Welcome to World Cup Week!

Pretty restrained fan display

Pretty restrained fan display

If you’re a fan of the World Cup, you know it goes on for more than a week.  In fact, most of the month-long orgy of goals and yellow cards and penalty kicks and crazily attired fans is already over.  Maybe — especially if, as an Anglophone fan, your team has already been knocked out — maybe you’re a little tired of it.  You still love soccer, you still wish you were in Brazil, you just need to watch something different at least one night this week.

Well, that’s why we’re bringing you World Cup Week.  With a selection of movies about soccer and movies about Brazil, you will be able to stay in the World Cup spirit even when the teams aren’t on the pitch.

usaworldcup

While you watch, why not take a minute to reminisce about World Cups past and how you became a fan?  My personal World Cup narrative goes back to 1994, when the tournament was hosted in the US.  My friend Evan had an infectious enthusiasm for Gli Azzurri and I started to watch.  As it turned out, the Cup final ended with Italy losing to Brazil in a penalty shootout, so it was a memorable time to watch the Italian team.  I had become quite a fan of the goalkeeper, Gianluca Pagliuca, and when the World Cup came around again four years later I was eager to cheer Italy on again (I was studying Italian and preparing to study abroad there, which made it even more exciting).

brazilitaly94

Pagliuca defends against Brazil in 1994

By 2002 I had spent time in a couple of European countries so my interest in the Cup was less focused on a single team.  I was on my way to England to visit friends on the day both England and the US were knocked out.  My Spanish friend Pepe hosted an Asian-themed party to watch his nation face the South Korean hosts, only for Spain to lose.  By the final I was in Germany visiting my friend Josh as the Germans lost to Brazil.  Memorable celebrations by the Germans showed me how much it means to a European country to come even second in the Cup; but more than that I learned I was pretty bad luck!

My son would totally root for this guy

My son would totally root for this guy

In 2006 I was living in a professor’s attic for free, so I didn’t watch much television and even the Cup had to suffer.  Then in 2010 I had a weeks-old infant.  He had napped next to my husband as Boston won the Stanley Cup in his first days of life, so I didn’t feel too bad seeking out air conditioning and World Cup coverage by taking my baby to Irish pubs for lunch.  Now he’s four, and his favorite teams seem to be A. the goalkeepers B. the referees or C. any team wearing red.  I guess it’s all about fashion for today’s young fans.

How did you come to love World Cup?  Have you ever been to Brazil?  Hit us up in the comments section.

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