The 2018 World Cup kicks off June 14 in Russia. Meet the South Florida fans of every country in the tournament as well as learn about their best memories, favorite players and predictions.
Name: Suzana Fleury Delgado.
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Lives: Kendall, since 1990.
Memories of national team: When I was little, a group of all our Brazilian church friends would get dressed up in yellow, green and blue and watch every World Cup and Argentina-Brazil game.
Favorite players: Garrincha and Roberto Carlos, who gave 1,000 percent, sacrificed his body, played with a lot of heart. I also like Kaka.
Where will you watch the World Cup: In Sarasota, on vacation. I’ll pack up my beach stuff and my jersey.
Favorite national cheer/chant: Ole, Ole, Ole, Ola Brasil, Brasil!
Best local spot to get Brazilian food: Tutto Pizza on Key Biscayne, exactly like the pizza you get in Brazil with chicken and catupiry cheese. Texas de Brazil for authentic churrascaria.
World Cup prediction: Semifinals. Most Brazilian fans think they’re going to win, but it’s not the same team it used to be. In recent years, Brazil has choked when they were under a lot of pressure. Hopefully, that will change.
Name: Wendy Vargas.
Lives: West Miami, moved here in 1990.
Memories of national team: My first World Cup was 1986, and I’ll never forget the excitement of it. Even though I didn’t understand everything going on, I could tell this was the biggest sporting event in the world.
Favorite players: Keylor Navas, the Real Madrid goalie. And Paulo Wanchope, who was exciting to see in the field. Navas right now means everything to us, what he’s done the last few years with Real Madrid. He contributes a lot of charity in Costa Rica.
Where will you watch the World Cup: Most likely at Fritz & Franz in Coral Gables.
Favorite national cheer/chant: I like when we do the wave.
Best local spot to get Costa Rican food: Nothing Costa Rican, but Salvadorean or Honduran is very similar with tamales and arepas.
World Cup prediction: We’re always the underdog. If they get out of the group, they always do some shocking.
Name: Vedran Coso.
Lives: North Bay Village, four years.
Memories of national team: France 1998, we were Yugoslavia then. I was 11. Then, Serbia in 2010 beat Germany 1-0. We were really excited.
Favorite players: Dragan Stojkovic, they called him “Piksi” and he played many years in Japan. He was a No. 10, skillful, creative, dribbler.
Where will you watch the World Cup: Home or at work. I do catering and work at a restaurant.
Favorite cheer/chant: “Mars Ma Drinu.” A patriotic song written for heroes for WWI and they play it at soccer matches, too.
Best local spot to get Serbian food: Lime Tree Lounge in Miami Beach. They have Balkan nights. Serbian music. Traditional drink — Rakija.
World Cup prediction: I hope they go for second round, but there is friction in the locker room because of the new coach.
Name: Uwe Fischer.
Lives: Coral Gables, since 2014.
Memories of national team: Before we went to Mexico World Cup in '86, I saw some qualifying games. It was a disaster during those decades, not popular, we lost everything. Our first World Cup was 1994. Our team has changed a lot because of immigration. Most players are not pure Swiss.
Favorite players: Stephane Chapuisat. He played in Bundesliga, Dortmund, a star there. One of the best players ever.
Where will you watch the World Cup: In Russia. I purchased tickets for the three Swiss group games and one game the next round if we advance. I am very excited.
Favorite national cheer/chant: Hopp Schwiiz!
Best local spot to get Swiss food: No Swiss restaurant in this area, so the Swiss-American Club meets at Fritz & Franz in Coral Gables. The club is 75 years old. We have 150 members.
World Cup prediction: Advance from group stage. Our objective is quarterfinal, but I don’t think we’ll get there.