Featured Writer: Ellen from The GIST
Didn’t know that the largest soccer tournament in the world is well underway? Want to know more about this weekend’s quarter-final games? We’re here to help. foodora has teamed up with The GIST to give you some info on all things World Cup! You can find more info on The GIST at the bottom of the article.
The men’s World Cup of Soccer is the largest and most prestigious tournament in sports (yes, all sports!) and takes place every four years. This year’s World Cup is taking place in eleven cities across Russia from June 14th to July 15th. As we’re a week into July, the tournament has moved on to its anxiety-inducing knockout stage. Knockout stage means that winner moves on. The teams have only got one shot, one opportunity.
The quarter-finals started on Friday, July 6th with France defeating Uruguay 2-0 (psssttt in soccer you say “nil” instead of “zero”) and Belgium defeating Brazil 2-1. On Saturday, July 6th, there are two more quarter-final games: Sweden vs. England at 10am EST and Croatia vs. Russia at 2pm EST.
FYI in the knockout rounds, if the game is tied after the 90-minutes of regular time, the game goes into overtime. The overtime is made up of two 15-minute halves for a total of a 30-minute overtime. If the game is STILL tied, it goes to best of five shoot-outs. If that doesn’t get your heart racing, we dunno what will.
Not only are these games so fun to watch, but they also give you the perfect excuse to try some of each country’s exquisite cuisines. So. Below we’ve outlined the key player from each team you gotta look out for, as well as the food that you MUST try from each country.
Sweden: It’s a little bit of a surprise that these Swedish blondies made it to the quarter-finals as they’re only ranked 24th in the world. That said, a lot of their success is thanks to midfield winger Emil Forsberg with his uncanny ability to set up beautiful goals. Our fave food from Sweden by far has to be the Swedish meatballs. And guess what? You can get these bad boys from your local IKEA. YASSS!
Photo credit goes to seriouseats.
England: Oh bloody hell, the Brits are in the quarter-finals! As much as England is totally obsessed with soccer, the last time the Brits won the World Cup was way back in 1966, so you can only imagine how excited all England fans are that they made it to the quarter-finals. England is led by their incredibly talented Harry Kane. He’s a natural goal scorer and will likely win the World Cup’s “Golden Boot” award for most goals in the tournament. Kane’s already scored six goals, with Romelo Lukaku of Belgium in second place with four. Our fave food from England is the classic Treacle Tart. It also just so happens to be Harry Potter’s favourite dessert. Brilliant.
Photo credit goes to saveur.
Croatia: Croatia is ranked 20th in the world and has yet to lose a game this entire tournament. Snaps for Croatia. Croatia’s #1 stunna is Luka Modric. Be sure to watch out for this centre midfielder’s fancy feet, perfect passes, and hard shots. Although it sounds kinda weird, Croatia’s number one food is is black risotto. Interesting.
Photo credit goes to chasingthedonkey.
Russia: Mother Russia is ranked 70th in the world and has only lost one game this tournament. It’s truly a miracle that Russia is #inthemix with the top eight teams. Far and away, the best player for Russia this tournament has been their goalkeeper, Igor Akinfeev. He needs to have the game of his life for Russia to even have a chance of beating Croatia. One Russian cuisine that we can certainly get behind is Blini. Blini are pancakes made with various ingredients and thickness. Just imagine how good that would be with some good ol’ fashioned Canadian maple syrup. Drooling just thinking about it? Same.
Photo credit goes to splendidtable.
Hungry after all of those photos? foodora got you here!
The GIST is a digital sports news startup that makes it quick, easy and fun to stay up-to-date on what’s going on in the sports world, mainly through their informative and entertaining weekly newsletter. You can sign-up for their free newsletter here. While you’re at it, be sure to check out their Instagram and website complete with sport-specific guides and glossaries. Want to learn more? The GIST has got your back. Be sure to check out their GIST Guide to the World Cup here.