The chances are pretty good that person sitting next to you is a fan of the World Cup. More than 736 football players (or soccer, depending on your location) are cheered on and booed by 3.2 billion passionate viewers around the globe—that's 46 percent of the earth's population. As 32 teams square off in an intense 64-match round of competition, players and fans alike have only one thing on their minds: bringing home the Fédération Internationale de Football Association's (FIFA) coveted 18-carat gold World Cup trophy. Since its launch in 1930, the World Cup has boasted 13 interesting unusual mascots (like Pique, the jalapeño), scored more than 2,206 goals and entertained half the planet for the last 84 years (except during WWII).
But for many, the World Cup tournament is more than just gripping television and betting against friends. It's the individual player and team stories of loss, hard work and triumph that make the World Cup the inspirational global phenomena it is today. From Pelé to Ronaldo to Beckham and beyond, these players continue to pave the way for the football stars yet to come. Pay homage to this unbelievable significant worldly event by checking out this World Cup playlist.