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Brazil-Croatia Will Start or Spoil The Party


Croatia v. Brazil

Paulo Whitaker, Antonio Bronic | Reuters

For play-by-play, minute-by-minute coverage of every ball touch, throw-in, direct kick, indirect kick, yellow card, red card, corner kick, goal kick and every other possible football feat in every World Cup match, tap into VOA’s unparalleled multilingual, multinational analysis.

VOA correspondents will be tweeting and providing commentary and critiques of every match in Brazil, beginning with the kick-off match of Brazil v. Croatia, beginning at 4 p.m. USEDT (8 p.m. GMT)

Check it out here.

And for even more exclusive VOA coverage with a special focus on Africa’s national teams, check out VOA’s Francophone blog.

Who Will Win the 2014 World Cup?

It’s finally here – today marks the start of the 2014 World Cup! The tournament kicks off with the opening ceremony at 6 PM UTC, followed by the first match at 8 PM UTC: Croatia against the host nation, Brazil.

World Cup mural.

All eyes will be on Brazil in the coming weeks, but not just the country. Brazil’s national team is considered a favorite to win it all – after all, they are on their home turf (literally). But there are many other good teams that could make a run at the title: Germany, Argentina, Portugal, and Spain, the 2010 World Cup winners. Or perhaps an underdog like Nigeria or Ghana will make it out of the group stage and have a chance at advancing.

Who’s your favorite to win the World Cup? Comment below to tell us who you want to win, who you think will win, and which matches you’re looking forward to. And of course, keep up with all the latest World Cup news here at, and on Facebook and Twitter.

Brazil Uber Alles?

Will A Seleção Go All the Way?

With the opening of the 2014 World Cup just hours away, many eyes are on consensus-favorite Brazil as it seeks to capture the world’s marquee sporting event for a record sixth time.

The Brazilians appear primed to win it.

Read more exclusive analysis from VOA’s Mike Richman here.

A street vendor sells representations of Brazil's national flags near the Arena Castelao  in  Fortaleza, Brazil, June 11, 2014.

(Photo AP)

9:18 a.m., UPDATE:

An earlier headline to this post referred to the Brazilian national team as the Auriverde. While not technically incorrect, other nicknames are more common, including A Seleção (The Select), Canarinho (The Little Canary);  Verde-Amarela (The Green and Yellow); and, most humbly, Pentacampeões (The Five-Time Champions).

The Super Eagles

Nigeria By The Numbers

Le Nigeria en chiffres - Nigeria World Cup


the number of times the country has appeared in the World Cup. Nigeria made its debut in 1994, then participated again in 1998, when they rose to 16th place before being eliminated. Forgetting the past, in 2010, the Super Eagles returned with a stronger, more efficient team, led by coach Stephen Keshi.


The number on national team captain Joseph Yobo’s jersey. After an absence due to an injury, the Nigerian defender, who grew up in Norwich City, is back in a leadership role and hopes to lead his team as far as possible in this competition.


The number of African championships they have won.  The Nigerian team is actually the African champion after its victory in CAN 2013 finals against Burkina Faso in South Africa. As African Champions, the Super Eagles hope to represent the continent valiantly at the Brazil World Cup (as does Cameroon, Ghana, Algeria and and and…)


The sum of goals made by the best shooter in the history of the Super Eagles: Rashidi Yekini.  Before his death in May 2012, the Nigerian striker was selected by the national team 58 times.  He made 37 goals for the team between 1984 and 1998.


The most number of goals made by the Super Eagles in a single match. That was in 1959, against the Dahomey (Benin) during the finals of the Nkrumah Cup in Lagos. Benin scored one goal (that’s right, 1!)


(this post courtesy VOA’s French to Africa Service and its World Cup blog. check it out at