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World Cup of football apps: the best footie apps and games to download today

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is in full swing. Every game can be watched live across the world, pubs and bars are filled with fans chanting at screens and in the UK there’s even a fear we could run out of beer, such is the excitement surrounding the beautiful game’s biggest tournament.

But there are breaks between matches. Sometimes only an hour or two, at other times we’re left waiting longer, sometimes over 24 hours for our next football fill, and that just simply won’t do.

Luckily, TechRadar is here to feed your football fever, with it’s inaugural World Cup of Football Apps. You not only get the excitement of following another knockout-style competition, but it can also give you some great recommendations for footy-focused apps to download to keep your mind on the World Cup between matches.

We’ve qualified eight of our favorite football apps for the tournament, and we’re pitting them head-to-head to find out who will take home the highly-coveted TechRadar World Cup of Football Apps digital trophy.

The referee is checking their watch… and they’ve blown the whistle. We’re off!

Knockout match 1: play the beautiful game

When you’re not outside playing it, you’re inside watching it, and if you’re not inside watching it then you’re playing it digitally – no matter how it’s consumed, football is fantastic.

FIFA Football: FIFA World Cup managed by Electronic Arts
A strong favorite to go all the way, built on the biggest football game franchise in the world, with all the glitz, glam, money and prima donnas you’d expect from an ego-centric outfit.

Download today: Android | iOS

PES 2018 Pro Evolution Soccer managed by Konami
An underdog in this match up, but there’s real footballing heart here and a passion for the game without any of the unnecessary excess and bling of its opposition. Football at its purest.

Download today: Android | iOS

Final Score: 2-1 (AET)
The gaming Goliaths couldn’t be separated in 90 minutes. Both scored stunners making it level at the final whistle, but FIFA Football’s superior player database stole the win in extra time.

Winner: FIFA Football: FIFA World Cup

Knockout match 2: manage the beautiful game 

Every football fan fancies themselves as a manager, and many believe they’d do a better job than the current incumbent on the touchline when their team does badly. Time to prove it.

Football Chairman Pro managed by Underground Creative
A surprising number of options makes it more than just a short-lived adventure, and after impressing in qualifying this underdog shouldn’t be under-estimated.

Download today: Android | iOS

Football Manager Mobile 2018 managed by SEGA
A true heavyweight, spearheaded by a manager with an impressive depth of knowledge on every league, team and player in the world. It’s one of the oldest, but also the wisest.

Download today: Android | iOS

Final Score: 2-6
Football Chairman provided great entertainment, but it was second best throughout, with Football Manager providing the most comprehensive managerial display you’ll see on a phone.

Winner: Football Manager Mobile 2018

Knockout match 3: pass the time between games

When World Cup fever strikes, you’ll want to fill every waking hour with the glorious game, and games that give you a footy fill in short, addictive bursts are always a winner.

Flick Kick Football managed by PikPok
When it comes to finesse, technique and scoring goal-of-the-tournament level strikes there are few that do it better. While its fire power is top notch, it lacks depth in other areas.

Download today: Android | iOS

New Star Soccer managed by New Star Games
Keep out of the casino and away from the horse racing the it could well be on the way to great success. Started out as a minnow, but has earned the right to mix it with the best.

Download today: Android | iOS

Final Score: 4-4 (Flick Kick won 4-2 on penalties)
What a game this was. Just when we’d thought we’d seen it all, it pulled us back in for more and we couldn’t take our eyes off it. In the end simplicity won out over the complicated approach.

Winner: Flick Kick Football

Knockout match 4: keep up to date with the game

For those who want up-to-the-minute news, scores, commentary and highlights the following two apps managed to qualify from an extremely competitive field.

2018 FIFA World Cup Russia managed by FIFA
The host of this tournament, it has the entire weight of an app store (or two) on its shoulders as its fans are eager to see it progress through the knockout stages. No pressure then.

Download today: Android | iOS

World Cup App Russia 2018 managed by appChocoloate
A firm favorite among the neturals, it may not have the the clout of a big name behind it, but a crowd pleaser always has the chance to go the distance in the knockouts.

Download today: Android | iOS

Final score: 2-1
While popular with those in the stands, World Cup App ended up being just a little too rough round the edges, and it didn’t have quite enough against the slicker, more professional host.

Winner: 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Semi final 1

FIFA Football: FIFA World Cup managed by Electronic Arts
Buoyed by its quarter final victory, the egos are going into overdrive, but so are the expectations of its dedicated, yet critical fans. It’ll need to make sure it doesn’t get distracted.

Download today: Android | iOS

Football Manager Mobile 2018 managed by SEGA
Quiet, cool and calculated, the opposition have been thoroughly scouted and tactics tweaked to ensure the best chance of progressing to the final. It’s down to the algorithm now.

Download today: Android | iOS

Final score: 0-1
Both sides cancelled each other out for the majority of the game, but late drama in the dying minutes saw inspired tactical play produce the only goal of the game to win it for FM Mobile.

Winner: Football Manager Mobile 2018

Semi final 2

Flick Kick Football managed by PikPok
It’s clear from the previous round that the only way to win is to score a whole lot of goals, as defending doesn’t feature at all here. Can all out attack really do the job though?

Download today: Android | iOS

2018 FIFA World Cup Russia managed by FIFA
Studying tournament form, keeping an eye on the latest injuries and reading breaking news coming out of the opposition camp helps build a picture of how you need to play.

Download today: Android | iOS

Final score: 3-2 (AET)
This match went the distance! Flick Kick curled two wonderful long-range efforts into the top corner early on, but FIFA World Cup fort back. A moment of magic in extra time nabbed the win.

Winner: Flick Kick Football

The final

Football Manager Mobile 2018 managed by SEGA
Turns out having a manager with an encyclopedic knowledge of the game of football pays dividends, and there’s just one final hurdle to navigate in the pursuit to be crowned champions.

Download today: Android | iOS

Flick Kick Football managed by PikPok
“Attack! Attack! Attack!” It seems to be the only chant their fans know, but it’s got them to the final. However, now comes the greatest challenge. It’s attacking brawn versus tactical brains.

Download today: Android | iOS

Final Score: 2-1
The final whistle sounds. The apps sink into the background, processing everything that’s just happened. For Flick Kick it’s been a great ride, but in the end it didn’t haven enough to overpower the comprehensive cohesion of Football Manager Mobile. It gave us the most in-depth football experience we could possibly ask for on our phone, and it’s a worthy winner.

World Champion: Football Manager Mobile 2018

TechRadar’s World Cup coverage is brought to you in association with Honor.

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