As everybody in the world knows (excepting those in the United States), the World Cup begins today. Exciting times indeed. As I’m writing this, host nation South Africa has tied Mexico in the opening match. I didn’t know this, but I just read that no host nation has ever lost their opening match. Interesting.
Tomorrow the United States open their World Cup against England. My guess is that England is heavily favored, but the United States still has a chance to win or tie. Though not a world power, the United States still has a good amount of world class talent, so a victory by “us” would not be a miracle on grass. I hope it is at least a close match.
I bring this all up because there was an interesting program last night on NPR about a soccer documentary titled Pelada Check out the trailer:
Here’s a description of the movie from its site:
Two players. 25 countries. One game.
Away from professional stadiums, bright lights, and manicured fields, there’s another side of soccer. Tucked away on alleys, side streets, and concrete courts, people play in improvised games. Every country has a different word for it. In the United States, we call it “pick-up soccer.” In Trinidad, it’s “taking a sweat.” In England, it’s “having a kick-about.” In Brazil, the word is “pelada,” which literally means “naked”—the game stripped down to its core. It’s the version of the game played by anyone, anywhere—and it’s a window into lives all around the world.
Pelada is a documentary following Luke and Gwendolyn, two former college soccer stars who didn’t quite make it to the pros. Not ready for it to be over, they take off, chasing the game. From prisoners in Bolivia to moonshine brewers in Kenya, from freestylers in China to women who play in hijab in Iran, Pelada is the story of the people who play.
When I was in college I had this dream, to just travel the country looking for games to play. A nomadic lifestyle of soccer playing. No set itinerary, no schedule, just a pair of soccer boots and a car. This didn’t happen, of course, but it is a romantic idea.
I would have to have an Internet connection anywhere I went, of course.