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World Cup Teams To Watch

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Kevin Durant Wins Gold In Men’s Individual Basketball

RIO DE JANEIRO—Beating out Serbian Nikola Jokic by .87 points in order to claim the all-around title, U.S. forward Kevin Durant won Olympic gold Friday in men’s individual basketball, becoming the first man to win consecutive golds in the competition since Gary Payton at the 1996 and 2000 Games.

Michael Phelps Spots Estranged Father Poseidon In Stands

RIO DE JANEIRO—Immediately recognizing the booming, thunderous voice he hadn’t heard since he was 5 years old as he warmed up ahead of his first heat in the 200-meter individual medley, U.S. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps reportedly spotted his long-estranged father, Poseidon, God of the Sea, cheering for him Thursday in the stands of the Olympic Aquatics Stadium.
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World Cup Teams To Watch

With the 2014 World Cup about to kick off in Brazil, Onion Sports breaks down the 11 teams to watch during the tournament.
BRAZIL
Strength: As host country, team will play in the stadium least likely to collapse at any moment

Weaknesses: Only qualified for World Cup through back door as tournament hosts; Nation will probably fall into total anarchy regardless of team’s performance

Roster: Contains a record seven “Next Pele”s

World Cup History: Has never advanced past championship match in seven tries

Official Team Suffix: “-inho”
THE NETHERLANDS
Strength: Spent past two years perfecting the hell out of heel kicks

Weakness: Wooden clogs slow players down considerably during matches

Preferred Grass Height: Between 51.436mm and 51.438mm

Nickname Of Somebody On Team, Probably: Flying Dutchman

Fun Fact: Media pronunciation guide for players’ names over 3,000 pages in length
GERMANY
Strength: Winning balls in the air by parachuting into stadium

Weakness: Crippling fear of disappointing Angela Merkel

Manager: German guy, but different German guy from U.S. coach

Number Of Umlauts On Roster: 47

Biggest Advantage: Drawn in pretty easy World Cup group

Team Nickname: The German International Soccer Team

SPAIN
Strengths: Confidence still high after beating Belarus 2-1 during World Cup qualifying last year; Automatically awarded goal if they reach 20 consecutive passes without losing ball

Weakness: Players still living with shame of nation losing Franco-Spanish War in 1659

Conjugation: yo Españo; tú Españas; él/ella España; nosotros Españamos; vosotros Españáis; ellos/ellas Españan

Average Age Of Team: Sum of every player’s age divided by number of players on roster

Game Plan: Fly out to Brazil, wing it

Fun Fact: 23-man team currently country’s biggest employer
ENGLAND
Strength: Have fought wars in or against most of these other countries

Weakness: Insists on “Wourld Cup” spelling

Style Of Play: Genteel counterattacking

David Beckham: Nope

Scapegoat: Wayne Rooney

Most Famous Fan Chant: “En-ger-land, En-ger-land, En-ger-land, Just Do Your Best Out There, It’s Only A Game”
FRANCE
Strengths: Great individual chemistry on roster; New crop of promising young talent finally ready to implode on international stage

Weakness: Lacks veteran player capable of delivering headbutts in clutch situations

Roster: 23 assholes

Formation: Whatever feels right

Players You’ll Remember After World Cup: None whatsoever

Target: To finish tournament without embarrassing entire country this time
GHANA
Strength: Matches up well against wide variety of U.S. teams

Weakness: Crippling survivor’s guilt during knockout stages

Offensive Style: You know, just kick the ball and hope for the best

Every Player’s Backstory: Inspiring

Target: To get some good pictures of giant Jesus statue

ARGENTINA
Strengths: Has a player you’ve heard of; Impeccable teamwork while crowding ref to complain about call

Weakness: Not a single player on team has ascended to professional ranks of MLS

Lionel: Messi

Major Rivals: Brazil; England; Duke

Trademark Goal Celebration: Jumping on top of one another while freaking the fuck out

Memorable World Cup Moment: In 1986 God attempts to kill Diego Maradona, only to miss and send the ball into England’s goal
UNITED STATES
Strength: Ability to return to United States after tournament concludes

Weaknesses: Used to playing in the Northern Hemisphere where balls spin in opposite direction; Only four players on team can speak fluent English

Biggest Advantage: Playing for fans who won’t murder them if they lose

Embarrassing Secret: Have actually been playing this sport for a while now

Playing Style: Losing

FIFA World Ranking: 14

Actual World Ranking: 37
ITALY
Strengths: All the non-playing aspects of soccer; Incredibly disciplined defenders remain in position for up to 24 hours after match

Weakness: Everyone on team too scared to stand in wall while defending free kicks

Also Known As: The blue team

Boring As Fuck: Yup

Gesturing Style: Animated

Biggest Inspiration: Seeing fans light flares in stands

Chances Your Friend Will Break Out His Italy Jersey From 10 Years Ago And Suddenly Act Like He Knows About Soccer: Incredibly high
PORTUGAL
Strength: Painted-on uniforms allow players to run freely without being hindered by shirts or shorts

Weakness: Paltry bribery war chest

Starting XI: Ronaldo, 10 other guys

Biggest Advantage: Fluency in Portuguese allows players to more easily get around Brazil

World Cup Preparation: Entire team has been practicing writhing on ground in pain for months leading up to tournament

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