Even if you are not a soccer fan you are probably aware that there is something big coming up. The FIFA World Cup is just weeks away and the best players on the planet will all be in Qatar (except Erling Haaland – we’ll explain in a moment) to compete for the most prestigious prize in the sport.
It used to be that you could happily ignore the competition in the US. But these days soccer is huge and every bar will be showing the games and there will be plenty of betting ads offering the latest odds. For that last thing, check www.onlinesportsbetting.net to discover the best betting sites. For everything else World Cup-related, read our guide to making the most of the tournament.
Do Your Homework
You may have a good grounding in soccer. Or you may be a complete novice. Whatever your level of knowledge, it is always a good idea to do a little homework. Find out who the favorites are, which players to look out for, or the basic laws of the game if you are a newcomer.
To give you a little help, Brazil, France and Argentina are some of the big teams expected to do well. To explain our point before, Erling Haaland is one of the best players in the world but he is Norwegian – and that didn’t country didn’t qualify – so he will be watching along with everybody else. Getting a little insight will obviously help you enjoy the tournament a little better.
Create an Environment
We have plenty of articles about how you can create fashionable rooms in your home. Creating an environment for peak World Cup watching is just as important – although it may not have to be quite as on-trend. A big screen is crucial, especially if you are planning to hold watching parties for the big games.
The screen should be the focal point of the room. Forget about making all corners of the room interesting, everyone will have their eyes fixed on the TV. If you are going to invite people around you should think about where they are going to sit and that you have enough chairs and seats. Also, ensure that your tables are not elaborately designed. Simplicity is the key when you are stacking drinks and chips.
Invest in Merchandise
How do you show everyone that you are a soccer – and World Cup – fan? By decking yourself and your home out in official merchandise, of course. If you are supporting a particular team you could purchase the jerseys, or scarves, hats or other clothing.
But you can also buy all kinds of World Cup-related merch, officially sanctioned by FIFA. This can be sticker books and cards, all the way to flags and banners. Make your own if you don’t want to spend too much on creating the environment we were just talking about. By the way, we do mean, “invest”. Some of this merchandise could be worth a lot of money in years to come.
Get the Apps
Now that you have your house decked out for World Cup watching parties, and you look the part yourself, you need to keep up with all the latest news. Obviously the media will be following the tournament closely, so you can read all about the big developments as the month goes on. But you can also download some important mobile apps as well.
FIFA will have their own official World Cup app that will have all the information on each game and the latest news. But there will also be plenty of general soccer apps, as well as apps for each nation’s team. If you live in a state that allows online gambling you may also be able to download some sports betting apps as well.
Schedule Your Time
If you are unfamiliar with how a World Cup is scheduled you may be surprised to learn just how much soccer there is to watch over the month of the competition. In the opening group phase there will be up to four games a day. So you need to make sure you schedule your watching just as carefully.
The other thing to mention is that Qatar is seven hours ahead of ET. Games at the start of the tournament will be played at 6am, 9am, midday and 3pm. Depending on your work schedule, that could mean a major upheaval in your daily life. Obviously, if you are anywhere further west you need to cater for even greater time zone differences.
Find Other Fans
Looking at the kick off times for some of those games, there could be some solo watching parties – especially if your friends are not as into watching some of the ‘smaller’ nations at the World Cup. But there is nothing like sharing the experience – so do look into all possibilities.
We have already suggested how you might want to transform your den into a World Cup fan zone. But you can also experience the event outside your home too. There may even be big screens showing games where you live. But if you aren’t lucky enough to have that choice, you should check out your local sports bars when the games are on. This kind of huge sporting event can pack out bars and really heighten the experience.
Remember to Rest!
You should now be just about prepared for the World Cup. Whether you are watching games at home, or at a bar, checking the latest app, or dressed head to toe in official merchandise – you are ready.
But you should remember what we said about the sheer number of games per day at the start – and for the entire month. There will be 64 games during a 29-day period. You will not be able to watch them all, so make sure you schedule your time well. There are some very early starts as well. So if you absolutely have to wake up to watch a game like Switzerland vs. Cameroon at 6am on a Saturday morning, make sure that you are well rested. Or at the very least, have a quick sleep at halftime.