World Cup 2010: Cocktail Chatter

Jeanne Sager
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World Cup official ball
World Cup Soccer Ball Photo from FIFA
Every week in cocktail chatter, we tell you what you need to know to sound like an expert at this weekend's play date, dinner party, or post office meeting.

This week's cheat sheet: the World Cup 2010.

What it is: A once-every-four-years meeting (think the Olympics) of the best soccer players from around the world playing for their country's bragging rights. This year it's in South Africa.

Terms to Know:

Football: We Americans call it soccer, but everywhere else in the world it's known as football. Not to be confused with the American game where they use hands to carry a pigskin and yet call it football. Somehow the rest of the world makes a little more sense here, huh?

FIFA: Federation Internationale de Football Association, they're the official governing body of soccer, er, football, and they run the World Cup. They also have a store where I spent too much money time today, but anyhoo.

Teams to Watch:

Team USA: Rooting for the home team is part of the fun, but at 14th in the rankings their chances are good to go far in the games.

Brazil: Ranked number one in the world, they've got the unfortunately named but spectacular nonetheless Kaka on their team. Like Pele before him, the fact that he goes by just one name says something about his prowess.

England: Although the sexy David Beckham is injured and won't be playing, Wayne Rooney promises to make the games exciting with his penchant for tantrums.

Germany: Winners of the 2006 World Cup -- which they hosted -- the Germans are ranked sixth and hungry for a repeat.

Phrases to Drop:

"This is the first time the World Cup is being held on African soil. Five different countries put in bids to play host."

"South Africa has hosted a major world cup before, but it was the Rugby championships. The home court advantage helped them win it all."

"South Africa's team is only ranked 83rd in the world, so there are fears they won't progress far in the matches."

"The country has had a sad note with the death of Nelson Mandela's great-granddaughter. She was killed by a drunk driver who had been celebrating at World Cup festivities."

On a lighter note, how about the gal's guide to the World Cup (and the sexiest player).

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