The 2014 soccer World Cup in Brazil will be more than just a sporting competition. It will be one of the biggest events anywhere, ever – a month long geopolitical showcase which virtually the entire globe will passionately follow. This sharp, fun, and irreverent guide lays out the tournament for both the casual and impassioned fan: the teams, the players, and the cultural styles that make each country’s soccer tradition unique. Learn why Holland always underachieves, why Brazil doesn’t, and what’s really stopping the USA from winning the World Cup. Discover, too, how Brazil’s recent protests relate to the World Cup and how this will be, in all likelihood, one of the last ever World Cups to matter. Whether you’re a frenzied fan or a soccer-skeptic, this is more than an introduction to the 2014 World Cup; it is a collection of soccer essays you’ll want to read and reread for years to come.