Sports

Which World Cup team are you cheering for and why?

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Credit: FIFA 1978

Victorious Argentina scores in exta time against the Netherlands to win the final in the Mundial 1978.

Most World Cup soccer fans, I daresay, have already chosen their favorite teams. They’ve grown up watching their home teams compete, or they're loyal to the country where they were born, or they’ve picked the team with the world’s most spectacular players.

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Or maybe they just like to gamble on long odds, or perhaps they’ve travelled to a country and adopted the national soccer team.

In any case here's a Geo Quiz for you, whether you have or haven't chosen a team: Which team are you going to root for in World Cup 2014 and why?

We want to hear from you — so leave your comments below, Tweet @geoquiz, or better yet play along with our Geo Quiz text game by texting ‘geoquiz’ — one word — to 69866.

As for me, I'm going to choose the Netherlands. The players wear those bright orange jerseys, which show up nicely against the green pitch.  But mostly it's because I remember sitting in River Plate stadium with my Haverford teammates (Skip, Willy, Timur, Mat, Phil, Tim, Robert, Greg and the rest of my college team) for the final in River Plate stadium in Buenos Aires.

This was way back during the Mundial, when Argentina hosted the World Cup for the very first time. I could only see a small patch of orange (the Dutch fans) against a sea of blue and white Argentina flags and confetti that filled the stadium. The Dutch 11 came really close to winning it all. In the very last minute of normal time, with the score tied at one apiece, I recall the Netherlands striker actually bounced a shot past Argentina's keeper but it bounced gently off the goal post.

So close.

But the tide soon turned in extra time, and Argentina won it all 3-1. The Netherlands had to settle for runner up. Brazil came in third and Italy fourth. We all soon lost ourselves among the jubilant crowds celebrating in and around the streets of Buenos Aires. And that too was part of experiencing the World Cup up close.

So who knows? Maybe the Dutch, who now hold, the record for playing in the most World Cup finals without ever winning the tournament, just maybe, will find a way to get past Brazil, Germany, Argentina, Spain, England, Brazil, Italy, the US and all the other great deserving teams. I'll also have my fingers crossed for the US team to win. Wouldn't that upset the apple cart?

So who are YOU picking to win and why?

"Belgium! Because it's tiny, weird, fascinating, balkanized, rarely qualifies, and is my birthplace." Bart from Bonny Doon, CA 

"USA. Because to pull for anyone else would be akin to treason!  USA. To root for any other team would be as bad as trading 5 high level enemy commanders for one deserter!"  Paul from Hull, GA

"Bosnia Hertzogovnia - big Bosnian community in St Louis, with hometown players on team." Don from St Louis, MO

"Team Mexico due to my hispanic roots and the majority of the fanbase swings that way in my neck of the woods" .Jesus Mejia -Brownsville, TX

"Brazil. I love their style of play." Harvey from Valparaiso, IN

 

If you’re not sure who to root for, have a listen to Marco’s interview with a couple of soccer insiders: The World’s William Troop and soccer commentator Roger Bennett offer up some suggestions to help pick a team to cheer on.

And hurry up making your decision! The World Cup 2014 opening match between Brazil and Croatia is coming up fast!

1978 FIFA World Cup Highlights

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