The world is a compound of difference and disparity. On a common base of humanity, people are defined by these variations. But despite this enormous dissimilitude, there’s one thing that unifies the whole world, which is none other than sport and football hoists its flags above all.
It’s no secret that football has become a global religion with more than 3.5 billion devotees while also acting as a source of entertainment for many. The culture associated with this game is pretty astounding. From a bucket of wings to a round of cocktails, warm laughter and nervous gasps on the shoots and kicks around the table on a game day are common yet pleasing sights. Keeping the game day menu aside is the English disease of hooliganism in football which is basically the fan mischief and violent behaviour at an ongoing game and it dates back to the English Middle Ages and had been destructive ever since. Meanwhile, match programs are sold onsite with basic details of teams and the game. After gulping down mugs of beer comes the pitch invasion at striking points of the game but due to severe reasons pitch invasion during the game has been claimed illegal unless it’s the victory moment. These have been football customs ever since advent-especially consuming alcohol with game buddies during the season is a widely practiced custom.
Just like ICC, BWF and WR nurturing their respective sports, football is administered by FIFA which is the international federation of association football. FIFA was founded in 1904 in Paris and currently nurtures football in 211 countries. FIFA is also the governing body of association football, beach football and futsal. Under the prestigious governance of Gianni Infantino, who’s been serving since 2016 as the 9th consecutive president of the association, FIFA aims for international growth, equal accessibility and advocacy for integrity and fair play. The FIFA congress is the supreme legislative body of FIFA and has been functional annually since 1998 for better discipline and regulations.
Quadrennially FIFA hosts the most glamorous yet the most sensational event of the FIFA calendar which is the FIFA World Cup. This isn’t just a game where players from 32 unique teams come to showcase their talent and stabilize their prestige on top of the list but it’s a social gathering. A union of multi-ethnic communities and rivalries, all coming together to celebrate their passion for football as one nation indicating the ability of sports to unite a universe as a whole.
How it started
The FIFA World cup dates back to the 1930s when the world witnessed its debut match. It was held from the 13th to the 30th of July in Montevideo, Uruguay. It started with 13 teams. The teams were divided into four groups, and the winner from each group was automatically promoted to the semi-finals. The victory of the very first matches that took place simultaneously was coveted by France and the USA defeating Mexico and Belgium respectively.
The debut goal in World Cup history was coveted by Lucien Laurent of France.
Argentina, Uruguay, the United States and Yugoslavia each qualified for the semi-finals
In the finals of the very first tournament, Uruguay defeated Argentina 4–2 and secured its status as the very first nation to win the World Cup.
The Jules Rimet Trophy of silver was awarded to Uruguay.
World cup heroes from the outworn era
- Brazil’s Pelé
Edson Arantes do Nascimento is undoubtedly one of the most versatile players ever in the history of football. Due to his ardency for football, he was named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee and was placed among the 100 most important people of the 20th century by the Times. Pele has played and won all 3 world cups along with multiple leagues. In the year 2000, Pelé was elected the World Player of the Century by IFFHS and became one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century. His devotion to the game was like no other, in which during his prestigious career he scored 1,279 goals in 1,363 games and is recognized as a Guinness world record.
- Golden Boy
Diego Armando Maradona was an Argentine football player who shared the World player of the century with Pele. It was Maradona’s unique skills and tactics that made him reach the stars. Maradona was the only footballer to set the world record transfer fee twice: in 1982 and 1984. He played in four FIFA World Cups, including the 1986 World cup which he led to victory. Maradona was a dynamic personality and was loved by millions. He later took to coaching and guided several teams to success.
Other notable players include;
Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer, Zinedine Zidane and Jimmy Greaves.
How it’s going
Today, after many scintillating tournaments FIFA is all set for its 22nd quadrennial game in QATAR and Brazil stands on top as the most successful team with quintuple wins while the French stand as the immediate winners of the 2018 World cup. The 2022 tournament will commence on the 20th of November and will go on for 28 days.
Present World cup heroes
Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro of Portugal’s national team and widely known for his career at Real Madrid and Manchester United is one reason why the football fanbase keeps growing. Coming from an impoverished background, today he has reached the pinnacle of his game coveting 5 Ballon d’Or awards and 4 European golden shoes. During his entire career, he has won 32 trophies which include seven league titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues, and the UEFA European Championship. He kicked started his international career when he was just 18 years old and since then he’s having the time of his life with continuous victories and success on the pitch. He’s ranked one of the most influential, highest-paid, and the world’s most famous athletes by a variety of magazines.
Lionel Andrés Messi of Argentina is just 35 years old and has conquered the whole world with his wit in football. Messi has won seven Ballon d’Or awards, six European Golden Shoes, and in 2020 was named to the Ballon d’Or Dream Team. He is renowned for his silverware in Barcelona since the age of 13. He is even described as the successor of Maradona due to his scintillating performance and devotion to the game. He’s been playing in the La Liga leagues since 2004 and it has aided him in rising to fame and showcasing his versatility to the world. He was awarded the FIFA world player of the year in 2009 and the Best FIFA men’s player in 2019 along with multiple accolades. Messi too is ranked the world’s highest-paid athlete by Forbes in 2019 and 2022 while in 2020 he was awarded the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year in which he became the first footballer to covet the award.
Other notable players include Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema and Kevin De Bruyne.
In less than a week the world will collide with the roar and cheers in Qatar. Who will become the champions this year?
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