Once every four years, the world comes to a screeching halt when soccer takes center stage (even in America) for what can only be described as a global phenomenon – the 2014 FIFA World Cup!
For the next month, soccer will dominate the world’s attention, and Garrett Popcorn is excited to celebrate the beautiful game! Our recently opened Brazil Shop is even right in the middle of the action! If you’re flying into Sao Paulo to attend the World Cup, be sure to visit us at Guarulhos International Airport.
Back in the States, we’re showing our excitement with our Perfect Match Bundle! With our Chicago Mix, classic napkins, individual bags and a Garrett Scoop, you have everything you need to host a World Cup viewing party.
And if you’re not feeling the World Cup fever just yet, we’re here to help! The host nation, Brazil, will kickoff the World Cup this afternoon against Croatia. It’s definitely a must watch match, as Brazil is highly touted as the tournament favorite with young talisman Neymar among the world’s best footballers. From a country that was home to the legendary Pele, this team will want to follow in his illustrious footsteps.
The host nation isn’t the only one to keep an eye on, however. Few would be surprised to see Spain following up their 2010 triumph with a repeat in South America. Much of the 2010 team remains with Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Sergio Ramos and Shakira‘s famous husband Gerard Pique all returning to defend the World Cup.
Fellow European powerhouse Germany is also among the favorites, with a star-studded squad including Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Mesut Ozil and Miroslav Klose. Just like German engineering, this team is fine-tuned, efficient and ruthless against the competition. A series of masterclass performance on the way to lifting the World Cup trophy would come as no surprise.
Brazil’s South American rivals, Argentina, rounds out our picks of pre-tournament favorites. They have a “secret weapon” you’ve probably heard of called Lionel Messi. Unquestionably one of the best players to ever play the beautiful game, Messi is looking to finally win the one elusive piece of silverware missing from his trophy collection. Along for the ride to help him to glory are superstars such as Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain. Much like Brazil and Pele, Messi and Argentina will have hope of following in the legendary Diego Maradona‘s footsteps.
Of course, there are a wealth of other teams that could be among the World Cup contenders. The Netherlands could follow up their 2010 FIFA World Cup Final appearance led by their superstar captain Robin van Persie. The reigning World Player of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo, will hope to lead Portugal to add to his already impressive trophy case.
Also among the contenders, Uruguay and Luis Suarez will come with lofty goals to a World Cup hosted by the South American neighbors. Four-time World Cup winner Italy is certainly capable of posing a challenge as well with midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo and flamboyant striker Mario Balotelli, while Wayne Rooney will be hoping to fire England to their first World Cup triumph since 1966. And we mustn’t forget Belgium, whom many believe to be the World Cup’s “dark horse” with exceptional talents like Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku forming a golden generation for the country.
But what of our very own United States? The familiar face of Landon Donovan will be missing for the first time since 2002 World Cup. You may recall some of the excitement he caused during the 2010 World Cup against Algeria. Without him, the team still has star veterans Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley and Tim Howard alongside an exciting young squad. Unfortunately, the United States were drawn into the “Group of Death” and face a steep challenge to advance from the group stage.
Manager Jurgen Klinsmann has maintained realistic expectations, admitting that the United States cannot not win the World Cup, but escaping the Group of Death would be a huge success for the continually growing presence of soccer in America, along with preparing a very talented young squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. There will still be plenty for Americans to cheer for as the United States do what they do best, go face-to-face with incredible odds and fight to persevere against some of the world’s premiere teams. Get your Red, White and Blue ready because the patriotism is going to blow up in pubs across America for the next few weeks!
So what are you waiting for? Score the greatest goal of all by including Garrett Popcorn in your viewing plans with our Perfect Match Bundle!