Monday, May 12, 2014

Soccer Mania Week!

In just a few short weeks, the World Cup begins in Brazil. I know how passionate many people are about futbol, so I'm dedicating this week to soccer-related posts, particularly those centered around this biggest soccer championship.

I'm kicking off the week with a special guest post by Laura Pheneger who blogs at Mommy Maleta, a super fun and educational site. I hope you enjoy it!

Interior View of Brazil’s National Stadium where the World Cup Final will be played
courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Photo taken by Danilo Borges and produced by the official website of Copa 2014

Gearing Up For The World Cup

How many moms, dads and kids out there are ready for the month of June to arrive? I know I am. After all, it's the time of year for ice cream, swimming, picnics, catching lightning bugs and watching the 32 best soccer (more widely known as football) teams around the world battle it out to win the coveted title 2014 FIFA World Cup Champions!

Wait a second, what was that last one again?

That "last one" that I just mentioned is, none other, than the biggest sporting event in the world called the World Cup. It is estimated that over 715 million people watched the 2006 World Cup Final in Germany. In 2010 the World Cup took place in South Africa and it was broadcast to 204 countries on 245 different channels.

Now, if you like math (or read the first paragraph) you’ll notice a pattern here that will tell us when the next World Cup will take place. The World Cup competitions I mentioned took place four years apart, in 2006 and 2010. So when is the next one? You got it - 2014! This event has actually taken place every 4 years since 1930, except in 1942 and 1946, because of World War II.

This year the World Cup will take place in Brazil starting Thursday, June 12th when Brazil plays Croatia in the opening match, and will end on Sunday, July 13th. This is the second time that Brazil will be a World Cup host country. Brazil also hosted in 1950. Brazilians are very proud to host the event and they have reason to be. Brazil holds a record of winning the World Cup five times, and they are the only team that has played in every tournament. There are 12 host cities in Brazil where the matches will take place.

FIFA President, Joseph Blatter, announcing 2014 World Cup host nation Brazil
courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Photo taken by Ricardo Stuckert, Agencia Brasil

Beyond the sporting element, the World Cup is a world geography lesson waiting to happen. Here is a great graphic that shows where the 32 qualifying national teams competing this year are located on a world map. You can also go to this 2014 World Cup Wikipedia site, where I found the graphic, to see the teams’ national flags and tournament seedings.

Graphic Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Author:  2010_world_cup_qualification.png:Jlsa
derivative work: IgorMagic (talk)

Status of countries with respect to 2014 FIFA World Cup:
  Team qualified
  Team eliminated
  Team did not enter World Cup
  Country was not a FIFA member at the start of qualification

To find out more about Brazil check out my blog over at Mommy Maleta. You can read this interview and find out what 10-year-old Naomi of Brazil has to say about the World Cup. You can also learn how make your own World Cup soccer stadium tabletop game in my craft section. I look forward to your visit!

Oh, and one last thing. When June rolls around and the World Cup matches are underway, go FIFA World Cup to learn even more about this event and follow all the action.


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