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2018 World Cup

Sarah Bohl, Staff Writer

The world’s biggest sporting event is now just days away from it’s start.  Every four years the world forgets about all of the friction in the world and comes together to celebrate the “world’s game” futbol.  While we in the United States commonly refer to it as soccer and often think of the Super Bowl as the biggest sporting event of the year, the World Cup truly is the biggest sporting event in the world and it is about to kick off in Russia.  This edition of the World Cup starts on Thursday June 14th and will run through July 15th when the final will be played in the Russian capital city of Moscow.

To give you an idea of just how big the World Cup is here are a few fun facts:

 

  • 3.2 billion people watched the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and over 1 billion people watch the final match.
  • Germany is the reigning World Cup champion having beat Argentina in the final in 2014.
  • Brazil has won the World Cup more than any other country and they have five titles.  Germany and Italy are not far behind with four titles each.
  • Brazil is the only country to have played in every World Cup since its inception.
  • Nearly every country in the world has a team in qualifying but only 32 teams go on to the final of the tournament.  The finals are what is commonly referred to as the World Cup as the play in games are considered World Cup qualifying.
  • The favorite to win the 2018 World Cup is Germany followed closely by Brazil.

 

With all of the negative press about Russia these days, it is likely that will be largely forgotten over the next 5 weeks while the world turns their attention to the matches being played in Russia rather than the politics.  Matches will be played in 12 stadiums spread out in 11 different cities including the capital Moscow and former Olympic host city Sochi.

 

The field started with 211 teams with dreams to move on to the World Cup.  The series of qualification games is arranged by region with each region being allocated a certain number of spots in the final 32.  The qualification games actually result in awarding positions for 31 of the teams and the host country always receives an automatic place in the tournament.  In this case Russia got the automatic spot and the other teams had to battle through a series of matches within their geographic region. Slots are allocated by region and the number of slots for each region is largely based on past performance.  That is evidenced by the fact that Europe gets 14 slots out of the 42 while there are 55 European countries while Africa, which actually has 56 countries only gets 5 slots. CONCACAF which is the region that covers North America, Central America and the Caribbean, gets only 3 slots.  Sadly the United States did not qualify for the World Cup this time around as they struggled in their qualification matches, losing to one of the smallest countries in the tournament, Trinidad and Tobago, in their final qualification game.

 

While Germany is the favorite to win this playing of the World Cup, Brazil, France, Argentina and Spain are all ones to watch.  With the likes of Neymar Jr. (Brazil), Messi (Argentina), Ronaldo (Portugal), Griezmann (France) and an all-around solid Germany team there should be some really good matches for any soccer fans out there.  Portugal shocked France two years ago to win the European championships and Brazil and Argentina are always strong. It is unlikely that any team from outside of Europe or South American will challenge for the title.  Despite the list of favorites and teams to watch above, I will be pulling for the team from the country where I was born…ENGLAND. While it would be a surprise for them to go very far in the tournament they did get a favorable draw and are likely to at least move on to the round of 16 from group play.  As a soccer fan I am looking forward to the next month and watching some amazing matches!

 

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About the Writer
Sarah Bohl, Movies
Sarah is a senior who enjoys dogs, chicken pad Thai, going on drives and playing soccer. She likes to write in the sports section because she finds that its something that she can relate to and she finds it interesting as well as fun.
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2018 World Cup