In most of the world, when you say "football or futbol" they know that you are referring to the sport of soccer. In America, when you say "football," people think of that game played with helmets and shoulder pads on fields with a 50 yard line and goalposts. Every sports fan in America recognizes the names Joe Namath, Johnny Unitis, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Significantly fewer know (or care) who Pele or Diego Maradona or Neymar or Christiano Ronaldo are.
Regardless, the World Cup is an international sensation. Soccer fans are some of the most obsessed sports fans there are. Correct that...THE most obsessed sports fans. They LOVE their sport.
There is truly no way to compare American football to association football (soccer.) They are completely different games. There are many who describe watching a soccer match to watching paint dry. They don't get what all the fuss is about. Many of the World Cup matches will end 0-0 (that's nil-nil in soccer-speak.) How can you play a 90 minute match and it end in a tie (that's a draw in soccer-speak) they ask. Are you kidding me? Run around for 90 minutes and nobody scores? You find this interesting or exciting?
Another criticism of soccer is all the feigning of injury (called diving in soccer-speak...called "simulation" by FIFA.) I would imagine that rugby players, in particular, get greatly annoyed when watching soccer. Oh look, he was tripped and is writhing around in pain as if he was hit by a truck (rugby players actually do hit you like a truck.) Quite frankly, everyone who watches soccer finds all the diving annoying. Don't blame the sport...blame the players.
Look, soccer isn't American football and it certainly isn't rugby. They are completely different sports. It is not fair to compare them. And enough of the complaints about low or no scoring games. Ever watch a baseball game (America's pastime) that is 0-0 after 9 innings? Don't whine to me about games that can be slow or boring. Soccer isn't the only sport where that can happen.
Here's the thing about soccer. It truly is the world's game. I mean, there is even a team from Algeria...and Ecuador. Not so with football, or baseball, or basketball. Just soccer. And that's why many Americans don't like it. Americans don't dominate soccer like we do the other sports I mentioned. It's not American born and bred.
I watch (and enjoy) soccer once every four years...just like the Olympics. How often do you watch bobsled racing or pole vaulting, or curling, or giant slalom? But you did watch it during the summer or winter games didn't you? As did the whole world. Like I said, the World Cup is a big deal. For a brief moment, the world changes its focus from all the junk going on to watch a team from Iran play a game against a team from Bosnia and Herzegovina (that's one country, not two.) By the way, Bosnia and Herzegovina won 3-1.
Let's be clear though. Come September, this guy will be watching college and professional football every weekend. Maybe I will get lucky and score some tickets to watch my Georgia Bulldogs (that's Dawgs in Georgia-speak) at beautiful Sanford Stadium. But I am perfectly comfortable loving that great sport played every autumn as well as my enjoyment of watching the World Cup. Go Dawgs! Ole Ole Ole!