Britannica Publishes Fan’s Guide to the World Cup; History, Backstory, Key Players, Venues Covered

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As the world’s most popular sporting event gets under way Friday in South Africa, fans new and old of the “beautiful game” can learn what they need to appreciate the World Cup matches from an extensive new online feature about it by Encyclopaedia Britannica.

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Our aim is to help all fans, new and old, learn what they need to enjoy the World Cup games.

As the world’s most popular sporting event gets under way Friday in South Africa, fans new and old of the “beautiful game” can learn what they need to appreciate the World Cup matches from an extensive new online feature about it by Encyclopaedia Britannica.

World Cup 2010: Football in the Rainbow Nation” provides a wide range of insights into the sport, the national teams competing in this year’s event, and some of the players who will be gunning to win the Golden Ball as the tournament’s MVP.

The article includes flags and capsules on all 32 teams, including their world rankings, how they qualified, and how many times they’ve competed in the World Cup since it began in 1930. It provides the Group Stage schedule, gives details on the stadiums and cities in South Africa where the games will take place and briefly profiles “players to watch,” such as Lionel Messi of Argentina, Wayne Rooney of England, Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal, Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon and Landon Donovan of the United States.

Sections of the article recount the history of football and the World Cup, present coverage of the last tournament, in 2006, and highlight stars from the past.
The feature also includes a special section on host country South Africa, which becomes the first African nation to host the quadrennial world football championship. It provides a brief snapshot of the country, background on its vibrant cultural life, and a timeline of South Africa from apartheid to the Rainbow Nation.

The article draws on material from the following Britannica contributors: Richard C. Giulianotti, senior lecturer in sociology, University of Aberdeen, and author of “Football: a Sociology of the Game”; Bernard Joy, former football correspondent, Evening Standard, London, and author of “Soccer Tactics”; and Jack Rollin, editor, Sky Sports Football Yearbook and Playfair Football Annual. Rollin is also author of “Soccer at War 1939–45” and coauthor of “The Forgotten FA Cup: The Competition of 1945–46.”

“The World Cup will be watched by upwards of a billion or more people around the world, from diehard football enthusiasts to the most casual fans, and our aim is to help all of them learn what they need to enjoy the games,” said Britannica executive editor Michael Levy. “New fans will get up to speed quickly on the sport, and serious ones will learn things they didn’t know.”

About Encyclopaedia Britannica
Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. is a leader in education publishing whose products can be found in many media, from the Internet to wireless devices to books. A pioneer in electronic publishing since the early 1980s, the company markets a variety of encyclopedias and other reference works, curriculum products for schools, language-study courses and other learning products, many of which are available online at http://store.britannica.com. Britannica is also active on Twitter and Facebook. The company makes its headquarters in Chicago.

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