Defending champion Germany is out of the World Cup after finishing last-place in its group, hard as that is to fathom. The dancing Senegalese and lovable Icelanders with their Thunderclapping fans have also packed up their bags and headed home.
Sixteen of the 32 teams are still alive, and now comes the unforgiving knockout stage, starting Saturday morning with a scintillating matchup between France and Argentina. Brazil, Spain and France have emerged as favorites, with Belgium also looking like a strong contender.
The Round of 16 brings with it a whole bunch of new questions: Will Argentine superstar Lionel Messi step up and lead his team to the only trophy that eludes him? Can Cristiano Ronaldo carry Portugal on his back one more round? Can Mexico pull off magic against Brazil? Will Colombia's James Rodriguez shake off a calf injury in time to play against England? Just how good can Croatia be?
Buckle your seatbelts. To help you prepare for the knockout phase, here is everything you need to know...
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
2018 World Cup Round of 16 Fan Guide
When: Round of 16 begins Sat. June 30, tournament final July 15
Past 5 Champions:
2014: Germany (Runner-up Argentina).
2010: Spain (Runner-up Netherlands)
2006: Italy (Runner-up France)
2002: Brazil (Runner-up Germany)
1998: France (Runner-up Brazil)
THE LAST 16:
Uruguay (winners of Group A)
Russia (runners-up in Group A)
Spain (winners of Group B)
Portugal (runners-up in Group B)
France (winners of Group C)
Denmark (runners-up in Group C)
Croatia (winners of Group D)
Argentina (runners-up in Group D)
Brazil (winners in Group E)
Switzerland (runners-up in Group E)
Sweden (winners in Group F)
Mexico (runners-up in Group F)
Belgium (winners in Group G)
England (runners-up in Group G)
Colombia (winners in Group H)
Japan (runners-up in Group H)
ROUND OF 16 MATCHUPS
France vs. Argentina (Sat. June 30, 10 a.m., Fox, Telemundo)
Argentina barely survived the group stage. France won its group, but didn't dominate Australia, Peru and Denmark as most would have expected. Both of these teams were pre-tournament favorites, and neither has played to its potential. Prediction: France 2, Argentina 1.
Uruguay vs. Portugal (Sat. June 30, 2 p.m., Fox, Telemundo)
Barcelona's Luis Suarez vs. Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo. The two Spanish league superstars know each other well, and both are capable of brilliance on the big stage. These teams are mirror images of each other, and should be an entertaining match. Uruguay is the only team yet to give up a goal in this World Cup. Prediction: Uruguay 3, Portugal 1.
Spain vs. Russia (Sun. July 1, 10 a.m., Fox, Telemundo)
Although Spain's attack has not been as impressive as in World Cups past, it is hard to imagine such a star-studded lineup losing to Russia. The host team did what its fans hoped it would -- advance to the knockout round -- but chances are, their party will end now. Prediction: Spain 2, Russia 0.
Croatia vs. Denmark (Sun. July 1, 2 p.m., Fox, Telemundo)
The Croatian midfield, led by Luka Modric, has been sensational and its defense has looked good, too. Denmark is disciplined, and has a solid roster, but Croatia's creativity and big-game experience will be hard to overcome. Prediction: Croatia 3, Denmark 1.
Brazil vs. Mexico (Mon. July 2, 10 a.m., FS1, Telemundo)
The Mexican counter-attack against Germany worked to perfection, and the Mexican fans have brought so much joy to the tournament, but Mexico lost 3-0 to Sweden and has been eliminated in the Round of 16 of the past six World Cups. The same fate likely awaits against a Neymar-led Brazilian team that got better each group stage match. Prediction: Brazil 2, Mexico 1.
Belgium vs. Japan (Mon. July 2, 2 p.m., Fox, Telemundo)
Belgium, loaded with English Premier League stars such as Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard, won all three group games and rested many starters against England. Japan was a surprise Group H survivor after Poland underwhelmed and Senegal, even with Japan in record and goal differential, lost the final tiebreaker due to the Fair Play Rule (accumulation of yellow/red card points). Prediction: Belgium 3, Japan 0.
Sweden vs. Switzerland (Tues. July 3, 10 a.m., FS1, Telemundo)
This one is tough to predict. Sweden breezed past Mexico 3-0, and could have beaten Germany were it not for late-game German heroics. Switzerland, led by Xherdan Shaqiri, tied Brazil and finished second in the group. Prediction: Sweden on penalty kicks.
Colombia vs. England (Tues. July 3, 2 p.m., Fox, Telemundo)
England, which dominated easier opponents Tunisia and Panama, lost some steam and struggled against Belgium. Colombia with a healthy James Rodriguez is tough to beat, but he left the Senegal game with a calf injury. The winner here gets the Switzerland-Sweden winner in the next round. Prediction: Colombia 2, England 1.
Players to Watch:
Lionel Messi (Argentina), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Neymar (Brazil), James Rodriguez (Colombia), Gabriel Jesus (Brazil), Eden Hazard (Belgium), Luis Suarez (Uruguay), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay), Harry Kane (England), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Kylian Mbappe (France), Luka Modric (Croatia), Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)
TV SCHEDULE LATER ROUNDS
Friday, July 6
10 AM – A1-B2 Winner vs C1-D2 Winner, FS1, Telemundo
2 PM – E1-F2 Winner vs G1-H2 Winner, FS1, Telemundo
Saturday, July 7
10 AM – E2-F1 Winner vs G2-H1 Winner, FOX, Telemundo
2 PM – A2-B1 Winner vs. C2-D1 Winner, FOX, Telemundo
Tuesday, July 10
A1-B2-C1-D2 Winner vs E1-F2-G1-H2 Winner, St. Petersburg Stadium, St. Petersburg, FOX, Telemundo
Wednesday, July 11
A2-B1-C2-D1 Winner vs. E2-F1-G2-H1 Winner, Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, FOX, Telemundo
Saturday, July 14
10 AM – St. Petersburg Stadium, St. Petersburg, FOX, Telemundo
Sunday, July 15
11 AM – Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, FOX , Telemundo
Where to Catch the Cup
Abbey Brewing Company 1115 16 St., Miami Beach; 305-538-8110
American Social, 690 SW 1 Ct. Miami; 305-223-7004
Batch Gastropub, 30 SW 12 St. Miami; 305-808-5555
Boteco 916 NE 79 St. Miami; 305-757-7735
Brimstone Woodfire Grill, 8300 NW 36 St. Doral; 786-837-8960
Bru’s Room, 8318 Bird Rd (SW 40 St), Miami; 305-220-3995
Buffalo Wild Wings, 5701 Sunset Dr. 305-668-0911 Sunset Place, South Miami
Buffalo Wild Wings 11401 NW 12 St. Miami 305-513-2660
Churchill’s 5501 North East 2nd Ave N. Miami 305-757-1807
Clevelander Hotel 1020 Ocean Dr. Miami Beach 305-532-4006
Doral Billiards & Sports Bar 7800 NW 25th St. Doral 305-592-8486
Duffy’s Sports Grill, 3969 NE 163 St., North Miami Beach; 305-760-2124
Duffy’s Tavern 2108 SW 57th Ave. Miami 305-264-6580
El Rincon Asturiano 225 SW 17 Ave. Miami 305-643-8822
Fado Irish Pub 900 S.Miami Ave. 786-924-0972
Finnegan’s Way 1344 Ocean Dr. Miami Beach 305-672-7747
Flanigan’s all locations.
Fontainebleau Hotel 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 800-548-8886
Foxhole 1218 14th Ct., Miami Beach; 305-534-3511
Fritz and Franz Bierhaus, 60 Merrick Way Coral Gables 305-774-1883
The Grove Spot 3324 Virginia St. Coconut Grove 305-774-6696
Hofbrau 943 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach; 305-538-8066
Irish Times 5850 Sunset Dr. South Miami 305-667-4114
John Martin’s 253 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; 305-445-3777
Little Hoolies, 13135 SW 89 Place, Miami; 305-252-9155
Macy’s International Mall Men’s Court, 1455 NW 107 Ave. Doral
Mike’s at Venetia, 555 NE 15 St, 9th floor, Miami; 305-374-5731
Miller’s Ale House, 1209, 3271 NW 87 Ave., Doral; 305-760- 2124
Manolo’s 7300 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-868-4381
Novecento 1414 Brickell Ave. Miami Beach 305-403-0900
Playwright Irish Pub 1265 Washington Ave. Miami Beach 305-534-0667
Rok BRGR (3 locations), 208 SW 2nd St, Ft. Lauderdale; 5800 SW 73 St. South Miami; 600 Silks Run #120 Hallandale Beach
Sandbar Sports Grill, 3064 Grand Ave, Coconut Grove; 305-444-5270
Segafredo L’Originale 1040 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach; 305-673-0047
Shuckers Bar and Grill, 1819 79th St Causeway, Miami Beach; 305-866-1570
Sports Grill, 1559 Sunset Dr., South Miami; 305-668-0396. For information at other locations:
Stone Sports Bar Brickell City Centre 701 S. Miami Ave., Miami 786-482-2097
Sunset Tavern, 7230 SW 59 Ave. South Miami; 305-665-9996
Sushi Samba Dromo 600 Lincoln Rd. Miami Beach 305-673-5337
Tapas y Tintos, 448 Espanola Way, Miami Beach; 305-538-8272 (All of Espanola Way will be watch party)
Tom’s NFL 5001 NW 36 St., Miami Springs 305-888-6022
ToroToro Miami 100 Chopin Plaza, downtown Miami 305-372-4710
Vares Sports Bar 1250 S. Miami Ave, Miami . 305-577-7779
Wynwood Marketplace, 2250 NW 2 Ave. Miami; 305-239-8833
Yard House 320 San Lorenzo Ave., Coral Gables; 305-447-9273
Bokamper's Fort Lauderdale 3115 NE 32 Ave., Fort Lauderdale (waterfront on New River), 954-900-5584
Bokamper’s 15500 SW 29 St. Miramar 754-400-8558
Bokamper’s 1280 South Pine Island Rd, Plantation 954-533-7152
Fox & Hound 4812 N. Dixie Highway Ft Lauderdale 954-491-8869
Mickey Byrnes Irish Pub 1921 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood 954-921-2317
Carolina Ale House 2618 Weston Road, Weston; 954-217-1233
The Ambry 3016 E. Commercial Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-771-7342
Stout Bar and Grill 3419 N. Andrews Ave. Oakland Park 754-223-5678
Waxy O’Connor’s 1095 S.E. 17th St., Fort Lauderdale; 954-525-9299
Kingshead Pub 2692 N. University Dr., Sunrise; 954-572-5933
811 S. University Dr., Plantation 954-473-0477
1804 Cordova Rd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-713-6363