Even if you’re not a soccer fan you probably know that the sport’s biggest tournament, The 2014 World Cup has started and has everyone (your kids, your spouse, your friends, your co-workers, your dog) glued to their TV to watch.
While soccer is not the most popular sport in US, the excitement of the World Cup has a way of turning everyone into a soccer super-fan every 4 years. This year’s tournament in Brazil is muito quente (Hot! Hot! Hot!)
Here is why and what you need to know to catch the fever!
Sport: Soccer (Futbol in Spanish and Futebol in Portuguese)
The Tournament: Held every 4 years. A bracket structure similar to college basketball March Madness: Group Stage (Each team plays 3 games) à Round of 16 (Top 2 teams from each group play a 1 game playoff) à Quarterfinals (1 game) à Semi-finals (1 game) à Final
Where: At 12 stadiums across Brazil
When: June 12th through July 13th
The Teams: The top 32 Men’s National Teams including Team USA
Defending Champs (2010): Spain
TV: ESPN and ABC. With the time zone difference, most games are played earlier in the day so you’ll have the family back in time for dinner! Click here for the Full TV Schedule.
What Makes this Year’s Tournament so Hot?
A beautiful country filled with white sand beaches surrounded by tropical vegetation, the crystal blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the plush green jungles of the Amazon- the scenery is absolutely stunning and there is plenty of it showcased in the TV coverage of the tournament.
Add in the culture, the beautiful people passionate about “the beautiful game” and you can see why Brasil was the perfect host for this year’s World Cup and a country you must see for yourself in this lifetime.
The most passionate soccer fans flock to the tournament in droves from ALL around the world. Dressing up in outrageous, colorful costumes to support their country is the name of the game to attend a match! Sombreros, Matadors, Orange Wigs, Full body paint…Oh My! Check out the best between plays…..you won’t regret it!
The Hottest Players to Watch
If you are a full-time soccer fan you’ll enjoy watching the skilled play of Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal, Lionel Messi of Argentina, Robin van Persie of the Netherlands and Clint Dempsey of the USA. All are in their playing prime and ready to showcase their talent at the tournament.
Whether you are full-time fan or part-time, just for the World Cup, everyone can appreciate (and enjoy!) the muscular build and athleticism of these players…..some of the fittest athletes in the World!
Gone are the days of the standard black and white Adidas soccer boots (cleats)! The players of this World Cup are showing individuality with boots in orange, yellow, blue, white with intricate designs and even one pink/ one baby blue (apparently so you can tell which foot the ball was kicked with). The bright colors and designs of the player’s boots add more flair to the beautiful game of soccer and are fun to look at.
Okay so this one is not necessarily soccer related…but Brazil’s National Cocktail must be mentioned. Made with Cachaça, a liquor distilled from sugar cane, Caipirinha is easy to make and a delicious way to enjoy a little Brazilian culture during the games:
Caipirinha cocktail- 1 serving
- 1 lime cut into 8 wedges
- 2 fluid ounces cachaça
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Cut up a lime into 8 wedges. Muddle the wedges in a rocks glass with sugar. Add Cachaça and top with ice. Stir and serve.
You can also mix in various fruits and juices for a different flavor!
There you have it….all that is hot about soccer’s biggest tournament. Now make yourself a Caipirinha (you deserve it!), relax & enjoy the show!
If you have any other questions about the tournament, let us know and Kick It Like Mom is happy to help!