Some people are calling it soccer, others are calling it football. Regardless of what you call it, it’s undeniably that this sport has great influence all over the world. Every year, fans are looking forward to the tournament where their favorite soccer player could impress the world with their fantastic performances. All die-hard fans have “going to a major soccer tournament” as one of their bucket list.
We have round up the best soccer tournament all over the world and why you should not miss any, or all of them.
The FIFA World Cup
Simply called the “World Cup”, this tournament is largest international soccer event in the world. Fèdèration Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA, is the host of this tournament. This worldwide event attracts more number of fans than the overall Olympic Games.
The first World Cup was hosted in Uruguay in 1930 and the home team took home the first championship. Since then, World Cup has been played every four years, with the exception of World War II that prevented the championship. It rose as the world’s premier football event as it successfully overcame the obstacles of intercontinental conflict.
World Cup is not only burdened with international conflicts related to war; travel concerns between teams were also a big problem. International travel cost is not something to be taken lightly, considering how expensive plane tickets and tickets to the game are.
Thankfully, travel packages are offered in the FIFA website a year before the tournament begins. You have to be quick though as they sell as hot as pancakes. Even with the early availability, these tickets sell out quickly. After you have secured your tickets, plan your trip carefully. The tournament lasts for a month, so even if the team that you’re rooting for did not make it, wouldn’t it be nice to see the competition through? Nothing explains the feeling of jubilation when you’re really there when the championship is bestowed to the number one team. Don’t forget to bring your country’s flag or color to show some patriotism.
What sets FIFA World Cup apart as the best world football event is its cultural symbolism. It symbolizes hope for peace and humanity; that despite the adversaries of international war and conflicts, there is one event that could put these issues in the background and unite for one goal. The World Cup represents diversity, peace and tolerance. Surely, it stands true to its name as a “world” event.
It was in 1908 that soccer was introduced in the Olympics as an official competition while women’s soccer joined the Olympics in 1928. In the early years, Olympics soccer was more for show than an actual serious competition and was only played by amateurs. But as the popularity of the sports rises, so does its stakes. To this date, soccer is one of the most awaited, viewed and followed sport in Summer Olympics.
Just like how you would want to carefully plan your trip to the World Cup, so does going to the Olympics. You should purchase your tickets one year in advance, and mind you, they are not cheap so you need to save beforehand.
You would also need to take into consideration the travel conditions between your home country and the host country. Attending the Olympics is less of a time commitment compared to the World Cup since it only last seventeen days. You need to schedule your time carefully as the events are often sprawled out in time and location.
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UEFA Champions League
The Union of European Football Associations Champions League is a yearly continental club football competition played between the top-division European football clubs. Not only it’s the most prestigious club competition in European football, but it’s also one of the most prestigious athletic competitions in the world. The League plays all year; middle of July is when the first qualifying round begins and the final championship is held in late May of the following year. The League’s most successful club as of this date is Spain’s Real Madrid, with a total of 10 wins in the competition.
If you’re planning to go to the Champions League, it’s way much easier than going to the World Cup or Olympics. It runs nearly ninety-percent of the year so attending a game in your own home country is relatively easy. Tickets are still expensive and sell quickly though since the Champions League is the most prestigious in European football. It wouldn’t hurt if you plan and purchase your tickets in advance.
Europe is known for its passion and dedication in football. It’s a guarantee that you will see great talents in this tournament.
UEFA European Championship
The UEFA European Championship or simply called “The Euros” is the primary football competition between the senior men’s national teams of the UEFA’s member countries. Its original name was UEFA European Nations Cup where the championship for the continental champion of Europe is determined. It happens every four even-numbered years, from the second week of June to the second week of July. To avoid conflict or overlap, it is scheduled between the World Cup tournaments. Two neighboring qualified European countries can co-host this tournament. Whoever hailed as the champion gets an added bonus of having the opportunity to compete in the FIFA Confederations Cup.
Henri Delaunay, the French Football Federation’s secretary-general, was the one who made the proposal of a pan-European football tournament. It was only in 1958, three years after the demise of Delaunay, that the Championship was made official. In his honor, the first tournament was hosted in his home country and the trophy was also named after him. The qualified teams expanded from eight to twenty-four in a span of fifty years.
As soon as the announcement of who will be hosting the tournament has been made, you should also start planning your trip. It’s a challenge to get the tickets since the event only happens in every four years. Just like with other tournaments, careful planning is needed.
Along with Europeans, Americans are also popular for being obsessed with soccer or football.
Copa America is an international men’s association football tournament hosted in the United States. It marked its centennial celebration last 2016. It is the oldest international continental football competition in the history of the sport which is what makes this tournament special. It is also the most prestigious football competition in the U.S.
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