Being an old Soccer participant, member of the school team for several years, fierce 4th. defensive member in the old 4-2-4 formation, (sweeper) in the English "lingo" (I think), I was compelled to bring this subject matter to the SI Universe: |
The up coming 16th Football World Cup to be held in France, from June 10th through July 12th 1998.
For several reasons.
First, it is a true 'World Cup' where most of the entire world participates over a period of 3 to 4 years. In addition, the United States qualified for this year's tournament, and the US is expected to do well in this tournament, possibly a great surprise indeed.
Second, as a former participant of the sport myself, at school team level for several years, I became (ashamedly so), a rabid and passionate fan of the sport. (However, I proudly declare that I never reached the truly pathetic level of some of the European "fanimals").
Third, I thought it would be interesting to expose this subject/sport to the SI Universe, since so far, I have been able to find just about any type of weirdo known to the human race, [and beyond], so adding a bunch of soccer nuts would only add to the soup. I guess it would be a way to measure soccer popularity.
Who knows?, it will add an "International Flavor" to SI, and in so doing, it may expand the horizon of the SI confines.
Fourth. Why not? If there are "Thread Morons" and "let's bull@@it about absolutely nothing of any relevance" thread, a Soccer related thread can not hurt.
So, I will introduce the subject, with a short explanation of the tournament and the teams in this year's cup, including the groups in which the participating teams are divided into.
Official site for France 98 host of the 1998 World Cup:
The first phase is completed, i.e. a process of elimination in which countries classified in different regional groups participate eliminating each other towards the final tournament, in which 32 teams of the respective countries meet, this time in France from June 10 through July 12.
The final event is about to start, the 32 teams are grouped in 8 different ones of 4 teams each, in which each of those 4 teams play each other within the group.
To see how the different countries are grouped:
From there, the winner and runner up of each group go on to the next round at which point only the winner advances to the semifinals, and final. there is also a game for the third and fourth place.
The "Genesis" of the World Cup
The original rules came from Rugby in 1846, by 1870, the "Football Association" rules were defined.
It is said that Football (Soccer) is a gentleman sport for roughs, whereas Rugby is a rough sport for gentlemen......
The word 'football' identifies this sport worldwide, (USA excepted), it was invented in England, and.....it is played with one's "feet" hence the name football.
For unexplained reasons, at least to me, in this good ole' USA football identifies a sport that it is primarily played with...... one's hands (punting excepted).
However, in other languages "Soccer" is called: f#tbol (Spanish), futebol (Portuguese), Calcio (Italian), anybody is welcomed to contribute other names in the different languages
I guess it must have something to do with "metric"..... then again, since the English invented Soccer, there must be no connection.
Brief history of the World Cup:
And a history of "Football" (Soccer):
Highlights of Soccer World Cup history
History of the 15 prior Tournaments:
* There has been 15 cups, Brazil is the ONLY team that has attended them all. France 98 is number 16, yes Brazil is attending.
*Since the World Cup is a rendezvous between football and its legend, all nations are involved in the event. With the prospect of the final competition to be organized by France in 1988, 172 countries--and this is a record--have registered to participate in the eliminating matches. 172 countries for only 30 qualifying places, with Brazil as the titleholder and France as the host country being qualified as a matter of course. These 172 countries are divided as follows: Europe (50), Africa (38), Asia (36), North and Central America (28), South America (10), and Oceania (10).
The 32 participating countries for this year tournament, by group for the initial competition.
15 European, 5 S. American, 2 N. American, 1 Caribbean 5 African, and 4 Asian
Brazil Scotland, Morocco, Norway.
Italy, Chile, Cameroon, Austria
France, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Denmark.
Spain, Nigeria, Paraguay Bulgaria
Netherlands, Belgium, Republic of Korea, Mexico
Germany, USA, Yugoslavia, Iran
Romania, Colombia, England, Tunisia
Argentina, Japan, Jamaica, Croatia.
* In many countries Soccer is more than a simple sport, for Brazilians, in particular it is a near religion.....
* The First World Cup was held in Uruguay, in 1930
The score was: Uruguay 4 x 2 Argentina (day became national holiday)
# 2 Italy. 1934 Italy 2 x 1 Czechoslovakia (xtra time)
# 3 France 1938 Italy 4 x 2 Hungary
# 4 Brazil 1950 Uruguay 2 x 1 Brazil (NATIONAL TRAGEDY)
# 5 Switzerland 1954 W. Germany 3 x 2 Hungary
# 6 Sweden 1958 Brazil 5 x 1 Sweden
# 7 Chile 1962 Brazil 3 x 1 Czechoslovakia
# 8 England 1966 England 4 x 2 W. Germany (xtra time)
# 9 Mexico 1970 Brazil 4 x 1 Italy
# 10 Germany 1974 W. Germany 2 x 1 Netherlands
# 11 Argentina 1978 Argentina 3 x 1 Netherlands (xtra time)
# 12 Spain 1982 Italy 3 x 1 W. Germany
# 13 Mexico 1986 Argentina 3 x 2 W. Germany
# 14 Italy 1990 Germany 1 x 0 Italy
# 15 USA 1994 Brazil 3 x 2 Italy (after xtra time tie 0-0 won
by penalty shoot-out, first time in history)
Let' see if SI is inhabited by any soccer nuts