OH YES!!! It’s here! It’s happening right now!!! The World Cup is finally here!!! The language shared by soccer fans around the world include the words - corner kick, free kick, fault, penalty, own goal, goal, and yellow and red cards. People from so many different countries speak the same language, the language of a great sport (I know a lot of you might disagree, but it’s ok.) Soccer, because of its simplicity, and the fact that it doesn’t require any special equipment to play, is one of the sports followed by millions of fans around the globe. You only need a ball of some sort (sometimes you can even make one with plastic bags if nothing else available) and another person who would like to play and you are all set. Of course there are more fancy camps and teams for training kids, teens and adults, but sometimes the best match is the one that you play with your friends in a park at the end of the afternoon.
But the culture of soccer goes beyond the sport itself. As the Roman poet Juvenal said: “bread and circuses,” a saying often linked to soccer because of the sport’s power to distract citizens from important governmental decisions that go on while the population is paying attention to big games.
Every four years, since 1930, the best teams in the world get together and for a month they fight to reach the finals and have a chance to win the tournament. The first World Cup was played in Uruguay, at the “Estadio Centenario,” that carries the title of “Historic Monument of World Soccer.” Uruguay was also the country that won the first World Cup ever.
Many years have passed and currently the countries that have won this tournament more than once are:
Brazil: five times
Italy: four times
Germany: three times
Uruguay and Argentina: two times
Who do you think will win???
Here comes the wave!
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Some books for your enjoyment are:
- Kick the balls : an offensive suburban odyssey
- Soccer against the enemy : how the world's most popular sport starts and stops wars, fuels revolutions, and keeps dictators in power
- Kicking it [videorecording] : a ball can change your life (Documentary)
- National pastime : how Americans play baseball and the rest of the world plays soccer
- Soccer in sun and shadow