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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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