Yes, the world is in the throes of football fever. The 2010 FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) World Cup football, which wows the globe every four years is now in its quarter final stage and all bets are on to see who will capture this year’s final cup. Will the indomitable Germans beat the resilient Argentineans or, will the Netherlands score an upset? World Cup Football is hands down, the greatest and most highly anticipated sporting event of all time. Two hundred and four nations tried to qualify for thirty two spots, with the U.S. qualifying for the first time in decades. The 2006 final match between Italy and France was watched by an estimated 715 million. With shifting demographics and 21st century technology rendering borders nearly obsolete, this year’s tally is anyone’s guess. Aficionados pour into stadiums, huddle around television sets, with gladiator-like fervor. Histories are invoked, wars waged, players pilloried and publicly chastised. Allegiances for players and countries are drawn in stone with blood and sweat.
It is known universally as, “the beautiful game,” for its elegant simplicity, the divinely appointed athletic prowess of its players and its appeal to the common man. The skill of the play, the passion and the enduring love for the game creates a brotherhood that transcends the sport. The unparalleled high and mindless exhilaration of GOOOOOAAAL! Much like basketball, it elevates its gifted players to god-like status, while simultaneously connecting them with the mortals who live vicariously through them. More than any other sport, football is a great equalizer. Because not mere color of skin, or codigo de bonus bet365 nationality or Club can dictate ability or greatness. It simply is. A boy from a favela of Brazil with a devastating strike or from an obscure village in Côte d’Ivoire can become a striker for a world-class English Club. A good number come from exceedingly difficult circumstances, where pulling yourself up by the bootstraps often means borrowing a pair of cleats and heading to a game on a dusty bowl. Today’s black football players who hail from far-flung countries to play for European Clubs such as Inter Milan, Barcelona and Manchester United. But for World Cup, they return to play only for their national team. This is not to say that racism in football is not a serious issue. Taunts and behavior of fans can be unspeakably ugly, cruel and primitive, coming as it does from a contingent that remains stubbornly ignorant and primitive. That players consistently rise above it is a testament to their personal strength and integrity. The game has become a way of life that can change the trajectory of lives and communities. Stunning paychecks are often accompanied by lofty commercial endorsement from Nike, Gillette, and others. Players share their good fortune, donating substantial amounts to build hospitals, schools, and life-saving social service programs.