When a player steps onto the field in the first game of the World Cup, he knows he’s on the biggest stage in world soccer. The frenzied crowd, thousands of flashing cameras, the intensity and unparalleled level of competition: there really is nothing like the World Cup Finals. What’s not as apparent, however, is just how long the path is to get the point where you’re going face-to-face with the world’s best. Always talked about, but never really examined in depth, the road to the World Cup is an incredible four-year cycle that begins just months after the previous tournament concludes.
Member since: May 2010