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Soccer World Cup

15 Storylines to Follow During the 2014 World Cup

15 Storylines to Follow During the 2014 World Cup

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While the World Cup can provide beautiful games of soccer, it can also give fans a good amount of drama and tension. Whether it come from coaches, or players, or even the Brazilian citizens, this World Cup will be one of the most intense, drama-filled tournaments because of these 15 storylines worth following.

15. The World Cup Finals Rematch

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15. The World Cup Finals Rematch

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It's extremely rare to get a World Cup Finals rematch, much less so in the group stage. But Spain and the Netherlands were selected into Group B and will be playing each other first. Expect as tight of a match as the finals four years ago, as both will want to start off on the right foot.

14. Mexico: Righting the Wrongs

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14. Mexico: Righting the Wrongs

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In a bizarre turn of events, Mexico was literally seconds away from being eliminated in the qualifiers before the U.S scored a late goal against Panama. Mexico will want to reverse the image they left in the qualifiers and finally go beyond the round of 16. Will they right the wrongs of the qualifiers?

13. The "Spanish Reconquista"

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13. The "Spanish Reconquista"

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The Spanish national team will attempt to become the first team to win back-to-back World Cups since Brazil did it in 1958 and 1962. If they manage to defeat the probabilities, their legacy will be cemented as one of the best teams in the history of soccer. That's quite the accolade.

12. Goal-line Technology

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12. Goal-line Technology

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It's no longer just a topic saved for World Cups, it's now become a discussion had every Sunday. The higher-ups at FIFA simply don't like modernity implemented into soccer. Even then, it's extremely likely that controversial goals will be scored in Brazil. Will FIFA continue without goal-line technology and replays in favor of the referee eye test?

11. Wayne Rooney's World Cup

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11. Wayne Rooney's World Cup

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Wayne Rooney has been one of England's biggest stars for the past two World Cups, but both times have resulted in disappointing performances from Rooney and England. Rooney must be hoping that the third time is the charm. His performance in this World Cup might decide if he's one of England's best players, or simply a World Cup flop.

10. Maracanazo Repeat

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10. Maracanazo Repeat

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The last time Brazil hosted a World Cup, they lost in the Finals match to Uruguay in what would become known as "El Maracanazo." The question for Brazil, this year's early favorites, will be if they'll go all the way or be doomed to repeating history? Make no mistake about it, if the latter occurs, tourists might have to prepare themselves for massive riots.

9. Ecuador's Memorial

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9. Ecuador's Memorial

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On July of 2013, Ecuador suffered the unfortunate loss of one of their star forwards, Christian "Chucho" Benitez. His unexpected death shocked millions, and deeply affected the Ecuadorian national team. At this World Cup, they'll be dedicating every one of their games and victories to the memory of their late teammate and friend.

8. The Group of Death

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8. The Group of Death

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Every World Cup has always had a Group of Death. This year, Germany, the US, Portugal and Ghana were drawn into it. The nerve-racking games will start early on in the tournament. The stakes are high in the group, the games will be tense, and upsets will occur. Two of these four great teams will have to go home a lot earlier than they had hoped.

7. The Cinderella Story

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7. The Cinderella Story

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Just like every World Cup has a group of death, every World Cup has a Cinderella Story. Turkey, South Korea and the US have all been that story in past years and it will be exciting to see who it will be this year. Keep an eye out for Bosnia, Japan or Chile, as all are good enough to surprise the world.

6. Diego Costa's Betrayal

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6. Diego Costa's Betrayal

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Not many would deny a call-up to the illustrious Brazilian national team, but if you're Diego Costa, you're not any bit interested. The Brazilian-born forward opted to play for Spain rather than Brazil. What makes matters even more dramatic is the fact that the World Cup is in Brazil this year. Will Brazilian fans try to make Diego Costa's stay an absolute nightmare?

5. The Injuries

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5. The Injuries

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Ricardo Montolivo, Franck Ribery, Radamel Falcao and Theo Walcott. These are just a couple of the names that will be missing the World Cup due to injury this year. Few can remember a World Cup with so many stars ruled out. The injured list will no doubt cause a problem for the teams who depend on these players.

4. The Landon Donavon Snub

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4. The Landon Donavon Snub

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One of the biggest shocks in the 23-man roster selections came out of the United States, when Jurgen Klinsmann left out American legend Landon Donavon in favor of the 19-year-old Julian Green. All eyes will be on the USMNT as they try to escape their group without Donavon for the first time since 1998.

3. The Brazilian Stadiums

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3. The Brazilian Stadiums

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Some of the biggest headlines that have come out of Brazil have been about the stadiums. Just days before the tournament starts, numerous reports have surfaced of the stadiums being nowhere near finished. Add that to the rising protests of citizens, and you've got a recipe for a Brazilian uproar. One can only wait to see how the stadiums hold up.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo's Ballon D'or

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2. Cristiano Ronaldo's Ballon D'or

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As if Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't already have the pressures of being one of the best in the world, the burden will become heavier with his recent Ballon D'Or (a trophy given to the year's best player in the world). All eyes will be on him to guide Portugal to the Finals. The question remains: will he flourish under the spotlight or crumble under the pressure?

1. Lionel Messi's Form

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1. Lionel Messi's Form

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Lionel Messi's recent performances for Barcelona have injected worry into the hearts of Argentina. Is he no longer the best in the world? Have defenders finally figured him out? His performance for Argentina on the biggest stage of them all will mark his career forever as either better or worse than the legendary Diego Maradona.