Thursday of last week saw the opening of the 20th FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Hundreds of millions of fans have been waiting since 2010 to see their country vie for the ability to call themselves the best in the world. Brazil opened the tournament with a 3-1 win over Croatia.
This World Cup is featuring a few firsts for the tournament. For free kicks, referees are implementing vanishing spray, which helps to prevent the defensive wall from edging too close to the free kick spot. More importantly, and finally, FIFA has implemented goal-line technology to ensure that a goal is a goal. This has long been a criticized aspect of the World Cup, especially given the consequences of one missed call.
So far many of the games have been excellent. Fans have been able to see some amazing passes, goals, saves, celebrations, victories, and defeats. This week the US plays in its first game of the World Cup against a common World Cup enemy: Ghana. Both teams have played each other in a number of tournaments over the years, and almost always is an entertaining match.
In honor of the US’ first game and the World Cup, NaQ wanted to share some of the best quotes about the World Cup from soccer celebrities new and old.
Hope Solo on the four-year life-cycle: “My life goes in four-year cycles. The World Cup is every four years and the Olympics are every four years.”
Lionel Messi, one of the soccer’s most talented players on the World Cup: “You have to show up in the World Cup, and in the World Cup anything can happen.”
Bill Shankly on the importance of the sport: “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is very much, much more important than that.”
Nick Hornby on love, women, and soccer: “I fell in love with football as I would later fall in love with women: suddenly, uncritically, giving no thought to the pain it would bring.”