Posts Tagged With: sports

Who Should You Root for at the 2018 World Cup?

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Here’s a little random fact about me: I love soccer! I watch Spanish, Portuguese and English league soccer during the season, I played competitively in high school until I got injured during my senior year, and my dad was a professional back in England for a couple of years. Soccer is in my blood; it’s religion for me. And you can bet I’m eagerly awaiting the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which begins next week.

So what’s it all about? Every four years, 32 of the best footballing nations compete for soccer’s ultimate crown. This year it takes place in Russia, and sadly many of perennial soccer nations won’t be there: Italy, Netherlands, Chile, Ivory Coast and the USA. With the United States not in it, you might think the World Cup isn’t worth passing up baseball games, BBQs, etc. However, the World Cup is one of the biggest sporting events on the planet! It seems the world stops for the beautiful game. Sports Illustrated claims “the Super Bowl will never match the World Cup for global attention, no matter how many games the NFL plays on other continents.” Pretty interesting if you ask me!

Interested in watching the World Cup? Not sure who to support? I suggest my five picks (feel free to take or leave):

  1. Spain – winners of the World Cup in 2010, Spain return after a disappointing performance four years ago in Brazil. Spain qualified in a group featuring Italy. They come with a youthful players from Real and Atletico Madrid. With a strong desire to make up from their early exit in Brazil, Spain will look poised to go all the way to the final in Moscow. They will be in Group B with Portugal, Iran and Morocco.
  2. France – Finalists at Euro 2016 and World Cup winners in 1998, France are a good bet. With players like Griezmann and Mbappe will likely go far in the knock-out stages. Their group features Peru, Australia and Denmark.
  3. Argentina – They’ve won the trophy twice, and made it to the final in Brazil only to have the title snatched by Germany. They will be hungry for revenge, and with Lionel Messi as their star player, who would bet against them? They will take on Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in their group.
  4. Germany – The Germans come to Russia as defending World Cup champions. Last year, they won the Confederations Cup in Russia, thus proving their worth as favorites for this year’s tournament. They open their group with Mexico, followed with Sweden and South Korea. With players such as Muller, Ozil, Hummels and Ter Stegen, Germany will be a potential soccer juggernaut in Russia.
  5. Colombia – If you’re familiar with James Rodriguez and Cuadrado, you’ll know that Colombia will be no pushovers. They already proved that by reaching the quarterfinals in the last World Cup. And they’ll be ready to go further this year. Colombia plays with heart and won’t go down without a fight. Their group includes Poland, Japan and Senegal.

 

So who do I think will win? Hard to say. Every team that’s made it will offer something special. We will also see a few surprises, and that’s what makes the World Cup so fun to watch. Of course, I will be supporting Spain, England and Egypt. Wherever you are, whoever you are supporting (even if you’re just watching the game for the hell of it), enjoy the beautiful game!

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

5 Reasons to Watch the World Cup

So tomorrow will be the beginning of what I consider to be the greatest tournament in the world: the FIFA World Cup. Some people love it, some like it to a certain degree, while others have little to no interest in it at all.  I intend to watch as many games as I possibly can, even if that means I have to miss out on a class or two. I’ve anxiously waited for this during the last four years, and I absolutely get into the madness of it all. I follow soccer year-round, from my beloved Real Madrid, World Cup qualifiers and UEFA Champions League – I could go on! This World Cup is particularly interesting because it will be hosted by Brazil. Brazilians seem to be masters at the game, especially as they have won the title five times. Just about every Brazilian loves the game and will look forward to seeing the tournament being played in their own backyard.

As I am in Spain, avoiding World Cup fever is impossible. Everyone is talking about it and some are hoping Spain can lift the cup again in Rio as they did four years ago in Johannesburg (we shall see).

No matter your interest, here’s five reasons why YOU should watch the World Cup:

  1. It’s the world’s game. Every country on the planet knows it, so every country will be interested in it, even if they are not actually participating in the tournament.
  2. It’s a great excuse to have a longer lunch break, or even skip work. Perhaps, your boss is soccer fan and will let everyone watch a game or two at the office since most of the games will be on during day (depending on where you are).
  3. The World Cup is full of drama, excitement and controversy. Every game is full of surprises, so you never know what is going to happen.
  4. Everyone around the globe seems to forget their daily grind and come together to enjoy the beautiful, insatiable game. As I like to describe it, “The world stops for one second during the World Cup.”
  5. It only comes once every four years.

 

32 teams and at the end of it all, only one team will be crowned champions of the world. While there are many favorites to win this year, anything can happen. So don’t just watch the “big” games, watch as many games as you can. So do like me and enjoy the beautiful game!

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , ,

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