It’s here! Today’s the inauguration day of the sports even which every four years unites every country under the same banner: the 2014 FIFA World Cup! This year, the games will take place in the exotic country of Brazil, where football is the most beloved sport. If you love football, or if you want to know what to expect, here’s our guide of what you must know about the competition.

 

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil – The official symbols

Every World Cup presents a new mascot, official match ball, slogan and song in order to set the mood for the event, and also as part of their merchandising efforts. Here’s what you must know about the official symbols for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil:

 

  • The Official Mascot: Fuleco

This year’s mascot is a cute three-banded brazilian amardillo with a yellow body and a blue shell. These animals can roll on themselves and become a small ball in order to protect themselves from predators, and they live in dry habitats.

The mascot’s blue shell represents the sky and waters of Brazil, and his names derives from the combination of the words “Football” and “Ecology”, since he’s an ambassador for conservation. 

 

  • The Official Match Ball: Brazuca

For the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, sports brand Adidas created a match ball with colorful panels in green and orange. These hues represent traditional wish bracelets used in the country, and its name derives from a term used by Brazilians to represent their national pride.

 

  • The Official Logo and Slogan: “All in one rhythm

The message and logo for the World Cup 2014 celebrates unity with a nod to Brazilian’s musical spirit with the slogan “Juntos num so ritmo”. The logo shows hands raising the World Cup trophy, thus representing victory.

 

  • The Official Song: We are one (Ole Ola), by Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte

Official songs have become popular for the World Cup events since the 60’s, and for the World Cup 2014 FIFA invited Latin-American artists with a global fanbase to create music for the ceremony. The official song is We are one (Ole Ola), yet artists such as Shakira, Ricky Martin, Sergio Mendes, Avicii, Carlos Santana, and others; have recorded secondary songs which can be found at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Official Album, titled One love, one rhythm.

 

 

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil – The teams

The participating countries will be divided in 8 groups with 4 teams each, and led by the top 8 teams. The rest of the selection is done by chance, by drawing the names of the teams randomly. However, it was decided that every group must contain teams from different qualifying zones, except for European teams, from which a maximum of two teams can appear on the same group.

The groups for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil will be:

 
  • Group A

Brazil

Croatia

Mexico

Cameroon

  • Group B

Spain

Holland

Chile

Australia

  • Group C

Colombia

Greece

Ivory Coast

Japan

  • Group D

Uruguay

Costa Rica

England

Italy

  • Group E

Switzerland

Ecuador

France

Honduras

  • Group F

Argentina

Bosnia

Iran

Nigeria

  • Group G

Germany

Portugal

Ghana

USA

  • Group H

Belgium

Algeria

Russia

South Korea

 

 

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil – Facts and trivia

Here are some curious facts about the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil you might not know:

  • It’s the 2nd time Brazil has hosted the event. The 1st time was in 1950.
  • It’s the 5th time the event has been hosted by a South American country.
  • All the World Cups hosted in South American countries have been won by South American teams.
  • The event will last a month and a day, from June 12th to July 13th.
  • The matches will be played in 64 different cities of Brazil.
  • Brazil and Germany are the fan favorites for winning the World Cup.
  • Goal-line technology will be incorporated to avoid referee mistakes during the games.
  • The top goal scorer of the world is the Brazilian Ronaldo, followed by the German Miroslav Klose.
  • Each team’s lineup consists of 23 players.
  • The “it” instrument for this year’s World Cup will be the caxirola, a type of maracas which will replace the vuvuzela from the last World Cup. However, they’re banned from the stadiums.
  • The prize money for the winners of the World Cup will be $454 million.
  • It’s the most expensive World Cup to date.

 

 

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Sources:
Bleacher Report. 50 things you need to know about the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1868621-50-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-2014-fifa-world-cup-in-brazil
TSM Plug. Interactive guide to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. http://www.tsmplug.com/football/world-cup-2014-all-8-groups-draw-results/