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The World Cup, a large soccer tournament that the rest of the planet gets very interested in, is beginning in a week. It's an exciting, festive, global event, but most Americans don't have the background knowledge to really make sense of it.

That's what makes this guide to the World Cup, designed for fans of American sports, so handy. It compares World Cup teams to their equivalents in the NBA, the NFL, and other popular leagues. Brazil? They're like the Lakers:


Brazil is more than dominance, they are also glamor, style and exuberance. They are known for their amazing offensive displays, but this overshadows a history of champions who have relied on defense to kick-start those attacks.

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England is like the New York Jets:

This team will almost always fall before the final hurdle, but… their current coach might just be the perfect man for this team. He has them playing better than they’ve played in decades, behind a mix of veterans and one gifted youngster...

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The rest are here. And now that you have a handle on who's playing, feel free to pretend you're too sick to work for the next month like the rest of the world's soccer fans.

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