A Globe Trotter’s Take on the World Cup 

A Globe Trotter’s Take on the World Cup 

by Carlos Balbuena

Who came up with the idea of gathering 20 people, giving them a black-and-white spotted ball of leather filled with air, and told them: go on, kick the ball until you push it through this line. Oh, and you can’t use your hands. The only one allowed to use his hands is this dude right here who will use them to stop you from kicking the ball through the line. 


It sounds so simple. And yet, the outcome has been so beautiful. There’s no other sport with the summoning capacity of football. Football is about belonging. Belonging to a community, the team you support, and the nation you’re from. It’s about tenacity, tactic and skill. But it is also about millions and millions of earnings via merchandising, stadium attendance, tv transmission contracts, advertisements, and publicity.  

Football is Life 

Football is entertainment. It’s a gigantic business. However, football is also a way of life. It’s something similar to a religion for lots of people. Football, in other words, has become (through many years) a global, social phenomenon. Every football country lives it differently. But if there’s something these football-loving countries have in common, it’s a pure, infatuated passion for this beautiful sport. The world, as far as football fans are concerned, stops for an entire month every four years.  


Expectations for the World Cup builds up with every passing year. When the World Cup is only a few weeks away – like right now – the hype is huge: people buy their team’s shirt, contract TV cable to watch it, and plan reunions with friends to watch games. It’s a common topic of conversation between friends, and an awesome ice breaker between groups. As the day comes closer, most of our discussion mainly dwells in who’s going to play for the national squad. We talk about the players who want to be there. Ultimately, the manager has the decision. However, the whole country discusses whom he should and shouldn’t take to Russia.  

The Most Important Event of the Year 


The sports broadcast channels talk about the World Cup 24/7. They talk about the drama of the injured players at risk of losing the world cup. They talk about the Russian cities that will host the matches, Russian culture, the main candidates and the so-called black horse of the competition. This is a way to learn about a new country, and a possible destination for your next travel destination. Russia will do it’s best to show us the best they have. They’ll put on a great show to show the world their way of life, their culture, and their beautiful landscapes. Being a host of the World Cup puts you in the spotlight. It’s a great way to expose your country as a brand or as a product for people to see and consume.  

Television sports broadcasters talk a lot about the sport, of course, but they also send reporters to show us Russia, in this case. TV, at least in México, tries to immerse the spectator as much as possible. They send reporters just to cover museums, clubs, landscapes and everything else a country could offer. México is a huge football-loving country. I’ve heard many times that México takes more interest in football than worrying about more important issues, like elections. During the World Cup, we will elect a new president. And still, the World Cup gets as much attention, or possibly even more, as this major political event.  

Build Up for the Big Day 

All in all, this event is so hyped for the fans that we simply can’t wait anymore! It’s the biggest sporting event besides the Olympics. I feel that the World Cup Series is even more popular than the Olympics. Football reaches millions of people. It reaches people that range from amateur players dreaming of the big leagues, to fans like me: awful players, but passionate followers nonetheless.  


As a famous player once said, “football is the most important thing amongst the non-important things.” This can be easily proved if I tell you that the last World Cup was seen by 3.2 billion people by TV alone. That statistic doesn’t include the spectators that traveled to Brazil to watch the games live. So yeah, it’s a pretty big deal. Regardless, it’s still just another form of entertainment. Albeit, it’s arguably the biggest event in the world. And us fans, were eager to hear the starting whistle! 

Check out my next post about the World Cup!

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