Ten reasons the World Cup is the best international sports championship

Ten reasons the World Cup is the best international sports championship
Copyright REUTERS
By Cristina Abellan Matamoros
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From unexpected friendships to making dreams come true, this is why the World Cup is the best international sports championship there is.


As the World Cup advances to the quarter-finals, the tournament has already brought us unforgettable moments. From Cristiano Ronaldo's impressive penalty against Spain to Germany's elimination in the group stages, this World Cup has reminded everyone why the world championship is unlike anything else.

Here Euronews revisits ten reasons that make the World Cup so great.

1. World Cup brings people together

Like these Bolshoi ballerinas huddled together watching the Russia-Spain penalty shootout from an iPhone screen in full costume.

The dancer who posted the video, Bruna Gaglianone Cantanhede, said the penalty shootout took place during the Bolshoi's production of Raymonda, so the dancers were only able to catch a glimpse of the action before going on-stage.

2. Players from opposite teams consoling each other after matches

Competition at the World Cup can be so stressful that some players lose it after the games. Luckily, the World Cup is also about being a good sport — and some players have proven this by taking the time to console players from opposite teams after a loss.

After a heart-wrenching match, Belgium's Romelu Lukaku consoled Japan's Shinji Kagawa over their elimination.

REUTERS/Toru Hanai
Belgium's Romelu Lukaku embraces Japan's Shinji Kagawa after the matchREUTERS/Toru Hanai

Even coaches from the opposite team are seen consoling players from the rival team after a tough game.

After England's win over Colombia, the Red Lions' head coach Gareth Southgate joined Colombia's head coach Jose Pekerman in consoling Mateus Uribe.


But players are not the only ones consoling each other after a match. Off the pitch, fans from opposite teams also comfort each other.

A crowd of Colombians did exactly that after seeing a devastated young Polish fan cry when his team lost to the South American country.

3. Players thanking their fans for their support

It is always endearing seeing players thanking their fans for their support after a tough match. Japan's team showed how strong the player-fan union can be when they gave an ovation to their supporters at the stadium after their unforgettable match against Belgium.


Japan's dignified response to their loss to Belgium stole hearts across the world.

4. Players sharing a moment of reflection despite their differences

Players sometimes share more than a love for football. Some of them are sometimes caught sharing a moment of reflection or prayer before or after a game.

After battling for a place in the Round of 16, Panama's Fidel Escobar was joined by Belgium's Romelu Lukaku in a moment of reflection after the game.


5. Coming together to celebrate a victory despite different nationalities

Nothing says World Cup more than different nationalities celebrating a victory together.

Mexican fans celebrated South Korea's win against Germany as it saved Mexico from elimination despite their loss to Sweden that same day.

Videos of Mexicans raising Koreans into the air circulated on social media that day.

Journalist James Wagner filmed the Korean consul being carried by Mexican fans outside the South Korea embassy in Mexico.


6. Making exceptions so everyone can watch the game

The World Cup may have brought a huge win to Iranian women who were allowed to watch the game alongside men in a stadium — for the first time since 1980. The official Twitter account of the Iranian team tweeted a picture of the mixed gender crowd cheering them on from back home.

7. Unexpected friendships

The World Cup may be a football tournament but one of the best things about it are the unexpected friendships that flourish from it.

Fans from different nationalities have been caught on camera trading jerseys, embracing each other after a game and even singing together.


French comedian John Sulo bonded with Japanese fans over the theme tune to anime classic One Piece after the Senegal-Japan game on June 24.

8. Remembering loved ones with a passion for the beautiful game

Each World Cup brings new memories but it also brings back old ones.

People coming together to cheer for their countries in 2018 reminded one Scottish woman how much her late husband loved the football championship.

Helen Bunker shared a photo on Twitter of her husband at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. “4 yrs ago my husband was dying of cancer so he flew to the World Cup in Brazil,” she tweeted. Bunker points out the joy that can be seen on her husband’s face in the photo. “Just look at the smile on his face, the joy & happiness & excitement. I love the World Cup,” she tweeted.


9. People helping disabled fans enjoy the game

A disability can impair some from watching the game. But as communities come together to watch the match, help is offered to those who may need it.

In Brazil, an interpreter helped deaf-blind football fans follow the country's matches thanks to a miniature pitch to act out the game.

Meanwhile, in Russia, football fans from different countries raised an Egyptian man in a wheelchair so he could cheer for his team during the opening day of the World Cup.

10. Making dreams come true


The World Cup can also make dreams come true in the most unlikely ways.

Thanks to a picture gone viral, a Brazilian boy from a favela will be able to meet his hero Philippe Coutinho at the end of the championship.

The boy who was pictured with a home-made jersey with Coutinho’s name and number 11, caught the player's attention who reached out to him and sent him an official football jersey among other things.

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