It is not my usual field of interest to be brief or extremely economical with my words. This truth can best be illustrated with my use of the sentence you are currently reading. Nevertheless, as I have already started talking about The World Cup here, and, due my particularly intense interest, I am likely to do so many more times in the next five or six weeks to come, I thought it would be best if I explained the World Cup, as briefly as possible, to the many beginners here among you. My endeavor to keep it as brief as possible arises from a desire to educate, an acceptance of the limits of your likely minimal interest, and as a sort of curious challenge for myself: The World Cup in a list of ten items made up of one brief sentence each.
You can live with that much, can't you?
1. The Men's Soccer World Cup, this summer in Russia, takes place every four years.
2. It starts on June 14, 2018 and ends with the final game on July 15, 2018.
3. 32 National teams compete, having qualified by winning enough matches in their region.
4. The 32 teams are divided into eight groups of four wherein each group member plays each other once.
5. The two top teams from each group advance to a 16 team elimination portion of the tournament.
6. These 16 teams play in a round robin until only one is left, causing their entire country to go nuts.
7. Ties are okay in the group stage, but are decided by penalty kicks in the elimination rounds.
8. The favored teams are Brazil, Germany, Spain, and France.
9. Belgium, Argentina, Portugal, England, and Uruguay have slightly more outside chances.
10. The very best players include Lionel Messi of Argentina, and, oops, out of room!
And that's all it took! You are full of an adequate knowledge and ready to go and watch all the games!
"All the games?" You ask with alarm.
Have no fear. There are a mere 80 of them. It will all be over before you know it.