The World Cup starts on Thursday these photos from around the world show why soccer is the world's most beloved gameGet the Full StoryReuters Stefano Rellandini
Soccer is the world's most popular and beloved sport, and it's played in virtually every corner of the world.
Ahead of the 2018 World Cup, Reuters sent photographers around the globe to document the variety of ways people manage to play soccer.
Soccer lovers play in the dirt, sand, and even snow, and the narrowest of city streets won't stop them from playing "the beautiful game."
The 2018 World Cup kicks off on Thursday, and soccer fans around the world are eagerly counting down the hours.
Of course, soccer's popularity extends far beyond the 32 countries that qualified for the World Cup this year. Soccer is by far the most popular sport in the world, with an estimated 4 billion fans on all six inhabited continents.
Reuters sent photographers to dozens of countries in May and June to document soccer as it's played around the world — on dirt fields in Chile, the chaotic streets of Kolkata, India, and even a floating field in Thailand.
Here are 18 photos that show why soccer is the world's most popular game.Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. You'll find people playing it everywhere you go, from massive stadiums in Brazil to a quiet street inside the Casbah fortress of Algiers, Algeria.
REUTERS Zohra Bensemra
This year's World Cup, which kicks off on Thursday, is being held in Russia. These children in the village of Yelizarovo have already caught World Cup fever.
Reuters Sergei Karpukhin
Soccer can be played on any surface, from the streets of Kolkata, India, where children play barefoot
REUTERS Rupak De Chowdhuri
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DON'T MISS: Inside the eerily quiet streets of Kazakhstan's 20-year-old capital city, where futuristic skyscrapers tower over the grasslands of a former prison camp