Finally, A Netherlands Women's Team That Lives Up To The Name

One of the most enjoyable things about international soccer is the way you can notice various stylistic through-lines. Each nation has its particular soccer heritage—sometimes a broad affinity for a certain type of athlete, other times a specific formation or tactical ideology—and how this in turn manifests itself…

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How Russia Evolved Into One Of The World Cup's Most Dangerous Teams

Russia's march to Brazil began at the Euro 2012 tournament in Poland/Ukraine. The Russians, led by Dutch manager Dick Advocaat captured the attention of Europe with a comprehensive 4-1 thrashing of the Czech Republic in their opening game. The free-flowing, explosive Russian attack, a product of Advocaat's favored…

Hey, At Least Getting Bashed In Group Play Won't Break Algeria's Heart

Algerians, like many former French colonies, are used to watching some of their most promising potential internationals playing for the old rulers. Algerian fans will probably cheer Karim Benzema due to the French-born striker's Algerian heritage. They might also rue, or maybe sardonically snicker at, Samir Nasri —…

Bosnia And Herzegovina Could Break Some Hearts In Their First World Cup

After generations spent competing on the international stage for various iterations of Yugoslavia, after gaining independence in 1992, making it through the Bosnian War, then getting FIFA recognition mere days after the war's conclusion, the nation known as Bosnia-Herzegovina will finally make its first appearance on…

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Why Nigeria, Now Hardened Veterans, Will Be A Tough Out In Brazil

Nigeria come into Brazil with as much international tournament experience in the last few years as any team in the world, having won the 2013 African Cup of Nations and subsequently playing in the 2013 Confederations Cup. These experiences gave manager Stephen Keshi, a former Super Eagle himself, more opportunity to…

Argentina Have Stopped Giving A Fuck, And Are Betting It All On Attack

Argentina has long been one of the best, most feared soccer nations in the world. Playing in the World Cup is just what they do. The tournament this summer will be their 16th World Cup appearance and 11th in a row, but they haven't won it since Diego Maradona scored maybe the greatest goal of all time against England…