Events

Soccerball

By Daniel Colasimone - 07 Jul 2013

Australia's national soccer team has qualified for the World Cup, to be held in Brazil in June 2014. Yay!

The first thing you should be asking yourself, as with every national or world event, is 'how will this affect me?'.

Well, you can expect the sport to be mentioned with ever more frequency on the telly and in the newspapers for starters. Even regular folk will be gossiping about it around the 'water cooler'—whatever that is.

That means it is time to take a crash course in a sport that is so divisive that people in this country can't even decide what to call it. One school of thought maintains that it is called 'soccer', while another type of person will get very angry if you use that slave name, and insist that it is called 'football'.

Here at TUL Towers, we only ever refer to the game by its politically correct moniker of 'soccerball' when we are 'chatting' around the 'water cooler'.

Here are the five most important facts about soccerball you'll need to know as we approach the World Cup:

1. Soccerball is so hot right now

Soccerball is cool, as this man with glasses explains, while jokingly referring to it as 'football'. The sport may not yet have reached the popularity of Rugby League, Union, or AFL, but it does have an ever-growing fan base in this country.

Having thus far managed to steer clear of the kind of off-field dramas that regularly cripple other codes, the sport is a fresh-faced, wholesome alternative to the usual binge-drinking-fuelled, scandal-driven narratives that seem to dominate other back pages.

Apparently it's quite popular in many overseas countries as well.

You have a year to jump on the bandwagon before the Big Show commences in Rio. The key is to get in early, you can then accuse those who join you later of being bandwagon hoppers.

2. Lucas Neill is an arrogant dreamboat

Certain readers may want to keep an eye out for veteran Soccerballeroos (that's the name of our national team, try to keep up) captain Lucas Neill, who presents himself in interviews as Aussie-pride incarnate, even though it is clear his love for himself outshines all other emotions in his being. 

At his peak, Neill was a mediocre defender, and although he no longer plays at that standard, he continues to get selected to lead Australia thanks to his perfectly tussled wavy hair, sculpted torso, steely grey eyes, and simply amaze jawline.

Like a modern day, manscaped Samson, Lucas gets his powers of awesomeness from a kinky little soul patch in the middle of his magnificent chin.

3. The A-League is super

In 2005, sporting administrators decided it would be a fascinating experiment to combine all the best elements of the Justice League and the A-Team into an annual soccerball tournament, and the A-League concept was born.

Featuring a host of fascinating characters, like Brisbane Roar's very own B.A. Baracus, Besart Berisha, and Sydney F.C.'s Italian love god, Alessandro Del Piero, the A-League is actually rip-roaringly good entertainment.

We're lucky enough in Brisbane to host one of the most aesthetically pleasing and talented sides in the Roar, who took out the title in 2011 and 2012.

Don't be misled by their orange tradie outfits, these guys are artistes, and worth toddling along to Suncorp Stadium to watch.

4. It's okay to take a dive in soccerball, unless you're foreign

A frequent criticism levelled at the world game by followers of other football codes is that its protagonists are far too fond of the ol' throw-yourself-on-the-ground-and-roll-around-like-a-peanut trick to try and win free kicks off the referees.

Right, so maybe that does happen a lot, but it is only ever done by foreigners. Australians would never fake an injury because we are the most sporting sportspersons in the world.

And if we happen to get caught out being fakey fakers, it's not called cheating, it's called rat cunning.

5. They speak Portuguese in Brazil

Feel like cringing a little? Watch this segment on the Today show where the hosts debate whether Brazilians speak Spanish or Italian. 

Hint: They speak Portuguese.

Sure, not everyone can be expected to know what language foreigners speak, but surely someone at Channel Nine could have taken three seconds to fact check on Wikipedia before allowing seven people to flaunt their ignorance on live television? 

'They'll be talkin' Aussie soon!' Indeed.

Image credit: Lucas Neill

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