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Weekend Recs: 2022 FIFA World Cup

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

With games having started Nov. 20, Qatar is currently hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, where 32 of the best national soccer (or football) teams compete tournament-style for the title of champion and global recognition. (Typically, the tournament is held during the summer, but due to the extremely high temperatures it would reach in Qatar, the decision was made to hold it now, when the weather is more favorable to play). Today, with only 8 teams remaining (Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, England, France, Morocco, Netherlands, and Portugal), the Quarter-finals begin.

Unlike the U.S. Women’s Team, which currently holds the world record for national team with the most FIFA Women’s World Cup wins (with a whopping 4 wins, including the 2 most recent), the U.S. Men’s Team has never taken home the title. Last Saturday, the U.S. Men’s Team got knocked out by the Netherlands in the Round of 16, so if you were (somewhat naively) dreaming of rooting for the U.S., you’ll have to choose another team.

Still, even with the U.S. team not progressing to the Quarter-finals, watching the World Cup is truly a fun and worthwhile experience (though, as a former soccer kid, I might be a bit biased), especially if you have passionate company. This weekend’s recs will give you some of the background and highlights of the tournament so far and what to expect in the coming weeks, leading up to the ultimate game on Dec. 18.

If you have 3 minutes and 22 seconds…and need the perfect game-day song, listen to “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” by Shakira. This song is not only an absolute bop, it was also the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

If you have 5 minutes…and want to find out which teams will be going head-to-head, check out the current bracket, courtesy of the New York Times. Today’s games will be Croatia v. Brazil at 10:00 a.m. and Netherlands v. Argentina at 2 p.m.

Bonus: if you’re not sure how to pronounce the name of the host country, Qatar, check out this article. (Spoiler: you’re definitely not the only one, as it is somewhat difficult for English-speakers with no experience speaking Semitic languages).

If you have 10 minutes…and want live updates, check out the 2022 FIFA page on the New York Times.

If you have 15 minutes…and are looking for a rundown on all the teams that made it to the tournament and which “groups” they were/are in, read this article from the New York Times.

If you have another 15 minutes…and don’t know about the human rights abuse controversy Qatar found itself in, read this NPR article. In preparing to host the World Cup, namely building stadiums and other important infrastructure, Qatar has exploited migrant workers and, although the numbers are disputed, directly lead to the deaths of (at least) 3 people.

If you have 38 minutes…and want to see all the goals scored during the Group Stage, watch this highlight reel from Fox Soccer. Many of the comments and sports commentators, cite Richarlison’s (Brazil) goal at 28:00 as being the most impressive, but I personally also liked Cho Gue-sung’s (South Korea) header at 34:50.

Bonus: if you want to see an interactive model of 3 of the most impressive goals, including Richarlison’s, as they happened, check out this New York Times article.

If you have 1 hour and 30 minutes…and want to see the action for yourself, tune into a game. For those who have cable, all World Cup matches will be broadcast on Fox Sports in English and Telemundo in Spanish. For those without cable, check out this article to find out how you can stream games.

If you have 8 hours…and want to learn about the U.S.’s history with soccer (and why it’s not as big as American football or basketball), read Gregory G. Reck and Bruce Allen Dick’s American Soccer: History, Culture, Class.


Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Library.



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Last Modified: December 9, 2022

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