The World Cup is a magical event that brings people together from all over the world to do one simple thing - watch football. Yes, even people who don’t normally watch football.
There are certain things people say that makes it easy to tell who is a true football fan, and who just jumps on the bandwagon when the World Cup rolls around once every four years. Here are the four most common:
1. “Why aren’t there more goals?”
Football is a much slower game than most sports, which means yes, sometimes a lot of time goes by with no goals. Of course, this makes for amazing moments when the ball finally hits the back of the net, but the reality is, you may sit through an entire 90-minute game that has a final score of 0-0.
Learn to appreciate the game beyond goal-scoring. Take note of the dribbling, passing, teamwork, and the incredible level of skill, execution and, oftentimes, luck, that goes into getting a goal. Don’t expose yourself as a “casual” fan by complaining about lack of goal-scoring.
2. “Is Player X as good as Messi or Ronaldo?”
There are only two football players on the planet that everyone (even non-football fans) knows of, and they are Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. They are the most famous because they have clearly been the two best players in the world for the past 6-7 years.
However, the World Cup is about so much more than individual players. In fact, part of the beauty of football is that it is such a team sport, as shown by the fact that Messi and Ronaldo’s teams (Argentina and Portugal) barely made it out of the group stages.
But just because Messi and Ronaldo are the best in the world doesn’t mean there aren’t dozens of other brilliant players in the tournament. Learn who they are and do your best to appreciate them!
3. “Why is that offside?”
Yes, certain rules in football, especially offside, can be confusing for beginners. Never, under any circumstance, let anyone know you don’t understand the offside rule if you want to be taken seriously for your football knowledge.
When in doubt, listen to what other people are saying about offside, handball, or foul calls. If people seem to disagree, yell things like: “Terrible call, is that ref blind?” It can make you appear more knowledgeable than you really are.
4. “Where is David Beckham?”
Even though he has been retired for years, David Beckham is still the most popular English footballer, and the most famous player in the world outside of Messi and Ronaldo. Please remember that he is in fact, retired and be sure to only speak about him in a historical context.