World Cup teams racking up those airline frequent flier miles

Yes, you need Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo too. But what puts the “world” in the 2018 FIFA World Cup?  Fuels.

Especially jet fuel, since air travel will be crucial in bringing the world’s best players to Russia for the global soccer showdown.

So which of the 32 qualifying teams will rack up the most airline miles this year?

The “winners” are the Uruguay team , travelling a little more than 9,000 miles. For Australia’s Socceroos, the trip is over 8,500 miles. But even teams from European countries are getting on planes to fly to Russia.  And once the World Cup begins, the 32 teams will be getting back on planes, because their matches are not all in the same city.

Whether it’s 8,400 miles from Argentina to Moscow or a quick 3,300 miles from Portugal to Sochi, fuels make the World Cup possible.

So if you’re wondering, Egypt takes the prize for most travel within Russia – from its base in Grozny, back and forth for its three matches (Ekaterinburg, St. Petersburg and Volgograd), adding about 7,300 miles to their frequent flyer accounts.  And if they get beyond the group stage, they may wind up with enough miles to fly free for life (ok, we exaggerate a bit for effect)!

And of course we’re not counting the many fans from around the world who will join their beloved teams in Russia – such as those from France, Spain, Brazil and Nigeria. And we can’t, of course, exclude soccer fans visiting from countries that didn’t qualify for the World Cup (Sorry, U.S.)

So to Javier Hernandez and Paul Pogba, to Mohamed Salah and Harry Kane, to Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer – good fortune to you all on the pitch, and good flights getting there.

Here’s how far your favorite teams had to travel to compete:

  • Argentina: 8,400 miles
  • Australia: 8,500 miles
  • Belgium: 2,000 miles
  • Brazil: 7,000 miles
  • Colombia: 7,100 miles
  • Costa Rica: 7,300 miles
  • Croatia: 930 miles
  • Denmark: 1,900 miles
  • Egypt: 2,500 miles
  • England: 2,400 miles
  • France: 2,400 miles
  • Germany: 1,300 miles
  • Iceland: 1,950 miles
  • Iran: 2,600 miles
  • Japan: 4,350 miles
  • Korea Republic: 4,000 miles
  • Mexico: 6,500 miles
  • Morocco: 3,300 miles
  • Nigeria: 4,750 miles
  • Panama: 7,200 miles
  • Peru: 7,900 miles
  • Poland: 860 miles
  • Portugal: 3,200 miles
  • Saudi Arabia: 3,000 miles
  • Senegal: 3,950 miles
  • Serbia: 2,000 miles
  • Spain: 3,000 miles
  • Sweden: 1,200 miles
  • Switzerland: 1,960 miles
  • Tunisia: 3,350 miles
  • Uruguay: 9,040

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