A neighbour of mine asked me this question … but why? Why do you spend so much time watching sweaty men run after a ball? He cannot understand it and never will. 

Having said that, it attracts billions of viewers from all over the world and is never tedious. The excitement, the anger, the hate, the rumours, the rivalries, the victories. 

I expect you already know what I am talking about: yes – football. 

It is a world sport and no other sport attracts such passion from countries all around the world. Yes, although my neighbour is not enthusiastic, he still gets quite excited when a good game that incites rivalries is on (he has certainly not held back from teasing and riling me because the team I support, Germany, was eliminated!). No other sporting event taps into so many emotions in spectators. 

We’re at the semi-finals stage and we are slowly nearing the end of this league. There were a number of surprises and established teams such as Germany, Spain, Portugal, Argentina and Brazil were taken out by teams we never dreamt could do this. Who knows who is going to win this edition? 

What emotions does this league stir up? It is simply more than just a sport. For some it is a lifestyle, a cultural expression that makes them proud of their country or cause them to feel fit to burst with joy for the country they support. This championship league reaches such a profound level that it binds together all those who love football as they understand one another. 

And what emotions come to the surface while it is being played? In the space of a few minutes, we experience anger, disappointment, fear and hope with the tension rising when the game between two favourite teams is close. The games are ending in either big tears or whoops of joy. 

It is this emotional journey and its popularity that ensures that the game of football keeps growing. During this period new friendships are forged. The exchange of emotions, the ups and downs with people who think the same. 

More than this, the World Cup gave players the opportunity to shine and show off their skills before billions of spectators. More importantly, they are showing off their talents to European club managers. Many players (for whom this is the first World Cup) did or are doing their utmost to impress in the hope that they end up signing a contract with one of the prestigious clubs in Europe. 

World Cup is an event that gives birth to big players who will make football history. It is an event that brings countries together and has them put their differences aside, where people show kindnesses and respect to one another.  For many, the World Cup is personal and it inspires them. That is why the World Cup is important.