Every four years the thirty-two-team, sixty-four-game World Cup captivates the planet's populace for a month. Work absenteeism skyrockets. Political campaigns grind to a halt. Fans mortgage their houses to buy tickets. And teams employ every means possible - even consulting witch doctors and astrologers - in their quest for national glory.Veteran soccer commentator Jamie Trecker travelled to Germany for FIFA World Cup 2006. Here, reported from the restaurants, trains, bars, town squares, hostels, press boxes, and brothels, is his unvarnished account of the games and parties, great plays and fistfights, gossip and tacky souvenirs that turn the largest sporting event on earth into a true world bazaar. With equal measures insight and irreverence, Trecker captures the passion, politics, controversies, and economics that make soccer a reflection of the world.