Don't fight the World Cup; join in and have some fun | Tales of a Ranting Ginger

Don’t fight the World Cup; join in and have some fun

The big countdown is on; the Brazilian World Cup 2014 is only weeks away now and the sense of excitement amongst many fans is palpable. Already, all the ads have a World Cup theme on TV, from Pepsi through to beer ads, they’re all whipping the various soccer-loving nations around the world into a positive frenzy of excitement.

And this year, perhaps more than any other, the World Cup will definitely have a party atmosphere about it as no nation can really claim to love soccer as much as Brazil does. To say Brazilians are passionate about soccer/football is to flirt with understatement. When the World Cup is being hosted in another country, school kids and workers get the day off to watch Brazil’s matches; who knows what it will be like when the tournament is on home soil?

But what if you don’t really like soccer? How are you going to get through the month of June, when everyone around you seems to be going mad about the World Cup? You could go for lots of long walks, or find yourself a new hobby, but if everyone else is getting behind their favourite team for the World Cup, why don’t you try and get your head around it, too, and get involved? It makes for a much more sociable time, and like the Olympics, it’s something that you might find you’re surprised how much you enjoy it.

One way to quicken your interest in a big sports event like the World Cup is to have a bet on the outcome. You can check out the different odds on a betting site like bet365 to see which countries have a chance of doing well. It probably won’t surprise you to know that the host nation is also the favourite, with current odds of around 3/1. Other potential winning nations include Argentina, Germany and the current World Cup holders, Spain. But if you’re seeking a value bet, then Italy, the second most successful World Cup nation in the history of the tournament, is currently priced at about 25/1. They’re comparative long shots as the squad is not considered to be the best that Italy has ever put together, but they may do better than expected.

The final phase of the World Cup starts on 12 June with Brazil playing Croatia at Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city. During the group stages, 32 teams divided into four groups will play a series of round-robin matches. At the end of the group stage, 16 teams will go through to the second round, and the winner of a group will play the runner-up of another group. At this stage, it’s a knock-out tournament, and each match could potentially be a team’s last. The quarter-finals are for the strongest eight, followed by the last four going through to the semi-finals. The final will take place on 13 July at the famous Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Will your chosen team be there at the end of the match? And finally, will you have enjoyed it?

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