By Mahadye Paniahie
While the United States failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup, many students at County College of Morris plan to embrace other cultures and watch the soccer matches rooting for the countries of their backgrounds.
This summer, men’s soccer teams from all over the globe prepare to meet in Russia for the 2018 Fifa World Cup, looking to battle it out in the tournament and seize the mantle from the returning 2014 World Cup champion Germany.
“I cannot wait till the World Cup starts and watch my beautiful people of Colombia gather together and wish for the same goal which is to win the World cup,” said Erika Pineda, an exercise science major at CCM. “I hope we do good like last World Cup, except win it this time.”
Pineda and her family are from Colombia, and their national team lost in the quarter-finals last World Cup to Brazil.
For others, the excitement exists more because their nation qualified and will participate this World Cup after failing to do so last tournament. For example, Peru has not qualified for the World Cup since 1982.
“I am so happy that Peru did qualify this time so my family and I can actually have that joy and happiness watching,” said Marcello Rivera, a design major at CCM.
Marcello said he is hoping Peru could make an impact in this upcoming tournament and is excited to watch them play.
“Peru is an underdog team, and watching them play might shock some people this year in the World Cup, but it won’t shock me if they go far because I know they are capable of doing so,” Marcello said.
As much as excitement there is for this upcoming World Cup, there may be as much revenge from the previous World Cup.
Matthaus Rivera was born in Argentina and said he has been a fan of Argentinian soccer since he was a kid.
“Last year, my people of Argentina were thrilled to reach the World Cup finals, but were so heartbroken when we lost,” said Matthaus, a criminal justice major at CCM. “I feel so frustrated knowing how close we were to winning it last time, so I won’t be satisfied with anything less than first place this World Cup.”