The Tournament That Unites The World

The World Cup is here, and it’s time the United States gives it the recognition it deserves.


Alex Carlin, News Editor

The World Cup. La Copa Mundial. De Wereldbeker. La Coupe du Monde. كأس العالم. Cwpan y Byd. جام جهانی. Mistrzostwa Świata w Piłce Nożnej. Det Verdensmesterskab. Die Weltmeisterschaft. ワールドカップ. Svjetsko Nogometno Prvenstvo. A Copa do Mundo. Светско првенство у фудбалу. 월드컵. 

This is how you say “The World Cup” in the languages of all the participants. English, Spanish, Dutch, French, Arabic, Welsh, Persian, Polish, Danish, German, Japanese, Croatian, Portuguese, Serbian, and Korean. The World Cup is a tournament like no other, once every 4 years the world is all focused on the same thing, the games to determine the champions of the world in the world’s sport. To see the citizens of all of these different countries participating put aside the troubles of life for a month to unite in support of their country on the world’s biggest stage is truly a special sight. And the World Cup is right around the corner. In fact, when this article is published, it will be on its 2nd day and the United States will be getting ready to play its first game against Wales. And as US Soccer is on the rise, with stars such as Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Gio Reyna, and more playing in top-flight European leagues, this is a tournament that should be just as highly anticipated in the United States as it is in the rest of the world. A tournament with billions of viewers and billions of potential amazing moments deserves the hype that adds up to a billion.

To understand the hype that the World Cup should generate in the United States, we need to take a trip to somewhere where soccer(or in this case football) is more than just a sport, it’s a way of life. And that place is South America, home of the first World Cup and its champion, the hosts Uruguay. The home of the winningest country in World Cup history, Brazil with its 5 trophies. The home of some of the most dynamic and electric footballers, and even athletes, to ever grace this planet. From the legendary players of the past in Pelé and Diego Maradona to more recent prodigies in Ronaldo(the Brazilian one) and Sergio Aguero, to the stars that currently light up the game in Neymar Jr and of course the greatest of all time Lionel Messi. So, how do they treat football’s biggest stage in a place where the sport is adorned?

“It’s more important than anything,” Pedro, a friend of mine born and raised in Brazil and is now living in Argentina, said. “Everyone loves this sport here in South America, even the people that don’t know anything about it. Literally everyone here wants to watch the World Cup. And everyone is very excited”. But why does everyone want to watch the World Cup?

(The World Cup) is more important than anything. Everyone loves this sport here in South America, even the people that don’t know anything about it. Literally everyone here wants to watch the World Cup. And everyone is very excited.

— Pedro


“Because of the atmosphere. It is the best atmosphere you can get as a sports fan,” Pedro says in regard to South America during a World Cup. He also comments on the cultural side of it. “It’s great to see all the cultures together to watch it”. This is what sets the World Cup apart from other sporting events. The focus on multiple cultures and the atmosphere that fans from all across the world bring is just something that’s unmatched in anything else. If you think you’ve experienced this feeling with an American sporting event, think again. “It is more special than the Superbowl there”, Pedro, who lived in the United States for two and a half years says. 

It might as well be a law that on the day that Argentina has a game in the morning, the whole school has to watch it. Because everyone will.

— Pedro

As an event of this merit should warrant, experiences as a fan are pretty awesome, with the whole country so invested in their team. “It might as well be a law that on the day that Argentina has a game in the morning, the whole school has to watch it. Because everyone will”, Pedro says, which I admit is a school system I am jealous of, but I’m jealous of the entire atmosphere over there so that’s nothing new. And of course, with great passion comes even greater rivalries. This is where Pedro, a Brazil fan in Argentina with a dad who’s an Argentina fan is in an awkward spot. “Between me and my dad, whoever wins or does better is gonna be very loud and whoever loses or does worse is gonna be very quiet. Brazil and Argentina hate each other. I don’t know how I’m going to survive here”, Pedro says, only half-jokingly. This will be his first World Cup living in Argentina as a Brazil fan. Just think of your favorite rivalry, sports or not, and multiply it by like a thousand and you’re almost to the scale of international football rivalries in passionate countries, especially the likes of Brazil and Argentina. 

This is the level that the World Cup deserves here in the United States, but it’s pretty clear that we are not at that level yet, both to the avid fans here and abroad. When talking with Pedro about the wait for the World Cup, I brought up how the US has had to wait 8 years to see our team in the World Cup having not qualified in 2018. And to that he said, “We have lots of expectations, but you guys aren’t a top country for soccer”. This is a true statement, but we still have a heck of a young team to rally behind. 

And with that, a closing statement. The world’s game needs to be embedded into our great country as much as it possibly can so that we can get better but more importantly so we can experience the true beauty of what soccer can truly bring to a nation. A unifying spectacle in which we can rally behind our nation as they compete in the biggest tournament in the entire world. To experience soccer as the way of life that it is in South America would be thrilling and I think would be a revolutionary experience to fans and non-fans alike. Because we have never experienced anything like that here in the United States.

This is the start of a United American fandom that rivals those from South America and around the world. The beautiful game produces the most beautiful of moments, isn’t this something you want to be a part of? So come on Americans. It’s time for us to rise up and show the world what we can truly be. This United States team is special but they need our support. So go out, spread the word, and start waving some flags and making some noise, the biggest stage in the entire world is here and it’s time to make our name known. It is here, and we should be beyond excited. The United States is in the world’s greatest spectacle, the World Cup.

I’ll be watching. You should too.