It’s time for kick-off! (Adapted from Microsoft What’s Appening)
“A football team is like a beautiful woman. When you do not tell her, she forgets she is beautiful.”
— Arsène Wenger, Manager, Arsenal FC
Whether you call it soccer, football, or the “beautiful game”, the sport where 11 players on each side kick a little ball around a grass field and try to get it into large woven nets at either end of the field is back again this year with its biggest and most exciting global event—the World Cup!
If you’ve never heard of the game, the way we’ve described it may not sound very exciting, but rest assured that no other soccer competition in the world is more anticipated than this once-in-four-years mega-event.
But as countries of the world put forth their best feet to win the grand title of World Cup champion, we’d rather hunker down in our living room with our Windows and Windows Phone devices, where the view is better and more personal, and where there are great apps to make the experience exceptional.
Are you ready for the kick-off?
Live from the World Cup!
No matter how much we claim that we watch the game for the game—you know, every pass and tackle and skilful manoeuvre that excite fans to no end—it all boils down at the end of the day to the few precious numbers that decide between the winners and the losers.
Some will say the final score is the whole point of the game, and in an age of always on and always connected devices, we can have them delivered to our devices right up to the second the crowd goes wild. Why wait till the end of the game?
For a fast, simple, no-frills experience to getting live scores, look no further than Goal Live Scores (Windows Phone). Made by the fine folks behind Goal.com, Goal Live Scores claims to provide the fastest real-time scores. Featuring action from over 750 leagues and competitions, Goal Live Scores include super-fast push notifications and results prediction to keep you on the edge of your seat.
If you need a little bit more than just scores, Goal.com also has a more full-featured app (Windows and Windows Phone) that brings you the latest news direct from its worldwide network of reporters, with exclusive content, interviews, transfer gossip, live scores, videos and much more from the world of football.
When it comes to comprehensive sports coverage, perhaps no other sports programming network is as well-known as ESPN. The ESPN FC app(Windows and Windows Phone) provides up-to-the-minute scores in all major football leagues and tournaments around the world, complete with league fixtures, tables and match statistics and player and club profiles so you can track the performance of your favorite team.
Now, the game of football is all about the community, so if none of those big-name apps interest you, give Onefootball (Windows and Windows Phone) a shot. This third-party app integrates news, videos, match fixtures, live scores, and more all into one slick fan-made interface that’s fast and friendly.
Onefootball was recently revamped and now includes awesome features including radio live commentary for all Premier League matches and over 500 football news articles published every day. You can even chat and connect with friends and other fans in the Fan Zone!
Gearing up for the match
A night in with friends, or out at the pub with a bunch of your team’s supporters? Whichever you choose, these apps will make your life a lot simpler.
A location-based social network that shouldn’t be a stranger to anyone by now, Foursquare can tell you where everyone is flocking to any particular evening, so you too can join in the fun and catch the game with like-minded folks.
Prefer to stay in instead? We get it—nothing can possibly be more comfortable than your own sofa. If you have a little time before the game starts, why not try whipping up something a little more nutritious than just potato chips?
Stuck at work? If for any reason you can’t find time to watch the game live on television, kick it back a little old school with radio! With over 100,000 stations and 2 million live streams to choose from, you’re bound to land on a live commentary of the match to keep you entertained. Together with the apps for live scores outlined on page 2, it’ll be as if you’re right there at the match watching every goal happen.
Beyond the goal posts
Football is great, but it’s not the only sport on the planet, and certainly not the only sport that most of us follow. Looking for a little basketball on the side, or a serving of tennis in between games?
Look no further than Bing Sports (Windows and Windows Phone) for some of the most comprehensive sports coverage you can find. Swipe through the app to get an overview of the top headlines, scores, schedules, standings, and statistics across all the major sports around the world. Complete with personalization that lets you track the leagues and teams that interest you with Live Tiles, you’ll never miss another touchdown, field goal, dunk, goal, pitch, home run, or wicket again!
Get equally revved up on FOX Sports (Windows), which also brings you the hottest news stories, editorial analysis, video, and photo highlights of major sporting events from all over the world.
It all boils down to a matter of personal difference, as both apps are mainly differentiated through design and interface. But you’ll still get similar great comprehensive coverage of virtually all sports in the world inboth apps.
Scoring your own winning goals
It’s fun to watch a match live, but actually getting out there onto the field and playing a match with your friends is a whole different ball game.
Luckily, there’s a way to play football without actually playing football—we’re talking about video games! Check out these titles for a breathtakingly good time without running out of breath.
A classic in football games, FIFA 14 (Windows and Windows Phone) is the latest edition to hit store shelves, both literally and figuratively, letting you play with real players and real teams in real leagues.
The game features 34 leagues, over 600 licensed teams, and more than 16,000 players!
For maximum realism, you can even play like a real team manager and earn, trade, buy or sell players to build your ultimate fantasy team. Then compete in tournaments to earn coins, spend them on new players and items to improve your team—the possibilities are endless!
If you’ve already purchased FIFA 14 for your PC or Xbox, and don’t want to buy it again for your Windows or Windows Phone device, simply log in to your Origin account on the console or PC, link up your favorite team, and keep the world of FIFA in your pocket with this companion app on Windows Phone!
As you make your run for international glory, access your Football Club News, alerts and friends while on-the-go. With Football Club, you’ll never miss an important message from your friends, or a last minute ultimate team transfer, or limited-time Pack Sale.
Real Soccer 2013
Another well-known football simulator, Real Soccer 2013 (Windows Phone) immerses you in smooth and realistic graphics with over 700 motion-capture animation providing a TV-like experience.
The game uses the personal names and portraits of over 3,000 top players, and you’ll be kept up to date on the latest player transfers and roster changes in the real world.
Aim to be the best on the pitch! Reinforce your team by developing your club’s facilities, hiring new staff members, dealing with sponsors and more. It’s just like real soccer, minus the sweat and physical activity!