We’ve been very spoiled sports fans in 2010. The Super Bowl, Winter Olympics, and March Madness have kept us on the edge of our seats. All of this action has made it easy to forget that we stand on the precipice of one of the best sporting events around, the FIFA World Cup. Every four years, the world slows down just a bit as people from every single nation focus in on the greatest competition in modern athletics. This is a VERY big deal, and if you’re unfamiliar with this event, read on.
It is quite an honor for a country just to make it into the World Cup, let alone win it. As early as two years before actual competition, some 204 countries compete through a series of qualifying matches. That number is eventually whittled down to the 32 most deserving squads. For most of the world, this event is the Super Bowl, World Series, and NCAA National Championship all rolled into one. Fans will be glued to every second of the action as they cheer on their home team this summer, and you should be too. What makes it all the more interesting is the fact that we need to wait four years before we are again privileged with a World Cup.
Just to get an idea, the 2006 World Cup Final was watched by SEVEN TIMES as many people as the 2010 Super Bowl. The winning team of the 2010 Cup will take home an unheard of $30 million dollars. Fans live and die by the results. Names like Beckham, Pele, Maradona, and Zidane live in both glory and infamy because of their actions on the field in this competition. There is no doubt that heroes are made and lost at each World Cup, and the global audience is always watching.
USA, England, France, Spain, South Africa, and the Netherlands are just a few of the countries that made it into the final tournament. The US will square off against England in the first matchup of the event, and it is sure to be exciting. USA’s Clint Dempsey will do his best to raise the Stars and Stripes to victory over Wayne Rooney and the English side. Brazil is the favorite to win, and everybody is gunning for the returning champion, Italy.
History is being made this year. When the tournament kicks off in June, the millions of football fans that follow the competition will descend upon a nation in the African continent for the very first time. South Africa won the bidding for the 2010 World Cup, and is setting an excellent precedent for the remaining countries of the world.
The excitement is in the air. World Cup Fever: Catch It!