We love soccer….but only every four years!

Brazil eats, sleeps and drinks football. It lives football! ~ Pele

The World Cup fever is in full swing all over the globe. Soccer, called ‘football’ everywhere except in America, is one of most popular sports if you step outside America. Many European and South American countries including Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Italy, Uruguay and England have some of most fanatic soccer culture. Soccer is their favorite pastime, a part of their daily life.

And, every four years during the FIFA World Cup, the soccer mania is everywhere, even in America. It is the World Cup time… and boy, we love the World Cup soccer! During this season, even the America joins the FIFA World Cup fan club band wagon.

FIFA, Fédération Internationale de Football Association, is the international governing body of soccer. It organizes the World Cup. During early days, FIFA pushed for Soccer to be a part of Olympics, but without success. So, they started their own world competition repeating every four years, just like Olympics. Today World Cup is as popular as Olympics, if not more, in most parts of the world. The sport commands billions of audience during this competition.

2014 World Cup in Brazil is no exception. USA, along with other 200 plus other countries competed for one of only 32 slots available in the World Cup match-up. The most talented teams are in the field in Brazil, fighting for the top honor – to be the 2014 World Cup Champion.

In many countries, especially in South America and Europe, football (the soccer, as they call it in America) is a religion. Christiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Fernando Torres are worshiped like gods, more popular than the Hollywood stars.

During the World Cup days, USA soccer fans follow the lead of the rest of the world and cheer for the soccer and the soccer stars. Soccer is in the fore-front during the Cup, it is talk of the every town, as they say. There is around the clock telecast and reporting; the experts fight over their favorites and how the game should be really played. All of a sudden, there is no shortage of soccer enthusiasts. Rest of the sports are taking a back seat temporarily, just for a while. The goal scoring highlights and top-ten plays are repeated throughout the day, everyday. Who needs to sit in front of a TV for 90 minutes and watch each game; just watch the highlights! Spoken like a not-so-true soccer fan!!

Luckily, it is not the football season in USA – the American football, the NFL kind! Otherwise, it would be football vs ‘football’. Given that America loves their football – the NFL version, it would have been very conflicting and confusing commentary if both sports were played during the same period. Thank God, only one ‘football’ at a time! The small miracles!

Very soon, the World Cup will be over, we will have new soccer heroes, a new World Champion! Soon after, the World Cup will fade into a distant past, only to be revived four years later.

Yes, we love Soccer, but only every four years, during the FIFA World Cup season!


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