Millions of people around the world are eagerly waiting for the 2014 World Cup which is quickly approaching on June 12 to July 13, 2014. Weeks before the first kick off, hundreds of thousands of diehard soccer fans from all over the world will begin congregating in Brazil to witness the greatest sporting show on earth first hand and also to become a part of the multimillion dollar extravaganza.
As with every World Cup before it, this year’s World Cup is also certain to produce many amazing moments that will be become the stuff of legends. In case you didn’t already know, here are 10 awesome facts about the 2014 World Cup that will make this year’s event one for the history books:
- 8 previous winners are participating: No less than 8 previous winners are set to participate in the 2014 World Cup, including the hosts Brazil, who have won five times. The other previous winners are Italy (4 times), Germany (3 times), Uruguay (twice), Argentina (twice), England (once), France (once) and Spain (once).
- The matches will be played in 12 different cities: The 2014 World Cup matches will be played in 12 different cities, more than in any other World Cup event in the past. The cities hosting the matches are: Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Cuiaba, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife and Salvador.
- One of the largest stadiums in the world: The Maracana Stadium (official name: Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho) in Rio de Janeiro, where the final match will be played on July 13, 2014, is one of the largest stadiums in the world. Opened in 1950 and renovated in 2006 and 2013, it has a capacity of about 89,000.
- Goal-line technology to be used for the first time: This World Cup is going to go down in history as the first World Cup in which goal-line technology will be used. Goal-line technology helps determine whether the ball has crossed the goal line. It is meant to provide supplemental information to game officials and will not replace the officials.
- One single debutant this time: All of the teams participating in the 2014 World Cup are old hands, or have played at least once before, except for one team: that of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is the first time this small East European nation has qualified. They did so by winning the UEFA Zone Group ‘G’.
- More than 3 billion people will watch the matches: The 2010 World Cup held in South Africa was watched by 3.20 billion people worldwide. That is a whopping 46.4 percent of the world population! It is estimated that many more people will watch the matches this time around.
- The second time for Brazil: This is the second time that Brazil has hosted the World Cup. The first time was the 4th World Cup in 1950. Uruguay beat the hosts 2 – 1 to take home the trophy. The winning goal was scored just 10 minutes before the end of the game by Alcides Ghiggia of Uruguay.
- Every continent is represented: As in the previous World Cup, 32 of the best teams from as many nations around the world will face one another for the coveted Cup: 7 from South America, 4 from North and Central America, 4 from Asia and Australia, 5 from Africa and 11 from Europe. Thus, every continent except Antarctica will be represented in this World Cup.
- 32 days of soccer extravaganza: The tournament will last 32 days with a total of 64 matches: 48 group stage matches and 15 knock-out stage matches. In the entire month, there will be only 8 days without any matches.
- A three-banded armadillo named ‘Fuleco’: The 2014 World Cup mascot is a three-banded Brazilian armadillo called ‘Fuleco’. According to his website, he can curl up into a soccer ball and will be 14 at the time of the World Cup.
Will you be attending this year’s World Cup extravaganza? Contact the custom sports travel experts at Roadtrips, or complete our Customize This Package form to receive a custom quote and further information.