Which World Cup Teams Have the Most Foreign-Born Players?

During qualification for the World Cup, many teams featured foreign-born players. Here are the connections between the national teams. (National Geographic) What country won the first-ever FIFA World Cup? Hint: They’re in the World Cup this year, and won their first match. Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit. Discussion Ideas Take a look at the fantastic graphic … Continue reading Which World Cup Teams Have the Most Foreign-Born Players?

Women’s World Cup Kicks Off

SPORTS Canada has kicked off (get it?) the Women’s World Cup, with 24 teams competing this year. (New York Times) Check out our map of the countries competing for the cup, and customize it as the tournament progresses. Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit, and don’t forget to quiz yourself and your students on the “week that … Continue reading Women’s World Cup Kicks Off

As the World Cup Ends, Reality Sets In

Although the World Cup may be old news to many in the U.S., replaced by the drama of sports events such as the Tour de France, the death of former Yankees baseball team owner, George Steinbrenner, and even the National League’s win of the Major League All-Star Game, transition back to “normalcy” after the World Cup will not be as smooth for the nations of South Africa, the Netherlands, or Spain–the host country and the tournament’s top finishers.
As fans and players leave South Africa, the site of the first World Cup on the continent, the country prepares for a transition back to life, pre-World Cup. In a country of 48 million, an estimated 130,000 jobs were created by the tournament, many in construction.  However, these jobs were only temporary, and as they fade away, it’s possible South Africa will plummet back to the 25% unemployment rate, that was “normal” prior to the tournament.  In South Africa, “normal” conditions also include large wealth gaps between rich and poor, and limited access to basic services for much of the population.  As the World Cup fervor dies down, many fear that the same national unity and enthusiasm mustered for the World Cup will not be sustained enough to bring long-term prosperity to the country.
But not all of the prosperity gained from the World Cup is leaving with the football fans.  The South African government invested billions of dollars in infrastructure and construction that will benefit the development of the country in the long term.  As South Africa’s finance minister, Pravin Gordhan said, “Once you build a road, it doesn’t disappear once the World Cup ends.”

Continue reading “As the World Cup Ends, Reality Sets In”

Exploring World Cup Geography with Google Insights


June2010_soccerfans.jpgCheck out this World Cup data from Google Insights for Search:

We’ve done a bit with Google Insights in the past. For those who aren’t familiar or need a refresher, Google Insights–a more sophisticated version of Google Trends–enables comparisons of search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, and time frames. Here’s a quick two minute video overview of the tool.

Most Popular World Cup Countries
According to Google, these countries have logged the most* searches for the term “World Cup” in the past 30 days (*as a percentage of total Google searches from that country):

1. Botswana
2. Bangladesh
3. Nepal
4. Zimbabwe
5. Uganda
6. South Africa
7. Kenya
8. Ghana
9. Trinidad & Tobago
10. Tanzania

It’s pretty amazing to me that fully 7 of the top 10 countries are in Africa. Talk about continental football fever! Note that the United States is not on the list. Nor is the United Kingdom, or any other European nation. I guess people with internet access from those countries are searching for a lot of terms other than the World Cup.


Continue reading “Exploring World Cup Geography with Google Insights”

The Geography of … Soccer?

No matter what language you speak, chances are you recognize a soccer ball. The sport of soccer has spread over the globe, tying together people everywhere. The global connections are especially apparent now as the World Cup rages on in Germany. Twelve German cities have become mingling grounds for fans from all corners of the globe, competing, celebrating, and sharing their cultures. Here’s a World … Continue reading The Geography of … Soccer?