But something perhaps as remarkable as the game itself is that a celebration of nationalism as extravagant as the World Cup, where even the most hesitantly patriotic drape themselves in national colors, serves as a remarkably peaceful convergence point for people who would never otherwise meet.
Painted from head to toe in what could be mistaken as war paint, fans in this World Cup have intermingled with others of various ethnicities, religions, and political persuasions without having to sacrifice any of their own passions, allegiances, or identities.
A great, albeit brief, testament to this unique union of various peoples is this celebration of American and Algerian fans before their final Group C clash. This pregame ritual saw the predominantly Muslim and Arabic-speaking Algerians sharing their scarves and cheers with their American opponents before a hotly contested match – hardly the “clash of civilizations” stereotyped in the media.
Image sourced from Flickr and used under a Creative Commons license.