be following the World Cup on screens, online and via radio.

Helping people and organizations navigate cultural differences is at the core of our business. We are going to analyze the various cultures which will be on display during the World Cup – sorted according to the groups they have been placed in. Please keep in mind that we are only scratching the surface here. Our overview is by no means a deep excursion into the value systems of the World Cup participant countries. However, we encourage you to dig as deep as you want in the comment section. Go ahead and share your experiences and expertise about some of the 32 cultures.

We compiled the brief country profiles with the help of Country Navigator – an online and mobile platform that prepares executives and assignees on how to work and adapt culturally in over 100 countries. It combines assessments, country content and a range of e-learning modules. The Country Navigator tool complements our training and coaching programs, delivering an intuitive and engaging interface for users to assess and manage their individual cultural tendencies and behaviors. Its blended approach puts people in complete control of their continuous learning experience.
Contact us to find out how your organization can benefit from using Country Navigator.

Learn about the cultures of the World Cup by clicking on the group images:

World Cup 2018 Group AWorld Cup 2018 Group B

World Cup 2018 Group CWorld Cup 2018 Group D

World Cup 2018 Group EWorld Cup 2018 Group F

World Cup 2018 Group GWorld Cup 2018 Group H

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Comments 2

  1. Very helpful–and timely–blog post, Christian! Big fan of Country Navigator for national snapshots.

    On another note, you neglected to mention that this 2018 tournament is only for *male* teams. The quadrennial tournament in 2019 features the world’s top 24 women’s teams. (This from a big fan of USA women’s soccer.)

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