Whether you call it soccer or football (and with offices in Boston and Oxford, Credo calls it both), we’ll help you get the all the scholarly information you need on this incredible world sporting event. The World Cup begins Thursday, June 12, so before sitting down to watch the games, why not kick it with these Topic Pages?
World Cup – Very few things on this planet are watched with more enthusiasm than Kate Middleton’s effortlessly graceful globetrotting, but the World Cup is one of those things. According to FIFA, in 2010 over 900 million people tuned in for the final between Spain and the Netherlands. With the exception of WWII, the World Cup has been played every 4 years since 1930 across five different continents. This year’s host nation, Brazil, has won the most titles with 5, followed by Italy, with 4.
Brazil – Brazil is to soccer (football) what Julia Roberts is to romantic comedies. By far the largest of the Latin American countries, Brazil occupies nearly half the continent of South America. English seamen introduced the sport to Brazilians in the 1870’s, and they’ve barely come off the pitch to rest since. Talk about a case of student becoming the master: England has played Brazil twenty-five times in international competition and won… four matches.
Football aka Soccer – To say that football (soccer) is the most popular sport in the world is like saying that oxygen is humanity’s favorite breathable gas. Of course, not all countries agree on what the sport should be called (ok, so there’s an overwhelming consensus on one term). Americans appropriated the name “football” for a game played almost entirely with their hands, using an object that is no more shaped like a ball than a zeppelin.
Iran – Iran may have a long and storied past dating back about 6,000 years, but World Cup successes have not been a part of its glory. If Brazil is the favorite to win this year, then Iran is the (no exaggeration) 1500/1 underdog. Here are some things that are more likely to happen this summer than Iran winning the 2014 World Cup: Ed Snowden and the NSA sitting down for a cup of coffee to reminisce about the good ol’ times; Wimbledon’s All England Club ditching its traditionally white dress code for outfits inspired by the Norwegian Curling Team; Vladimir Putin demurring when offered the opportunity to have his picture taken doing the kinds of activities usually reserved for 19th century big-game hunters.
Image: U.S. Plays Ghana in World Cup Match, By U.S. Department of State from United States [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons