FIFA World Cup is Here!

After months of anticipation, the FIFA World Cup is here in Qatar! This global sporting event is easily the largest sporting event in the world, netting more than 3 billion viewers total in its past three tournaments. 

For a brief introduction to the event, the World Cup is a tournament between national soccer teams of different countries, that occurs every four years. The World Cup final tops the total views of the Super Bowl, the most viewed sporting event in America, several times more. The sport is more dominant across the world, especially in Europe and South America. It brings people from every country around the world and unites them in a single stadium. 

In my opinion, one of the best features of the World Cup tournament format is the ability for the underdog to shine. Put short, the tournament format is single-elimination unlike in other similar tournaments like the UEFA Champions League (which features an aggregate score of two matches as the final decider). As a result, a large team or a tournament-favorite, can have one unfortunate match, and be eliminated. In 2010, Ghana defeated all expectations, becoming one of the few African teams ever to reach quarter-finals. In 2018, Croatia, made it all the way to the finals, defeating England in the process. Likewise, surprisingly the same year, Germany, a top-tier team who won the final in 2014, was not even able to qualify for the elimination rounds after two disappointing losses.

Thus far, at the time of this article, there have already been many such instances in this year’s World Cup at Qatar. For example, Saudi Arabia netted 2, defeating mighty Argentina, who are easily ranked top 3 this tournament; the Saudi Arabian king even declared a national holiday the day after the victory. In addition, Japan, often underlooked being an Asian nation, topped Germany, 2 to 1 in a thriller late goal. 

Finally, this is an end of an era. Many of the world’s most famous footballers including the GOATs Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo, in addition to Robert Lewandowski, and Luka Modric, just to name a few, are expected to retire soon, but have yet to win their first world cup title. Being a tournament happening only every 4 years, this is their one last chance, the one trophy missing from their trophy room, with everything on the line, and no second chances. Sounds exciting, eh?

The world cup is finally here!

Photo by Rhett Lewis on Unsplash

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