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Pupils get on the ball for the Fifa World Cup

This article has been specially written for those thousands of school children from across Northern Ireland who are taking part in the Belfast Telegraph's literacy project themed on the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Factfile: Steven Gerrard

Country: England

Date of Birth: 30/05/80

Age:33

Height: 6ft

Steven is the England captain who will hope to lead his country to World Cup glory.

The legendary midfielder made his debut for Liverpool in 1998 and has been at the club ever since winning every domestic trophy available to him, bar the Premier League.

Gerrard has also won the Champions League and Uefa Cup and a host of personal awards.

He made his England debut against Ukraine in 2000 and 12 years later won his 100th cap.

He is still going strong and is considered one of the most influential and inspirational English players in the modern era.

It was Gerrard's goal, his 21st at international level, in a 2-0 win over Poland at Wembley in October last year, that secured England's place in the 2014 World Cup finals.

 

Factfile

Name: Yaya Toure

Country: Ivory Coast

Date of Birth: 13/5/83

Age: 31

Height: 6ft 3 inches

Yaya Toure will enter the World Cup with his nation Ivory Coast on a high having just won the Premier League with Manchester City.

Toure's outstanding performances in midfield were a key element in City enjoying title success. He also helped the club win the League Cup this year.

For his country, former Barcelona star Toure is an equally important figure.

He made his Ivory Coast debut in 2004 and is now considered one of Africa's greatest footballers.

His older brother Kolo Toure plays for Liverpool.

 

World Cup history

In the very first World Cup final between Uruguay and Argentina, the two nations could not agree on which ball to use. So it was decided that the Argentine ball would be used in the first half and the Uruguayan choice played with in the second half. At half-time Argentina led 2-1 only for Uruguay, using their ball, to come back after the break and win 4-2!

 

World Cup venue cities

Sao Paulo

The Arena De Sao Paulo in the city of the same name will stage the first match of the 2014 World Cup between the hosts and Croatia. Sao Paulo is the biggest city in Brazil and has just over 11 million inhabitants. Located in the south-east of the country, it is known as Terra da Garoa (Land of the Drizzle) due to its weather conditions.

Game to watch: June 12 – Brazil v Croatia

Porto Alegre

Porto Alegre is the furthest south of all the host cities in Brazil. It sits on a giant freshwater lagoon called Lagoa dos Patos which, translated, means Lagoon of the Ducks. Famous Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho, a World Cup winner, was born in the city. The stadium in Porto Alegre is called Estadio Beira-Rio.

Game to watch: June 18 – Australia v Holland

 

Pupil View

Name: Mary O’Neill

Age: 11

School: St Patrick’s PS, Dungannon.

Which sports do you take part in?

I enjoy basketball and Gaelic Football.

Which football team/s do you support?

I support Chelsea because they are successful and have a great manager.

Who is your favourite footballer?

My favourite player is Frank Lampard. He was Chelsea’s highest goalscorer last season and also plays for England.

What is your favourite or most memorable football moment?

One of my most memorable football moments was in 2010 when the World Cup was in South Africa. I was on holiday with my family in Netherlands and the semi-final of the World Cup was being played. My family and I went to a plaza to watch the match. The Netherlands were playing Uruguay and whenever the Netherlands scored a goal, everyone in the whole room was screaming which gave me a really good feeling.

Which country do you predict will win the World Cup?

I predict that Brazil will win the World Cup. They are well organised and full of talented players.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

Brazil is in South America and is the world's fifth largest country, both in terms of geography and population.

 

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