World Cup

Soccer Ball Image
Flickr/Sonny Abesamis

    

As the 2014 World Cup draws to a close, all eyes are on Brazil. Historical data shows the effects of this tournament may go far beyond the walls of the stadium.

2010 World Cup play
Wikimedia

In just two days, the World Cup Final will mark the end of a month-long tournament where 32 teams from across the globe faced-off to determine the world champion of football. The fandom for the World Cup runs deep. For the month, even those with little interest in the sport become fiercely loyal fans. The event reveals larger themes about society and culture. Host Frank Stasio talks with Duke professor Laurent Dubois who edits the Soccer Politics blog and writes about soccer for several publications.

Today, players and fans of the U.S. and Belgium are building toward a decisive game that will send one team to the World Cup's quarterfinals and send the other packing. Two key questions are whether the U.S. can strike early, as it did against Ghana, and whether Belgium can pull away late, as it has in all its games so far in Brazil.

The Americans have the spunk, the vigor and a willingness to try anything. The Belgians have the art, the creativity and the tradition of world-class success. We're not just talking about their looming World Cup matchup here. We're also talking about beer.

The topic of beer and the World Cup is now bubbling around in the highest offices of the two nations.

Former Brazilian Soccer Player Pelé is shirtless and being hoisted up by fans after the 1970 world cup on Cover of Fútbol! Why Soccer Matters in Latin America
http://upf.com/ / University Press of Florida

  

Sports say a lot about a city, state, or nation. Joshua Nadel’s new book explores the place of soccer in Latin America, and how it's influenced national identity in a post-colonial world. Nadel is the author of “Fútbol!: Why Soccer Matters in Latin America” (University Press of Florida; 2014) and a professor of Latin American and Caribbean History at North Carolina Central University.