The combination of the World Cup's popularity, the dedication of its fans and Brazil's vibrant and eccentric culture is truly going to make for a dynamic and exciting month, and competition, hence why we chose Brazil as our destination of the month this June.
The World Cup
This competition, which has taken place uninterruptedly every four years since 1930 (with the exceptions of 1942 and 1946 due to the second world war), is the most important tournament in men's football. It is also one of the most popular and recognised competitions, probably because of the excitement surrounding this sport, but also due to the amount of money involved, not just in sporting terms but also the professional players.
Every 4 years, the 32 national teams that qualify from the 200 odd teams that apply to enter this competition, compete in different locations. Due to repeated boycotts by European and South American confederations following World War II, rotation between Europe and South America was established, being the longest tradition. Although this rotation was removed ahead of the 2018 elections.
Football, created in England, was rarely seen outside of the British Isles, it was in 1872 that the first international match between England and Scotland was held. However the first time that it was played over seas was in the 1900 Paris Olympics, although it was only a demonstration sport and medals were not awarded. Four years later the famous FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) was established and in 1908 football was declared an official sport.
Fifa chose South America to host the 2014 World Cup, for which Brazil and Columbia put forward nominations. Columbia however subsequently withdrew, leaving Brazil as the only candidate and thus the host for the 2014 World Cup, as in 1950.
As on other occasions, the celebration of this competition on a global level represents an important opportunity to showcase the selected country. Brazil, which was already in the middle of developments, has seen and undergone significant changes in many aspects, both in the economy and daily lives of its inhabitants, due to the 2014 world cup and 2016 Rio Olympics.
|The 12 stadiums of the Brazilian world cup. Source: Wikipedia|
We may not all know how this competition works, but we more or less know that there are groups, and the feared and dreaded quarter finals, so at least we're not starting from scratch.
As you can imagine, during this decade of celebrating the World Cup, the systems that have been used to validate the competition have seen many variations. For starters, there are the qualifying rounds, which decide which teams will attend the world cup.
Once these teams are known, they are randomly put into groups. Each group consists of four teams and they must meet the following criteria: the strongest team will be the top seed and is there to ensure that two teams from the same confederation do not meet in the first round. After all members of the group have played each other, the two top scoring teams from the group will progress. Following this are the knock-out rounds, quarter finals, semi finals and of course the final.
As for the teams and possible winners, as you can imagine, the betting odds are exploding, but to see how the competition progresses and see who will take home the title we will have to wait until June 13th.
Original by: Blanca Díaz Blanco