The 2014 FIFA World Cup soccer games came to an end with the final match played on July 13 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was an exciting and gripping match between Germany and Argentina. The match went into extra time play, and Germany won by scoring the only goal of the match. This was Germany’s fourth World Cup title. The host country, Brazil, still holds the most wins with five World Cup titles.
The World Cup is one of the most popular sporting events in the world, and is held every four years. The tournament started in 1930 and the first tournament was held in Uruguay. To see which countries can play, soccer matches are played for over two years before the actual World Cup games! It is one of the most watched events in the world. The next World Cup will be in Russia.
This year’s world cup took place over a four-week period in cities all around Brazil. Thirty-two nations competed in 64 soccer games. The official match ball for these games was designed by the German sports manufacturer Adidas and was called “Brazuca“. The term is used by Brazilians to describe “national pride in their way of life”. The games were quite hi-tech. Robots called Packbot 510 (image) worked along with the police to make sure that people at the games were safe. High-speed cameras focused on the goal areas were used to confirm that a goal was scored. Vanishing foam sprays were used by referees to mark lines for free kicks.
The official song for the games was “We Are One (Ole Ola)” sung by Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte. The best player award (Golden Ball) was given to Lionel Messi (image), the Argentine team captain. During the final game, a Twitter record was set when 618,725 tweets per minute were sent discussing the game. The singer Shakira, who performed at the closing ceremony of the games, set the world record for reaching 100 million likes on Facebook. Here is a video showing some of the best celebrations during the games. Here are two videos with the official song and how Adidas innovates for the World Cup.
Did you know?
In 1967, Nigerians stopped an ongoing civil war for 2 days so that they could watch a famous Brazilian soccer player, Pele, compete in a match.
Did you know?
iRobot, the company that makes the Packbot 510, also makes an automatic vacuum cleaner that zooms around your home picking up dust on its own called the Roomba. Here is a video.
Did you know?
A sport called “Bubble Soccer” involves people wearing a large plastic bubble around themselves while playing soccer. You can watch it here.
Image Credits: http://www.fifa.com/ for the images of its logo, Brazuca, and Messi
Sources: Time.com, http://www.fifa.com/, CNET, http://www.independent.co.uk/, http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/, http://www.adidas-group.com/