The tournament lent itself to moments of drama that also fit into broader historical narratives.
Morocco and France meet in a historic showdown with deep significance for fans of both teams.
Much has happened since the country won its last World Cup two decades ago, making this a bittersweet moment in a country always romancing the past.
One of the most generous and intelligent moves of the World Cup helps explain why people all over the planet are obsessed with soccer.
Two new books raise interesting questions about the ethics and effectiveness of the sport’s selection system, with its early and intense winnowing process for aspiring players.