The 22nd edition of the quadrennial tournament, which began way back in 1930, is also the first to be held in an Arab country. The State of Qatar is the smallest country in size (11,600 km2) and population (2.7 million) ever to host.
This format will be changed for the World Cup 2026 when the tournament will be expanded to 48 teams as the USA, Mexico and Canada co-host.
Today's match predictions
Morocco 0 Portugal 1 (3pm, BBC)
Without Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal are a far better, more attacking, fluid team as they showed in destroying Switzerland. Similar to the Swiss the Moroccans are defensively very strong and have enjoyed a fabulous World Cup. They will again prove hard to beat but Portugal should have enough. Read more on the match up here.
England 2 France 1 (7pm, ITV)
As Gareth Southgate has pointed out, England have the rarity of going into this tie not as favourites. It might just suit them. Everyone knows about the terrible record against top teams away from home in tournaments, in particular, but it has to end eventually, doesn’t it? Read more on the match up here.
When did the knockout stages start?
The knockout stages of this year's World Cup began on Saturday with the round of 16, before moving through to the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final. The first round of 16 match took place on Saturday, December 3 at 3pm.
A total of 16 teams progressed to the knockouts. They were Netherlands, Senegal, England, USA, Argentina, Poland, France, Australia, Morocco, Croatia, Japan, Spain, Brazil, Switzerland, Portugal and South Korea.
The teams to have reached the quarter-finals are Netherlands, England, Argentina, France, Croatia, Brazil, Morocco and Portugal.
What date is the World Cup 2022 final?
The last match of the World Cup will take place on Qatar National Day – Sunday, December 18. It will kick-off at 3pm UK time (6pm in Qatar, 10am ET, 9am CT and 7am PT) at the 80,000-seater Lusail Stadium.
Where is the next World Cup taking place?
The World Cup 2026 will be held across three host countries – America, Canada and Mexico – in a tournament first after the trio's bid fended off a strong proposal from Morocco. The competition matches will be played across 16 different cities – 11 from America, two in Canada and three in Mexico.
This article is kept updated with the latest information