The electric energy of the 2014 World Cup is everywhere here in Miami. It’s a natural fit for us, with so many Miamians hailing from so many different countries, and everyone seems to have caught the World Cup bug. Embarrassingly, I really don’t know much about the World Cup, (or even soccer for that matter) but I do love a good party. Yes, I am totally one of those fans that just joins in on the fun every four years. This year I wanted to be a little bit prepared on the
soccer football front, so I created this quick list of potential questions that little ones may ask about the game being played on the biggest international stage. So without further ado, Mommy Mafia presents, The Non-Soccer Mom’s 2014 World Cup Cheat Sheet.
Why did they name the 2014 World Cup Soccer Ball “Brazuca”?
Yes, I know that David Beckham is NOT playing in the 2014 World Cup. BUT, he’s holding the official FIFA 2014 World Cup ball, sooo that gives me an excuse to include a picture of
his hotness Britain’s most iconic athlete on this list. (I’ve been looking for an excuse to put a picture of him on this site forever.) Besides, he’s doing his best to bring Major League Soccer to Miami, hopefully by 2017. In case you were actually looking at the ball, the Adidas Brazuca FIFA 2014 World Cup Official Match Soccer Ball is kinda crazy expensive at a retail price of $160. According to FIFA.com, the “ball was actually named Brazuca back in September 2012 following a public vote in Brazil. “Brazuca” is an informal local term which means “Brazilian”, or representing the Brazilian way of life.” If you’re just looking for a ball for the kids, you may be interested in the Adidas Brazuca FIFA 2014 World Cup Top Glider Soccer Ball (retail price around $35) which is a replica of the official one. Make sure to check the size you need based on the age(s) of your kids.
What are the basic rules of soccer?
You can use anything but your arms. Each team starts 11 players. Offside: passing w/o 2 players between you & goal. Yellow card: slap on wrist. Red card: player must leave game. Out of bounds: throw in. Foul = other team gets free kick. Foul in box = Penalty shot. 3 substitutions. (written in a succinct 2 tweet form via SI.com)
How do teams qualify for the World Cup?
If you’re the host country of the World Cup (Brazil), then you’re automatically in. For the rest of the world, qualifying for the World Cup is a grueling 2-year process of different tournaments and matches. The world is divided up into 6 confederations which each have slightly different rules for qualifying teams to go to the World Cup. The minutiae of the process varies from region to region, but they’re all round-robin tournaments, sometimes with an additional two-game playoff that’s determined based on aggregate goals (For example if Team 1 wins the first game 2-0 and Team 2 wins the second game 3-0, Team 2 would advance). (SI.com)
There are 32 teams that play in the World Cup. These 32 teams are the best in the world. According to the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking table as of today, The U.S. is ranked #13, Spain is ranked #1.
Who are the BEST of the 2014 World Cup players?
After searching website after website on who are the best players that will be competing, I realized that the “Best” is pretty subjective and folks are VERY opinionated. So I’ll leave “Best” up to the experts. I found this list from CBSNews.com that describes some of the players they feel we should be paying attention to.
1. LIONEL MESSI (Argentina) “The Atomic Flea”, Many call Messi one of the best soccer players of all time, and he’s only 26 years old. Despite immense success on world-beating Barcelona in the Spanish professional league and a host of trophies on his shelf, he has never even made it past the quarterfinals of the World Cup.
2. NEYMAR (Brazil) Pele calls him the best player in the world, “a genius.” At age 22, before his home fans at a Brazil World Cup, this is his chance to prove the hype.
3. LUIS SUAREZ (Uruguay) He was the most in-form player of all the stars this season, the new cover boy, then required surgery on his left knee in late May after feeling pain while training. Nobody knows what to expect now from the volatile Uruguayan.
4. CRISTIANO RONALDO (Portugal) Working on a thigh injury and may not be in top form. At 80%, however, still one of the flashiest talents in the world.
5. MESUT ÖZIL (Germany) The inventive, attacking midfielder who makes the Germans go — and they always go far.
6. CLINT DEMPSEY (USA) “Captain America” is no small part of the reason the rest of the soccer world takes the U.S. men’s team seriously now, where the 31-year-old is consistently named among the league’s best players. The native Texan’s world-class ability to finish near the goal and score on crafty free kicks will be crucial if the Americans want to survive the so-called “Group of Death” against Germany.
Why do soccer players exchange jerseys after a match?
Recently, I was invited by Tide to the Brickell Soccer Rooftop (Who knew there was a soccer field on a high-rise rooftop in Brickell?) to learn about the tradition of the Soccer Jersey Exchange. Dating back to the 1930s, this long-standing tradition of trading the post-game sweaty jersey, is done as a sign of respect – and it is a particular ritual that sets soccer apart from other sports. These jerseys become part of a coveted collection that players keep, each with a personal story to share and remember. Learn more about the tradition of the jersey exchange on Tide’s Tumblr page, http://tidekeepitclean.tumblr.com and by following the hashtag, #KeepItClean
Who is the announcer that came up with “GOOOOOOOOALLLLLLL” every time a soccer goal is scored?
That would be Andrés Cantor. Cantor is famous for his signature call of “¡GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLL!”, a call which for decades has been a popular (and almost universal) play-by-play announcement method of a soccer team’s score throughout Latin America and one which, due to translation and cultural dissonance issues, was absent from the lexicon of U.K.-based soccer play-by-play commentators. Cantor was the first to introduce this climactic scoring call to a U.S. audience while working at Univision, making him popular with American audiences. He first used it at the 1990 FIFA World Cup, but it became especially popular during the 1994 World Cup, which was held in the United States.
Who is Fuleco, the 2014 FIFA World Cup Mascot?
Fuleco, is a Brazilian three-banded armadillo (Tolypeutes tricinctus). He belongs to one of only two species of armadillo with the ability to roll up into a tight, almost impenetrable ball. When the armadillo does this, the ears are tucked into the shell and the head and tail interlock to seal the shell completely. The loose armour of the three-banded armadillo creates a layer of air between the shell and the body, which insulates them and that allows them to travel to parts of Brazil considered too dry for other animals. According to wikipedia: His name is thought to represent the words, ‘Brazil’, ‘Nature’, ‘Friendly’ and ‘Passion for Football’. Fuleco, the part Ful comes from Futebol (Football) and eco comes Ecologia (Ecology). For more info on Fuleco, click here.