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Meet South Florida's World Cup fans
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off June 14 in Russia. Meet the South Florida fans of every country represented in the tournament and learn about their best memories, favorite players and predictions.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off June 14 in Russia. Meet South Florida fans of every country in this year's tournament as well as learn about their best memories, favorite player, and predictions.
Name: Willy Schaugg.
Lives: Dadeland area, since 2012.
Memories of national team: 1974 when Germany won the World Cup. 9-10 years old. Living close to Mun deggeneorf...(1974) 1-0 vs Poland everybody was swimming on the field. Under world. As a 9-year-old 2-1 vs. Netherlands. I was in Brazil sitting with my friend — Argentine-Netherlands semifinal ... could not get to Belo Horizonte. Brazil, Germany, France, Russia...
Favorite players: Gerd Muller. Jupp Heynckes. Sepp Meier, from same village I was from. He was humble, spoke my dialect. Made it from low-income area.
Where he will watch the World Cup: In Russia. Most of time in St. Petersburg, Moscow to see one game, and I bought a ticket in case Switzerland plays Germany.
Favorite national cheer/chant: Deutchland! Deutschland! Clap.
Best local spot to get German food: Fritz and Franz in Coral Gables, the Hofbrau House in Miami Beach.
World Cup prediction: Most likely, Germans will make it to last eight or last four as usual. After that, very difficult to predict. Germany could win, or Argentina, Brazil or Spain.
Name: Omar Garcia.
Lives: Tamarac. In South Florida since 2011.
Memories of national team: I went to one of their games in California when I was 8 or 9. Luis Hernandez, Carlos Hermosillo, Jorge Campos were all playing. It was amazing.
Favorite players: Cuauthemoc Blanco because of his charisma, like Ronaldinho, smiling, having fun. He had such a long career. From the new age, I am a big fan of Chicharito, met him at Lockhart Stadium when he was filming a Powerade commercial.
Where he will watch the World Cup: At home. I just bought a 75-inch TV and will host Mexican watch parties at my house and drink Coronas and Tecates.
Favorite national cheer/chant: On goal kicks, we scream an obscene word. We also sing “Cielito Lindo” at every Mexican game.
Best local spot to get Mexican food: Casa Frida (Oakland and Federal Hwy in Fort Lauderdale).
World Cup prediction: Tie Germany, win the group, lose in the Round of 8 vs. Colombia, everyone will blame it on the coach, because he’s Colombian.
Name: Bok An.
Where you live: Pinecrest, in Miami since 1983.
Memories of national team: 1986 World Cup. I was 13. We scored an amazing goal from 40 yards away in Mexico. That was a high point for the Korean national team. A few amazing players made highlight plays, and they showed them over and over on TV.
Favorite players: Park Ji Sung, played for ManU and was the hero from 2002 World Cup in Korea. Now, I like 20-year-old Lee Seung Woo, the Korean Messi. He’s really tiny, skinny and a goal-scoring machine.
Where he will watch the World Cup: With a bunch of Korean friends, all hoping for a miracle.
Favorite national cheer/chant: Dae Han Min Guk! (“Go Korea”).
Best local spot to get Korean food: Gabose in Lauderhill, authentic Korean food.
World Cup prediction: Low expectations. Very realistic. Probably bottom of the group. We’ll be ecstatic if we get a win from somebody.
Name: Isabel Russo.
Where you live: South Miami, moved here 1991.
Memories of national team: Hockey and soccer are huge in Sweden. I remember watching highlights of the World Cup when Pele was playing.
Favorite players: Zlatan Ibrahimovic. I used to love Martin Larsson. I read his book. He is so humble, and it was difficult, being an immigrant family. He fought his way up really hard.
Where she will watch the World Cup: If I’m lucky I’ll be in Spain. Maybe Sweden. Or here. Waking up early. For Sweden games, I try to go out to watch.
Your favorite national cheer/chant: None.
Best local spot to get Swedish food: Ikea furniture store. They have a restaurant with traditional dishes like Gravlax, Swedish meatballs. Peel and eat shrimp on an egg sandwich — Raksmorgas. Or, find a Swedish friend and go to their kitchen.
World Cup prediction: To the second round.