This year’s FIFA World Cup promises to be one of the biggest and most talked about ever. The eyes of the whole world will be on Brazil come June and all social media channels are set to be taken over with football or “soccer” talk for the month long event. The World Cup only comes around every four years and in an age where football is dominated by money and sponsorship deals – it is seen by some as the last real representation of the sport being played as it should be – with passion and pride for the jersey being represented.
The last decade saw the World Cup gain a larger and larger audience as more and more countries where the sports would have previously gathered little interest tuned in . This is actually despite the fact the World Cups that took place in Germany in 2006 and South Africa in 2010 were not considered “classics” by any means.
The 2006 World Cup in Germany is probably most remembered for Zinedine Zidanes famous headbutt on certain Italian defender in the final. The legendary French playmaker who was undoubtedly one of the greatest players to ever grace the sport guided his country all the way to the final despite pre-tournament expectations being pretty low. The world watched as Zidane rolled back the years to produce outstanding performance after performance. After a lacklustre group section – he helped guide France past Spain,Brazil and Portugal to reach the final in Berlin.
There, France played Italy who themselves were dogged by pretournament scandals about match fixing in corruption in their national league. 715.1 million tuned in to see the Italian national side eventually win a tight contest on penalties.
The 2010 World Cup in South Africa introduced the sound of the countries now infamous “vuvuzelas” to the world’s ear. The instruments posed a problem to television broadcasters as the sound continuously blared throughout each match of the World Cup. Whether you’re a fan of the instrument or not it is nonetheless a great example of one country’s traditions being shared and displayed throughout the world – which is the power of sport. That World Cup saw a narrow victory for a strong Spanish side against a dogged Netherlands outfit in the final with Andrea Iniesta eventually clinching the winner and thus his nation’s first ever World Cup in injury time. By that stage viewership figures had grown to over 900 million in the four years between the final in Berlin.
Last time we saw Spain join the exlclusive club of World Cup winners which also includes Italy with 4, Germany with 3, Uruguay with 2, Argentinia with 2 while France and England both have won the famous trophy once.
The other nation to win the World Cup is of course Brazil who have won the trophy more times than any other country and have lifted the cup on five separate occasions ! They will of course be hoping to lift it for the sixth time in their own country on the 13th of July this year.
This year’s World Cup will also see the introduction of 21st century technology provides first time. Referees will now finally be able to use goal line technology which should rule out events like Frank Lampard’s phantom goal against Germany in 2010 which was incorrectly ruled to have not crossed the line. There has been much debate as to whether this is a positive move or if it goes against the traditions of the sport so it would be extremely interesting to see how the technology influences the showpiece event.
Fifa and Adidas have also jumped on the whole user generated content movement currently going on worldwide and fans across the globe were involved in the naming of the official football that is being used in the tournament – coined the “Brazuca”.
One hot topic of this years tournament is the current economic political and social situation currently taking place in Brazil as people protest against expenditure involved with hosting the event. Many argue that the money could have relevant spells elsewhere and invest in education and public facilities.By the time the world tunes in, Brazil will have invested over $3.5 billion on stadium construction and renovation alone which is triple what South Africa invested into hosting theirs back in 2010.
If you’re planning on travelling to Brazil for a World Cup you can also expect to be investing quite heavily. $282 is the average cost of a simple overnight hotel stay in Sao Paulo for the opening day and by the time of the final it will cost an average of $371 to spend the night in Rio. Due to the vast size of Brazil -travelling the country itself is also quite a costly procedure with flight tickets between Sao Paulo and Rio fetching over $500. This is despite these two cities being among the closest with only around an hour’s flight time seperating them.
Many people from all over the world travel to World Cup hosting nations just to experience the incredible atmosphere. If you’re planning an actually going to a match be expected to fork out a little more with an average ticket costing a hefty $1,345 .
Despite some of the high cost’s involved it cannot be understated just how big an occasion this event will be. A World Cup alone is a huge event but one taking place in soccer-mad Brazil is sure to be one of the most memorable ever. It’s important that if you are planning on travelling out to the country that you plan ahead accordingly to make sure your money and time is not wasted. Be smart – travel with friends to reduce costs by using hostels and compare prices online to get an average. By travelling with KNCTR you can further cut costs with free calls to your friends and family back home in USA or Canada. Simply load the program up on your laptop and your can call back home completley free of charge!
The World Cup is only just around the corner and the world is waiting in anticipation as Brazil make the final preparations for one of the biggest show-piece events of the decade! It all kicks off on the 12th of June as Brazil take on Croatia in the famous Arena de Sao Paulo!