World Cup Fever Grips The Nation

‘’It’s coming home, it’s coming home, its coming, football’s coming home’’.

That’s right, the FIFA World Cup 2018 has officially landed with Russia playing host to one of the grandest stages of world sport. Over the next four weeks, our television boxes will be dominated by all matters concerning football, where we will witness 32 countries battling it out to win football’s most coveted prize.

Notorious for igniting pride, fuelling passion and exhibiting flair and skill, the FIFA World Cup is a global celebration that is capable of uniting everyone from all corners of the globe.

Image of Brazil fan
Image courtesy of Pexels via Pixabay.com

A colourful festival bounded by the love of the game, this esteemed tournament is exactly what the world needs right now. And with expectations reaching fever pitch over the last few weeks, the nation has naturally immersed itself into the flowing current of football hysteria.

From the catchy slogan t-shirts to animals using their physic powers to predict the winners, this famous tournament brings out all the quirks.

Meanwhile, courtesy of technology and the boundless committed enthusiasm by television media, we were actually able to track the England squad’s flight as it left Birmingham on Tuesday 12th and eventually landing in Russia later that evening. Did we mention the level of hysteria surrounding the World Cup?

Besides that, there is no denying the fact that England and the World Cup are synonymous with one another. When it comes to such a tournament, England fans can be reminded of the euphoric times and of course the moments of utter heartbreak.

Whether it’s England’s triumphant 1966 team, Gazza’ tears in 1990, the infamous ‘’Hand of God’’ by Maradona in 1986, and not to mention Ronaldinho’s sublime lob over David Seaman’s head in 2002. Indeed, it is fair to say that we England fans have been through it all.

image of England flag
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

Yet, that won’t deter the Three Lions fan base from having hopes and dreams of lifting that famous golden trophy for the second time in history. In fact, prior to the tournament itself, England boasts of an impressive record in qualifying for the World Cup.

Since entering the competition in 1950, England has qualified for all subsequent tournaments, except for 1974 (West Germany), 1978 (Argentina) and 1994 (USA).

Additionally, England is a member of the illustrious club of winning nations with the Three Lions being one of only eight countries to have ever won the World Cup. It’s safe to say that a World Cup is not the same without England…and Brazil, and maybe Italy.

That said, the build-up to the World Cup is just as important as the competition itself. As an English fan, the build-up to the World Cup is incomplete until the following has been achieved/experienced:

Listened and sang to some of the classic World Cup songs ever created:

Shakira’s hip shaking tune of ‘’Waka Waka’’ (South Africa, 2010), the infectious fiesta anthem of ”Carnival De Paris” (France, 1998) but more closer to home, who can forget The Lightning Seeds classic ‘’Three Lions on the Shirt’’ with the sneaky cameo appearance by non-other than Robbie Williams. These football tunes are sure to get into you the spirit.

Decking streets in flags and bunting:

Similar to celebrating Royal Weddings, this nation always endeavours to showcase the pride of England through decoration and colour on our streets. In this case, the World Cup is no different.

The World Cup adverts:

With the tournament taking place every four years it is always exciting to see what the marketing guru’s in the media world have conjured up for the audience to enjoy.

This year, we have seen Lidl, Beats and ITV making a great effort to get the nation’s adrenaline flowing. However, it would be rude not to reminisce about Nike’s clever display in 2002 with the legendary Eric Cantona headlining the show.

Football Sweepstakes:

A serious matter for any household or organisation knowing that the faith of your successful sweepstake rests on a lucky dip. Will you pick out one of the favourites this year or will you be stuck with one of the plucky underdogs of the tournament? Either way, the sweepstake makes for an interesting viewing, particularly when England is not on your television screen!

Without a doubt, this year’s World Cup will gift us with moments of pure genius and moments of pure madness.  Much of the expectation is lured towards some of football’s biggest stars, such as Messi, Ronaldo, Griezmann and Neymar.

As for the England squad this year, English fans have the right to be quietly optimistic. A notable feature of this team is that five members of this squad have had World Cup experience meaning the group, as a whole, are relatively new to the biggest stage in football.

image of football players
Image courtesy of Gellinger via Pixabay.com

Despite that, this rejuvenated team is both youthful and excitingly talented and as England continues its transitioning process the team now no longer relies on the former golden generation of stars, such as the Gerrards, the Lampards, the Ferdinands and the Beckhams.

Thus, making this tournament extra interesting for Gareth Southgate’s men with new stars ready to emerge as the countries newest national treasures.

That said, here is a quick reminder of some of England’s important fixtures coming up:

Monday 18th June at 7 pm (UK Time)

Tunisia vs England

Sunday 24th June at 1 pm (UK Time)

England vs Panama

Thursday 28th June at 7 pm (UK Time)

England vs Belgium

 

The next four weeks will prove to be a thrilling and nerve-wracking time for us English supporters. Let’s hope the voodoo of penalties is finally broken and that Southgate’s men put in a fighting performance that any fan would be proud of. Football is coming home and we cannot wait to see who emerges victorious.

Come on England!