As I’m sure many of you are aware, the World Cup begins today! If you love soccer (or football, as the rest of the world calls it), then great! If you don’t, I suggest avoiding all sports bars and large TV screens in general for the next few weeks. However, if you want to watch the World Cup, but honestly don’t really know much about the event, the teams playing in it or where it’s even taking place, then have no fear, 4E is here to help! (As usual.)
Here are the 10 things 4E thinks you should know about the World Cup:
- When does it start? Where is it? The World Cup officially begins Thursday, June 12th at 4:00 pm EST, with the opening game being Brazil versus Croatia. Brazil is the host for this World Cup. Bonus fact: The World Cup’s mascot for this year is named Fuleco, and he is adorable.
- Who is playing? There are 32 countries competing including the hosts, Brazil. From South America: Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile and Uruguay. From North/Central America and Caribbean: United States, Costa Rica, Honduras and Mexico. From Asia: Japan, Australia, Iran and South Korea. From Africa: Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Ghana and Algeria. From Europe: Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, England, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Croatia and France.
- Who won the last World Cup? Spain.
- What’s with Bosnia-Herzegovina? This is the first time the Bosnia-Herzegovina team will be competing in a World Cup Tournament.
- How do the games work? There are 32 countries playing in a total of 64 matches: 48 group stage games and 15 further stage games. There are 8 groups, A – H, each with 4 teams competing within them.
- Okay, but how does
soccer footballthe game actually work? In general, a match consist of two teams trying to score by placing a ball past the goal line. If the match ends in a tie, extra time is added. If the tie remains after that, the teams go against each other in a penalty shoot-out of five kicks each. Finally, yellow or red cards signal penalties against players. Yellow cards serve as a caution, and red cards kick the player out of the game.
- What’s happening in Brazil? As informative and worldly Hoyas, we also need to keep up with current events. First, while constructing a section of the roof of a stadium, a crane fell and killed two workers in Sao Paolo. While part of that stadium was destroyed, many news outlets have reported that several other stadiums are also not finished. What doesn’t help is that this means more money will be spent on financing the World Cup. (Mo’ Money. Mo’ Problems.) Though most citizens are in favor of the World Cup, many people are upset about all the money being spent. Protests from civilians have begun and are expected to continue.
- Any big team rivalries? A classic rivalry is between Brazil and Argentina, who if they end up playing against each other would do so in the later final rounds. Think Red Sox versus Yankees-esque. Also, one player, Diego Costa, chose to play in his adopted nation’s team, Spain, over Brazil, where he was born. Awkward.
- So, who should I root for? At the end of the day, no one really knows who will win. But, big contenders include Brazil (who has both the home field advantage and one of the best players, Neymar), Germany, Spain, Argentina, and possibly others like England or Belgium.
- WHERE IS SHAKIRA? No fear, Shakira is back again for this World Cup with her new anthem for the games, La La La. Bonus: She’s also there cheering on her boyfriend, Gerard Pique, who plays for Spain.
So, if you didn’t know, now you know. Enjoy the World Cup, Hoyas!
Photos: http://autoinsidermalaysia.blogspot.com/2014/04/press-release-naza-kia-kick-off-with.html, Tumblr, telegraph.co.uk