Cricket is the most popular sport in India but do you know what is the most popular sport in the world? It is soccer. Also known as football, the sport is followed by millions of people around the world. Especially in the months of June and July this year, football lovers will be glued to their screens because it is the time for the FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) World Cup.
The World Cup is an international football tournament that is played every four years among many competing countries. This year, the World Cup is being hosted by Russia from June 14th to July 15th. Thirty-two national teams will compete against each other in 12 venues across Europe and Asia. The World Cup will be viewed on television by nearly three billion people in the world!
Though India has never participated in the World Cup, it has seen success in other tournaments such as winning the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship six times. The captain of the Indian national football team is Sunil Chhetri. He is the all-time top goalscorer for the Indian national team. With a tally of 64 goals for the country, Chhetri is tied with Lionel Messi of Argentina as the joint-second highest international goalscorer among active players. Chhetri is also the first Indian footballer to score three hat-tricks (three goals) in international football. He also became the first Indian footballer to appear in 100 international football matches. With his leadership, Indian football is definitely moving forward in the right direction!
Brazil is the only team that has played in every World Cup. It is also the most successful team winning the Cup five times.