It was the year 1930 and the world of soccer was about to change. The FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association; French for “International Federation of Association Football”) selected Uruguay as the first host nation. Montevideo was the seat to all matches mostly played at Estadio Centenario, specifically built for the tournament.
Forward 88 years and the World Cup has now managed to travel 21 countries around the globe. Making its home for 2018 in Russia, after a series of qualification matches, 34 teams from around the globe will be facing each other starting with Russia vs. Saudi Arabia (Group A) on Thursday, June 14, 2018.
The 64 anticipated matches to be played are without about to literally rock the world as soccer or commonly known in the world as Futbol will unleash the strongest and most passionate fans of all sports in the world.
Depending on who you ask, the participants are divided into three categories; the veterans, the unexpected and of course the potential winners. If you ask around many might be putting their eyes on the reigning 2014 World Cup Champion Germany hoping for a repeat of their 2014 Brazil performance, while others hope that Brazil will once again rise to the challenge and bring the cup back to the Americas, as most believe they should. After all, they do have one World Cup win standing with five versus four over Germany, who we are sure would love to even that number up.
However, while you may be ready to jump onto team Brazil or Germany let us not dismiss the fact that Spain isn’t expected to walk away with a participation trophy and instead is strategically working on how to be the 2018 World Cup Champion by dethroning Germany and sending Brazil home empty handed. After all, while they only have one win so far in the history of the World Cup, they can certainly aspire as they stand next to seven others who have managed to become champions in the most beloved sport of the world.
Watching the World Cup without tearing up or screaming to the top of your lungs while your team walks into the field, your flag raises up and your national anthem plays, is just unheard of. The passion of soccer is not about a game, but about a global community like no other on planet earth. No, I am not trying to pick on any other sport, but let us be realistic here: This isn’t just a “world” championship by words; it truly is a World Cup, as the whole world is represented. And may I add, everyone—and I mean everyone—will be watching in all time zones!
If you are a hardcore soccer fan, you know this is the one time every four years you will be able to see the best of the best going head to head. And as the world stands by and watches their favorites play, one must keep an eye on those players we expect to shine like no one else!
By the time the World Cup ends, the names Messi (Argentina), Ronaldo (Portugal), Suárez (Uruguay), Hernandez (Mexico), Werner (Germany), amongst others, will be spoken of for a lifetime.
Depending where in the world you are or come from, you may already have a favorite for this World Cup—but maybe not? But whether you are a soccer fan or not, the World Cup is the tournament to watch if you want an experience of a lifetime.
And while the US national team did not qualify, there is plenty of passion to go around. Personally being a Mexican National, I am rooting for El Tri! The Mexican National Team! However, should their participation end up short in time, I am ready to hang on to the America’s by supporting Argentina, Uruguay, Panamá, Costa Rica and without a doubt Brazil! Because if my homeland can’t take a win, I am for sure going to hope that the title stays in our continent as it should be!
However, let’s just be real and let the best take the title home! After all, the World Cup like the Olympics is about bringing people together, embracing each other, supporting each other, rooting for the best player in the field. Perhaps that’s the reason many of the MLS players and fans such are calling the America’s teams their favorites for this World Cup.
We, “of course”, will know many of the MLS stars will also get a chance to shine. From the Dos Santos brothers (LA Galaxy) playing for Mexico to Cummins and Godoy (San Jose Earthquakes) with Panama and of course for those of us in the Pacific Northwest, how can we not watch with excitement when Svensson (Sweden) and Torres (Panama) from the Seattle Sounders step and represent! But wait, it doesn’t stop there: The Portland Timbers will be in Russia as well! That’s right! Keep an eye on Guzman (Costa Rica) and Polo (Peru) as they step into the field!
Regardless of who are you rooting for, this World Cup is going to be grand! The best of the best are about to go head to head and the world will roar day and night.
And while I am a big believer of getting a good night of sleep, when it comes to World Cup schedules, I don’t care what time or how long they last; I am there day and night! Yes, forget about time zones, forget about differences, let’s leave politics and borders to the side.
Let’s make this World Cup the one where regardless of how much division there is in the world, we somehow manage to concentrate on what truly matters in life and hold hands while we root for the best of the best of soccer in the whole wide world as they gather for the 2018 World Cup! May the best team take the title home!