|Brazil's showcase in 2014 Source|
No matter who you are, where you're from, what subject you teach, or what sports you favour, everyone can be a part of the Fifa World Cup. One of the greatest sporting events on the planet, it boasts teams from a very diverse collection of countries, with supporters from all over the world. For those who have been fortunate enough to have a home country participating in the tournament, it will be a month of drama, frustration, joy, disappointment, and perhaps euphoria. For the neutral observer, however, the World Cup is a feast of football, pleasing to the eye and soul - at least those who love the game of football!
And it all begins today.
Truth be told, not everyone likes watching football, but I have found over the years that this global tournament for football greatness and immortality is a spectacular event that always brings together family, friends and countrymen for one glorious month. This year's edition will not be any different. If you are traveling anywhere this month on the weekends, watching the World Cup in different countries can be such a thrill. A stopover in France this Sunday, for example, to watch Les Bleus play Honduras in a cafe in Paris would be exceptional. All the French supporters sitting or standing around you, their nerves being tested to the utmost degree. It's a great experience. Or perhaps watching Switzerland versus Ecuador in Basel the same day if you happen to be in the Swiss city on the weekend.
I remember being in a lovely little cafe/restaurant in Zurich, Switzerland to watch the World Cup Final in 2010 between Spain and the Netherlands. The place was filled with Holland supporters. For the fun of it, my friend and I were supporting Spain as we knew so many of their players from the domestic league in Spain, which we follow. A seesaw battle, when Spain finally scored the first goal - which was the eventual winner - late in the game, the two of us jumped with excitement. I then found out how many other people were pulling for Spain in our little venue - two. After the momentary silence that ensued, followed by the final whistle, I remember having a chat with the Holland supporters after the game, talking about the game in friendly banter. I just love seeing the reaction of fans who have invested their time and heart to watch their teams compete at the highest level, hoping and praying that they'll win. It's great fun!
Let's not forgot the three lions of England. They too are in the World Cup, as they usually are every four years. Usually enshrouded in disappointment with each passing edition of the tournament - with the exception of 1966 - there is nevertheless always hope for the team at the start of the competition. Many Canadians have their roots in England, so it's only natural to follow them when the action begins. The support can be immense.
But where would be the best place to watch each game?
Besides the comfort of your home, there are so many places to watch the World Cup this summer in London. I was perusing a good article from Conde Nast Traveller this morning and found out about some really great and interesting places in the whole of the UK where you can go watch the games - either with some friends, colleagues, or just on your own:
From a Brazilian cultural experience at a place in Soho that shows EVERY single game to the massive outdoor screen at the Summer of Sport in The City - including street food from all over the world. There's also the 'Fever Pitch' in Fulham which will be strung out with flags and fitted with 14 large screens so fans can see from every corner of the venue. Other unique and really interesting places include the rooftop venue at Netil360 - where you can bring your own beverages. Go see the spectacular views of London while catching the games at Paramount at Centre Point or The Dome at the O2 and so many more. A plethora of different themes, cuisine and drinks for all tastes. Take a look at the link below for all the details in full for every single place!
At the very least, the World Cup is a welcome distraction of excitement to all the lessons and schoolwork that still await this month and next. Enjoy!
Conde Nast Traveller article
The world's most amazing football pitches - in pictures
Official list of all the World Cup Matches