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Football, The World Cup, and Sporting Popplets

The international sport of football – often referred to as soccer in the United States so as to avoid confusion with the type of football where a non-spherical ball is used (among other differences) – has come a long, long way since the first international match was played in the Scottish city of Glasgow in 1872. Scotland took on England and although the result was a disappointing goalless draw,  the sport of football, often referred to as “The Beautiful Game”, was already well on the way to becoming the most popular the world has ever known.

Football’s grandest tournament, The FIFA World Cup, is the greatest sporting event on Earth, and it is held in different venues every four years and has been since 1930 when it was held and won by the host nation Uruguay. This year is a World Cup year, and the 2018 World Cup is being played out in Russia at the time of writing. Only 32 teams take part in the final tournament and with the exception of the host nation, they have all had to qualify from a starting pool of 211 nations – that’s why it’s held every four years! Things are just getting interesting, and we have a few Popplet ideas based on this competition that can be used by sports fans everywhere, whatever their passion.

Tournament Planner
The first stage of The World cup consists of eight groups, each with four teams with the top two teams in each group qualifying for the knockout stage, where it then becomes winner takes all. Here’s the state of play:

Depending on when you read this post, the table may be complete or not. The idea is the same: use Popplet to build a plan of the matches. This particular planner is changing every day at the moment, sometimes four times a day. Having a plan like this which needs constant updating, keeps sports fans involved and informed. There are flags, so supporters can see at a glance how they’re country are fairing. And when it’s done, the whole popplet is an excellent visual record of which team finally prevailed, and who they had to beat.

The Dream Team
No sports tournament, competition or league would be complete without its Dream Team: in this case, a prediction of the best eleven players. The World Cup is no different and pundits and soccer enthusiasts have been posting their visions of the world’s perfect football team for months now, and still are. Drawing from all of the great (and some of the not so great – loyalty to club and country tend to obscure objectivity!) pool of talent on display in Russia. Check out the Popplet dream team:

Player Profile
Every sport, or sports fan has a well-respected team or venerable player. In the Footballing world, the most famous and successful team are thought to be Brazil, who have won the World Cup an unequaled five times: Soccer’s governing body FIFA was so impressed that they awarded Brazil the original trophy for keeps in 1970 because they had won it three times. Brazil have had and still have many of the world’s greatest players. But none of them has ever captured the adoration of the world of soccer like Pelé has:

Brazil are still the world’s most successful nation when it comes to football eventhough they haven’t managed to get their hands on the World Cup since 2002. This fact however doesn’t stop them from beginning nearly every tournament as firm favorites, this year being no exception. The Beautiful Game is nothing if not romantic. Check out all the winners in this Football World Cup timeline:

If you are a football fan, we hope that you enjoy these ideas and maybe you’ll think about using them for the teams and players you support. If football isn’t you thing, then all of the above ideas can easily be adapted to any other team sport or sportsperson, even American Football!

Popplet is available as an iOS app with reductions for educational establishments. There is also a web version, and you can sign up for a free account on the Popplet Home Page – we’ll even give you ten free popplet boards to get you started. Group subscriptions are available at reduced rates.

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