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How to Root for Your Team in the World Cup

Whether you call it soccer, _calcio_, football, or _futbol_, rooting for your team in the World Cup is exhilarating! Follow these steps to show pride that can't be denied.


  • Step 1: Check out the draw Examine your team's draw, which divides the tournament's 32 qualifiers into 8 groups of 4 that play each other in a round-robin format. Don't despair if your team loses a match in this group stage -- the top 2 teams from each group advance according to a point system based on wins, ties, losses, and number of goals scored.
  • Step 2: Get the goods Amp up your intensity if your team makes it to the next round, when the tournament becomes single-elimination. Loudly contest any red cards or offside calls against your team, groan dramatically if your country's shots sail over the crossbar, and hug everyone in sight if your team scores.
  • TIP: If you're up for it, tear off your shirt after goals, too.
  • Step 3: Show your spirit Display national pride. Show off your team's colors; enjoy the national food and drink; learn a traditional folk dance -- however you want to communicate loud and clear that your country is the best, on and off the field.
  • Step 4: Know the enemy Figure out your nation's rivals, and root against them vigorously. Learn a few benign insults in opposing fans' languages and take part in some verbal sparring, a soccer-spectating staple.
  • TIP: Tease rival fans at your own risk -- soccer enthusiasts can get rowdy when pushed too far.
  • Step 5: Head out Find a local enclave of fellow fans to watch the game with, or get a ticket to the tournament and root from the stands. Wherever you are, let your passion show as much as possible -- if you lose your voice, you have 4 years before the next World Cup to get it back.
  • FACT: In 2006, approximately 260 million people watched the World Cup final.

You Will Need

  • Your team's draw
  • National colors and cultural staples
  • Rival
  • Insults
  • Other fans
  • Ticket (optional)

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