By MariaJose Fernandez
The FIFA World Cup is around the corner. This quadrennial event will take place for the first time in Qatar from Nov. 20 to Dec. 18 to define the one champion of the world out of 32 national teams.
This World Cup is considered one of the most emblematic events of soccer history for various reasons: the event will take place in a location that has never been done before, the atypical dates of the event, and the mixed feelings for the retirements of great legends of soccer after this championship.
With a diverse population on campus, The Buccaneer got a feel for the excitement and expectations from students supporting the big games.
On campus, the two common favorites to win are Brazil and Argentina.
Lucas Oliveria Silva, a Brazilian junior majoring in sports management and business administration, praised Brazil for their changes and advantages that could win them their matches this year.
“The chemistry between the experienced and young players will be very beneficial for our country, we have a lot of amazing players and right now they are performing the best moments in their careers,” he said. “We have players like Vinicius Junior, Raphihna, and Lucas Paqueta - they are very talented, but they have a lot to learn with the experienced players.”
Senior international student from England, Maya Campion, is excited that her country was selected to participate in this World Cup.
Campion also lived in Qatar for five years before enrolling in Barry and she will be traveling to enjoy this amazing event this winter.
“I saw the building of the stadium and how the city has progressed and become more modernized in preparation for the World Cup. I'm hoping to see it become more westernized because it hasn’t been much of a tourist host so hopefully it will become something like Dubai,” said Campion, who majors in psychology. “I feel very lucky to go to the World Cup and, since it is in my hometown, I am really excited to see all the fans come to the city.”
Jordi Ramon is a graduate student in sports management from Spain and his life-long love for soccer knows no bounds, but he sees his team’s rank as an opportunity to showcase the new players.
“Since I was little, soccer was my passion. I grew up living and feeling soccer. It is my biggest priority, it's my life. With Spain, I think we have potential,” said Ramon. “We have young players; I feel like we are candidates, but we are not the favorite ones, so I think reaching the semifinals will be a good outcome.”
Behind the hype and excitement is also a bit of sorrow. This World Cup also marks the last year for legendary players, Lionel Messi of Argentina and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal.
Timo Wirth, a junior majoring in international business student from Germany, carries a lot of love and admiration for these two as he considers them to be the best soccer players of their generation.
“Messi and Ronaldo, wow. It was my childhood; it was for every kid around my age. It is sad that this era has an end now,” said Wirth, who majors in business. “I loved watching them play soccer; it was a joy for every kid, but, you know, I think there is a new era that must start.”
Countries come together to celebrate the passion that unites them: the art and beauty of soccer. It fills the hearts of fanatics all over with passion, hope, and excitement.