Football (aka Soccer) IS the World’s Sport

All right, ya’ll I am chuffed (British informal English for delighted or pleased) about the US women winning the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada this weekend.  What an exciting final game with Japan!  The US team won in a decisive 5-2 score.  And Houston Dash’s own Carli Lloyd got the earliest hat trick in Women’s World Cup soccer history. She also won the Golden Ball trophy as the most valuable player.

Embed from Getty Images

I have to tell you that earlier in the tournament, I was also cheering for Japan.  Those women are also an exceptional team.  How could I root for Japan?  Well…you see, football (soccer to Americans) is a truly global sport.  It is estimated that 265 million people on the planet play it.  The World Cup finals are also the most watched sporting event around the globe…bar none.

It is an intercultural phenomenon.  Continue reading

The Ghost of World Cup Past

Zidane-2006-crop

I am transfixed by the excitement of the 2014 World Cup (this tournament has had a lot to get excited about so far), but I am still haunted by the memories of my frustration with the tournament eight years ago.

During the final match of the 2006 World Cup between France and Italy, something extraordinary happened. Zinedine Zidane head-butted an Italian defender in the 110th minute of the game, received a red card, was ejected from the game, and quite possibly cost France the Cup. Even more extraordinary is the amount of thought I’ve given this event over the years.

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