Unless you have been under a rock, you have heard plenty of coverage of the World Cup 2018 in Russia. The first round is almost done, and there have been many surprises. Eight of the thirty-two teams at this year’s event are from Spanish speaking countries. Here is a list of who is playing and what surprises have come about!

Photo taken by Коля Саныч found on Flickr.com with license CC BY-ND 2.0

Argentina

Argentina’s team has been playing in team D together with Croatia, Nigeria, and Iceland. Argentina is one of the favorites and hopefuls at this world cup, mostly because the great Lionel Messi is there! It has not been easy for the blue and white team during the first round. They tied with Iceland 1-1, lost to Croatia 0-3, and barely beat Nigeria in the last minute with a goal putting them ahead 2-1. If you want to follow what the fans are saying about the game, look for #SomosArgentina and prepare for some Messi-love.

The following video gives you a summary of what the game was like.

Colombia

Colombia is once again joining the World Cup. Four years ago, it made it to the cup but hasn’t made it past the first stage. Los cafeteros have been holding their ground during the games barely losing to Japan 1-2 and beating Poland 3-0. Today they will play Senegal. In the following video, a TV journalist interviewed El Pibe or Carlso Valderrama, a former soccer player for Colombia. He is considered to be one of the best players Colombia had and is a known face.

Costa Rica

The beautiful island of Costa Rica is also in Russia playing for the world cup. Unfortunately for the team, it has lost the first two games already, 0-1 to Serbia and 0-2 to Brazil. During the fifth round of the qualification round, Costa Rica was second place under Mexico. Costa Rica first debuted on the World Cup in 1990 and was seen as the Cinderella story of its group when it surprised Scotland with a win 1-0, Sweden with 2-1 and giving Brazil a really hard time before losing 1-0.

Mexico

Mexico is a regular team at the World Cup and this year is no exception. When the groups were created, Mexico seemed to have gotten the bad hand with Germany, Sweden, and South Korea. The first game was with the Campeon Mundial, and all of us fans were happily surprised at Mexico’s performance and determination to beat Germany. After yesterday’s games, Mexico’s suerte helped it passed to the next round!

Around Mexico, there has been talk of Chicharito’s interview where he said imaginemonos cosas chingonas which loosely translates to let’s imagine freaking awesome things. The word chingonas in Spanish (in Mexico) means awesome, cool, amazing. You can see the interview in the video below.

Panama

Panama made its first appearance at the World Cup this year. It had a difficult group with Belgium, England, and Tunisia. It lost to Belgium 0-3 and to England 1-6, and the last game against Tunisia will be today. Panama’s coach, Hernán Darío Gómez, is nicknamed El Bolillo which in Panama means the baton or the truncheon. In different Spanish, this same word could mean something else. In Mexico, for example, bolillo means a bread (like a French bread) or can also be used in slang to mean someone who is Caucasian.

Peru

Peru made its 4th appearance in this year’s world cup together with Denmark, France, and Australia. Unfortunately for La Blanquirroja, they were only able to beat Australia meaning they did not make it to the next round.

Spain

Despite being the champions in 2010, La Roja has had a pretty hard time the last two world cups. They tied to Portugal, beat Iran 1-0 and tied Morocco. They will be in the next round playing Russia, this year’s host.

Uruguay

Uruguay has been in the world cup for some years now and has two wins under its belt (1930 and 1950). The team is led by El Maestro or the teacher Oscar Washington Tabarez and is known for his fatherly approach with the players. In 2011, Uruguay won the Copa America under El Maestro’s leadership and the country is ready for another win. For the second round, Uruguay will face Portugal, who is ranked 4th in FIFA. The video below is from before the groups were made for the world cup. What do you think the word charrúa means?

Which Spanish speaking team are you supporting?

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About the Author:Karoly G Molina

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover!

I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!



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