Sunday, July 2, 2006

Futbol (Soccer) Fever

Sorry the post delay. I've been so busy w/school, work, and watching the World Cup. It's been an 3 weeks watching all the different countries play so hard to be awarded the World Cup. Even though the referrees can often be prejudice (as seen in the Spain vs. Australia game), their decisions are deemed as law on the game. Even though my countries (U.S. and Dominican Republic) are not playing in this international competition, I love seeing countries I've never heard of striving for recognition. It's truly international.

This morning I was curious on the history of the FIFA World Cup. Here's the 411 on what the World Cup actually is:

FIFA= Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) (soccer's global governing body)
World Cup= an international soccer competition contested by the men's national soccer teams of member nations of the FIFA.

The tournament's final phase (often called the "World Cup Finals") involves 32 national teams competing at several venues (within the host nation or nations) over a period of about a month. It is the most widely-viewed sporting event in the world, with 1.1 billion people watching the 2002 tournament final. The World Cup and soccer in general have not caught on or gained popularity in the US as it has around the world. The 2002 World Cup ranked 7th in viewers ratings during the week of its broadcast in the US.

In seventeen tournaments held, only seven nations have ever won the World Cup. Brazil is the current holder, as well as the most successful World Cup team, having won the tournament five times, while Germany and Italy follow with three titles each. The other former champions are Uruguay, Argentina, England and France. Of the nine World Cups staged in Europe before the current tournament, only one saw victory by a non-European team, that being Brazil in 1958. When held outside Europe, the competition has only ever been won by South American teams. Only two teams from outside these two continents have ever reached the semi-finals of the competition: the USA (in 1930) and South Korea (in 2002).

The current World Cup Finals are being held in Germany between June 9 and July 9, 2006.

6 Latino nations are participating in this year's World Cup:
  • Costa Rica
  • Paraguay
  • Argentina
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • Spain
The "it" players:
Jose Cardozo- #20, Forward position, Uruguay

Hernan Crespo (not to be confused with the very musical Elvis Crespo)-#9, Forward position, UK

Francisco Fonseca-#26, Forward position, Mexico

Ronaldo-#9, Forward position, Spain

And all of this history has led to this one point: Different nationalities housed in one German soccer stadium. Fans cheering. Unheard of countries make their mark in soccer history. And the announcer yelling to screaming crowds: "GOOOOAAAALLLL!"

1 comment:

Camy Tang said...

Cool post! I've been watching the world cup, too.