The World Cup is one of the most popular sporting events since it is viewed among fans from all across the globe. It is estimated that 3.2 billion people worldwide watched the 2010 World Cup—that makes up 46% of the earth’s population! Every four years the World Cup provides riveting entertainment to soccer fans. The first World Cup took place in July of 1930 in Uruguay and, since then, there have been 19 exciting events. The World Cup usually lasts about a month (from June to July) and starts out with 32 teams that are narrowed down to two finalists and, finally, a victor.
Although many different countries have won the World Cup title, Brazil have consistently won the most—at present they have won five tournaments (Italy are the runners up, having won four times) and are the only team to have played in all 19 tournaments. This impressive record makes them the most decorated World Cup team in history. Now, the World Cup is taking place once again—and this time it is being hosted in Brazil. Needless to say, Brazil is determined to win a sixth time and repeat their victories in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002.
The World Cup is a truly international event and it is a good opportunity for youngsters to learn about other people and places while they watch the games. The World Cup is an especially good opportunity to memorize the flags of other nations and listen to some interesting facts about players and countries from the announcers.
Below is a list of facts pertaining to the country of Brazil during the World Cup:
• Brazilians call soccer the “Jogo Bonito” which means “Beautiful Game” is Portuguese.
• The national team is nicknamed “Seleção” which translates to “The Selection.”
• In Brazil the game is taken so seriously that people stop working to watch their team during the World Cup.
• Brazilian banks shut down 3 hours prior to each match.
• Pele remains Brazil’s top scorer and most famous player of all time.