Bringing us together
BY wangxingwei from 21st Century
Published 2018-06-22

After four long years of waiting, one of the best events in sports has finally returned.

The 2018 World Cup kicked off in Russia on June 14.

Unlike the Olympics, the World Cup is a single-sport event, yet it still manages to attract millions of television viewers from around the world.

“Soccer is a universal language that we speak with different accents,” Brazilian soccer journalist Tim Vickery told Sportsnet. “The biggest act that most people engage in is cheering for their team during the World Cup.”

Just like Spring Festival or Christmas, the World Cup is about the spirit of the season.

Some die-hard soccer fans even travel to the host country to watch as many games as they can, despite jet lag. “I kind of pick the game of the day,” US soccer coach Nick Rogers, who’s currently in Russia for the World Cup, told The Press Democrat. “I like to watch the game with other coaches, soccer players and soccer families.”

Not being there to see the matches in person doesn’t stop fans from keeping up with the action, however. In fact, a recent survey done by online recruitment firm GulfTalent found that the World Cup affects work productivity. “Even if we’re at work, we can remain updated on what is going on by quickly checking the live score boards and commentary, or live streaming it on our smartphones and computers,” Rehan Tayyab, from the United Arab Emirates, told the Khaleej Times.

But for the players on the pitch, the World Cup isn’t just about excitement. It can be a launch pad for a great career too.

For younger players, the World Cup is a chance to get noticed. Put in an outstanding performance against a strong team or score a few good goals, and the greatest clubs in the world may be knocking at your front door.

And for veterans, the event is a great stage upon which to seek redemption for disappointments in the past. For Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, a World Cup title would be the icing on his impressive cake, as he already holds national records for international appearances and goals.

For Ronaldo’s archrival, Argentina’s Lionel Messi, it’s a bit more complicated. No matter how many goals he scores, without a World Cup win he’ll always be a distant second to Diego Maradona in the hearts of fans at home.

But whichever player performs the best this year, the true spirit of the World Cup has always been how it brings people together.

(Translator & Editor: Wang Xingwei AND Luo Sitian)
Jet lag  时差反应
Recruitment  招聘
Live streaming  在线观看
Productivity  生产力
Pitch  足球场
Launch pad  发射台
Veterans  老将
Redemption  补救
Archrival  劲敌