There is an international football competition contested by the senior men’s national teams of the members of the most important international football association.
The championship started in 1930 and is played every four years. Brazil have won five times, and they are the only team to have played in every tournament. Spain won this competition in 2010. The current champion is Germany, which won its fourth title four years ago in Brazil.
The 2018 (21st) edition of this tournament is currently being played in Russia and is going to be the most expensive ever. Iceland and Panama have qualified for the first time.
There was a qualification phase, which took place over the preceding three years, to determine the 32 teams that would qualify for the tournament phase (actually 31, plus the host team). 64 matches will be played in 12 venues located in 11 cities (only one stadium is outside European Russia in order to keep travel time manageable). The final will take place on 15 July at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
It is the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding even the Olympic Games.
Remember that Americans use the word ‘soccer’ (probably derived from ‘association football’) to distinguish the sport from American football.
You will find a few short jokes about football below. I hope at least one of them makes you smile. I know it’s lame, but I’ve included some sort of explanation for those of you who are beginning to study the language or are struggling with some puns.
Why can’t Cinderella play football?
Because she always runs away from the ball.
(a ball is also a dance)
How do you stop squirrels playing football in the garden?
Hide the ball, it drives them nuts.
(drive someone nuts means to drive them crazy)
Why didn’t the dog want to play football?
He was a boxer.
(a boxer is a sportsperson as well as a dog breed)
Why did the football player bring string to the game?
So he could tie the score.
(a tie happens when both teams score the same number of goals)
Why should you not play football in the savannah?
There are too many cheetahs.
(the pronunciation of ‘cheetahs’ is similar to that of ‘cheaters’)
Happy English learning!!