If you’re driving down West Bay Road and see groups of drunk, jovial, brightly dressed people walking around, don’t be alarmed. It’s just the World Cup.
World Cup fever is currently nearing its peak, yet at press time it looked like some of the international footballing community’s goliaths could flop worse than England have done in almost every major tournament since ’66. However, even if you are unfortunate enough to be supporting a team that hasn’t qualified, or a favorite that is failing to perform, there’s still plenty of reason to watch the World Cup as it reaches its zenith on July 15.
Where on Earth are the team favorites?
In light of the shortcomings of some of the favorites (we’re looking at you, Germany and Argentina), the tournament’s underdogs may have a chance of making it into the late stages of the competition, or even winning it. If this is the case, we could see levels of entertainment that some would say have been missing from the sport as a whole in recent years. Croatia, for example, managed a stunning 3-0 group stage victory over favorites Argentina. Lionel Messi, where art thou?
At press time, Mexico and Croatia had both been pegged as potential dark horses, so it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on the smaller teams in case you’re in need of a backup.
Expectation of spectacle
Since its inception in 1930, the World Cup has blossomed into a spectacular global phenomenon, with FIFA reporting that 2014’s World Cup final between Germany and Argentina attracted over one billion viewers worldwide. This figure may come as a surprise to some, but the World Cup has certainly provided fans with some history-defining moments to keep them coming back year after year.
Perhaps the most memorable of these moments was Diego Maradona’s 1986 quarter-final brace, consisting of the infamous “Hand of God” goal and “Goal of the Century,” which lead Argentina to a 2-1 victory over England, a knockout defeat that some would say they are yet to recover from.
More recently, moments such as Robin van Persie’s incredible headed goal against Spain in 2014, which closely resembled a breaching marlin (seriously, look it up); and Germany’s brutal 7-1 thumping of Brazil in the semi-finals that same year, have reminded us what makes the World Cup so special.
How to Watch
Cayman’s vastly international community draws strong local support for most of the tournaments 32 teams, so the local World Cup buzz is more than apparent. Now that the knockout stages are here, sports bars will be experiencing one of their busiest periods. Nothing beats heading out to a bustling local bar to watch matches among fellow fans.
Even if your team isn’t performing well, the communal atmosphere present at the Attic, Fidel Murphy’s, Lone Star and Legendz – especially during big matches – is great entertainment in itself. If, however, you’re wanting to enjoy the action from the comfort of your home, Logic and Flow are both broadcasting the tournament locally.