My boys and their peers are soccer freaks. We recorded nearly every game possible for the 2006 World Cup and I would love to take the family to see the 2010 games in South Africa. I was recently pondering the possibility and checked out some ticket prices for the events. Interest in soccer is growing every year in the United States and is certainly strong in the San Francisco Bay Area.

A recent article in the New York Times chronicled the opening of a Soccer Museum, where else but in Sao Paulo, Brazil. An elite sport that has become a sport for the masses, it has great lessons to teach both on and off the field.

Agility, thinking fast on your feet and teamwork are just a few of the skills vital for soccer success.  From Pele to Mia Hamm, Cameroon to Korea, soccer stars are truly global, although Brazil is perhaps the most insane for its players, many of whom are often given only one name to further heighten their star status.

The billions of soccer fans around the globe love to share their passion, whether using a bunched up old shirt, an old rusty can or a regulation black and white ball; futbol is truly an international language. So, if you have kids who love the sport and you plan on traveling anywhere outside the U.S., take a soccer ball along. Your ball just might be an ambassador of sorts, an entrée into the world of local kids. A mom friend of mine with three boys, all soccer crazy, just got back from a whirlwind trip to Europe. She reminisced with me about her sons’ pick-up games in London’s Hyde Park and Barcelona. What a great way to connect, mingle and assimilate into a culture, something we Americans need to experience more often.

Filed Under Africa & Middle East, Barcelona, Brazil, Budget Travel, England, Europe, Family Travel, France, Museums, Paris, Soccer, South America


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