The 21st FIFA World Cup starts on June 14 in Moscow, Russia. Thirty-two teams will play 64 games across 11 cities, each vying for the championship. The opening game will be played at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, pitting Russia against Saudi Arabia. The first World Cup was held in Uruguay in 1930, following the success of the Olympic Football Tournament. Because the voyage from Europe to Uruguay was so long, only four European teams were able to attend the first tournament, France, Belgium, Yugoslavia, and Romania. Uruguay triumphed, winning 4-2 against Argentina in the finals.
This year, favorites to win include Brazil (who has won five tournaments, more than any other team) and Germany, the defending champion. Iceland and Panama will be making their first Cup appearances. Missing from the roster will be a few big names—including Italy, Chile, and the United States—who didn't qualify.
As anticipation for the World Cup mounts, take a look at footage of fans, soccer stadiums, and more at NBCUniversalArchives.com. Let the games begin!