FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The World Cup isn’t just for hard-core soccer fans. Everyone can enjoy the international matches, as seen by the number of people who crowded into Anna Liffey’s on the Post Road in Fairfield on Thursday afternoon.
Over the next month, soccer fans around the world will be watching with anticipation to see who takes home the World Cup in the tournament that comes around every four years.
This year, the tournament is hosted by Brazil. Though it has been wrought with controversy - unfinished stadiums and riots in the streets among the problems - Brazilians are sure they’re going to come out on top.
During the opening Brazil vs. Croatia match on Thursday, Black Rock resident Jon Coffin said he was rooting for Croatia. “I feel like Brazil has the advantage,” he said, even though a Brazilian player made the first goal for Croatia.
Coffin said he isn’t a big soccer fan, but he enjoys watching the World Cup. His wife, Ilana Ofgang, agreed, even as she learned more about the game.
“Everyone gets really into it,” Ofgang said. “The world really cares.”
For recent Fairfield University graduates, watching the game Thursday was about the end result.
“I’d love to see England go far,” said London native Jon Clemenets. “There are so many good teams. But it’s the World Cup, so you never really know.”
Joe Kelly, a native of Wellesley, Mass., said he’d like to see Germany win but was enjoying the first game, which Brazil ended up winning, 3-1.
Also rooting for England was Daniel Shaw of Liverpool. “I’d like to see an underdog come through. Maybe England?” But he acknowledged there were some very strong teams playing for Brazil, Germany and Spain.
To Frank Carnovale, a native of Clark, N.J., it’s not clear who will win the World Cup this year, though he’d like to see Italy take home the prize.
“It’s interesting to see how much the teams have changed over the last four years,” Carnovale said.
The United States plays its first game against Ghana on Monday, June 16, at 6 p.m. EDT.