FIFA 22

Although many people have heard of NBA 2K and Madden NFL, you would be surprised to hear about how less popular another sports-related video game is. FIFA 22 is my favorite video game, despite the fact that I don’t play or watch soccer. So, today I will be introducing you to FIFA, the soccer video game that allows you to play with many (and almost all) professional soccer teams in the world. Whether you want to play with a powerhouse like Real Madrid or a less popular team, FIFA will allow you to use your favorite players and replicate the most thrilling matches! 

Just like MyTeam in NBA2K and Madden Ultimate Team in Madden NFL, FIFA also has a game mode for you to create your dream lineup by collecting player cards. You can purchase these cards through auctions or pull them from packs. This game mode, FIFA Ultimate Team, makes you feel like a general manager! 

In addition, you can create your own player in the FIFA Career Mode. You can choose his height, weight, kit number, team, and position. Personally, the goalkeeper and striker (primary attacker) are some interesting positions I recommend trying in this mode. If you don’t want to create your own player, you can also play as someone who already exists, such as Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi. 

There are other game modes in this video game, too. One of my favorite ways to play FIFA is through Tournament Mode where I get to choose a team and compete in their country’s league (Ligue 1 for French teams, English Premier League for English teams, La Liga for Spanish teams, and more). I like playing with Paris Saint Germain because of their super-team with Mbappe in the middle and Neymar and Messi at the wings. 

In conclusion, FIFA is an awesome game that I wish I had tried earlier than only a few months ago. If you ever need a new game to play, give FIFA a try! 

UEFA European Championship

Since 1955 Europe has held a tournament known as the UEFA European Championship tournament or for short the European Cup. All the countries in Europe come together to battle in a tournament. Each country in Europe brings its top players from each of its greatest soccer teams in order to compete for the title of best European soccer team and its trophy. So, in 1955 the first European soccer cup was established and would continue to make history as more and more countries joined to play in this great tournament.

There are many different parts to the European Cup. It first starts with actually qualifying for the cup. Qualifying begins in the summer with three rounds and then a play off takes place. Teams who win these rounds are placed in the groups stage for September. Teams who lose these round don’t get to participate in the Cup at all. The group stage involves eight groups of four teams, with each club playing everyone else in that group home and away. The top two sides in each group move on to the round of 16 and the start of the knockout phase begins, while the third-placed team drops into the UEFA Europa League. As teams get eliminated there will be only two teams left to face each other in the final for title of best European soccer team.

The First European Cup was held in 1955, where thousands of people tuned in to watch this magnificent battle between countries. Some fans cheered on as their team continued to rise in ranks while others booed in disappointment as their teams were eliminated. Some teams persevered while others hung on by a thread fighting for their spot in the top two. That year 16 teams played in the cup some including Milan, Real Madrid, Saarbrucken, Rapid Wien, PSV, Essen, Hibernian, AGF, Reims, Djurgarden, Gwardia, and Servette. As teams got eliminated Real Madrid and Reims were the first two teams to advance to the finals of the first European Cup. The Cup ended with Real Madrid being the first ever team to win the first European Cup, beating Reims 4 to 3. It was a glorious day for Real Madrid as they raised the first trophy of the European Cup over their heads.

The 2020 Euro Cup this year (the cup this year classified under 2020 do to the cancelling of the cup of last year due to COVID 19) is most exciting as 24 teams have entered the tournament and fans are at their edge of their seats watching the tournament this year. So far the teams that have been eliminated so far is Turkey, Finland, Russia, North Macedonia, Scotland, Poland, and Hungary. The teams that have qualified to move on are Italy, Wales, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Austria, Ukraine, England, Croatia, Czech Republic, Sweden, Spain,  France, Germany, and Portugal. This far in the tournament teams have entered round 16, also known as the knockout round. From here on teams must win each round in order to advance, there are no second chances. If a team loses they are to be considered eliminated from the tournament. This years Cup should be most exciting and it is highly recommended to watch this years European Cup as it is known to be the best tournament yet.

Film Review: Pele, Birth of a Legend

This movie follows the story of Edson “Dico” Nascimento, better known as the football legend Pele. This movie shows Pele’s life before his illustrious soccer career, back during his childhood in Brazil and eventual lead up to the 1958 World Cup. It shows the trials and obstacles Pele had to overcome before even playing for the National team.

Whether it be because of his mother discouraging him from playing soccer to eventually losing interest in playing soccer at all, Pele’s path to football stardom seemed all but lost. However, and as can be seen in various moments throughout the movie, Pele refused to give up. Determination and undying hope would follow him everywhere he went and would be the fuel pushing him to pursue a career in professional football.

This movie was a heartwarmer, showing his family life as a child, and showing who Pele was. Rather than just knowing him as a really good football player, it showed all the struggles he would face and just how difficult his journey truly was. What can be taken away from this movie is that you should always stay true to yourself and never once doubt in yourself and what you are able to do. Never give up in whatever happens, and no challenge is impossible to overcome.

-Kobe L.

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

After I had finished all the books I brought with me on vacation, my mom lent me Britt-Marie Was Here. I didn’t know what to expect, but I read it, mainly just to have something to read.

It deserves more credit than that. Like A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman focuses on the real lives of people for this novel. Brit Marie had left her husband and went searching for a job. But the last job she had was when she was in her teens. And the woman at the unemployment office was not too helpful.

Until she got Britt-Marie a job in Borg, as the caretaker of the recreation center which was about to be shut down, along with the rest of the town. Borg was not a place that Britt-Marie, with her sophisticated ways and obsession with cleaning, would ordinarily have visited. After all, moments after arriving, she was hit in the head with a soccer ball. What a warm welcome!

Britt-Marie comes to realize that there can be a place in your heart other than the familiar life you are used to living. There can be room to love children who have lost everything. There can be room to learn to love soccer, not necessarily for the sport, but for the ability for the players to move on, even after crushing defeat.

Britt-Marie Was Here was a touching novel. I loved the transformation of watching an older lady, seemingly set in her ways, change and help the people around her, despite her lack of worldly experience up until that point in her life. I definitely recommend checking this novel out!

– Leila S., 12th grade

Britt Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive