Summer and Soccer

I was never a summer or a sports nut until Ali introduced me to the FIFA World Cup many years ago. Now I anxiously wait for every fourth summer because I know it will bring the World Cup games. My addiction is so serious that not only will I not miss a game for anything, I will plan the whole day around the games schedule! My family is convinced that something rewires in my brain during the World Cup as it's the only time when screaming at the television, talking to the people on it, and jumping in frustration are the norm for me. During the last World Cup, I was visiting my aunt in Texas. The games began at 3 a.m. in Texas, and my aunt was absolutely convinced that I had lost my mind to wake up at that hour for a soccer match. I, on the other hand, could not imagine missing a single one even if it meant waking up in the middle of the night and biting a pillow to prevent myself from screaming at the television. I love soccer and adore the World Cup!

Soccer is the ideal sport for people who don't usually enjoy them. Whereas baseball and football games can drag on for hours, soccer players have exactly 90 minutes to collect points for their teams. Because they have to score points in a set period of time, the game is incredibly fast-paced which increases the excitement factor exponentially. There is no time for hotdogs during a soccer match! "Look, ma, no hands!" makes soccer a difficult game to play and a joy to watch. It's not easy to maintain control of a ball without using hands to hang onto it, and just imagine how much harder it is to score points with a foot, head, knee, or chest!

Soccer is a world sport like no other. While baseball and football, the great American pasttimes, are much beloved in the US, they hold very little interest elsewhere in the world. But go to Mexico, Korea, England, Argentina, France, Brazil, Germany, the Ukraine, Egypt, Greece, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Panama, Australia, Ghana, Nigeria, or any other country on any continent, and you will find local soccer clubs and a national soccer team. Fans of the game know the best players in the world, and it doesn't matter which country they come from -- they are admired for their skill. Soccer stars such as Pele, Beckham, Zidane, Maradona and Ronaldo receive global adoration because they play the game so well not because they are nationals of a particular country.

There's still time to tune into soccer. The World Cup matches are not over yet; they are just getting ready to move into the quarter finals. Check out the FIFA World Cup page for game schedules and watch one! I promise you won't be sorry.

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