World Cup

Chinese bus gets lined with artificial turf for World Cup, may never go back

Chinese bus gets lined with artificial turf for World Cup, may never go back

In an effort to ride the wave of excitement caused by the FIFA World Cup championships, a bus in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region had artificial grass layered throughout its flooring. However, according to the driver, the benefits of this promotional scheme went far beyond stirring up a little soccer-fever.

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Shopping for sadness: Soccer-themed merch going cheap following Japan’s early World Cup loss

Shopping for sadness: Soccer-themed merch going cheap following Japan’s early World Cup loss

Just a few weeks ago, as the World Cup got underway, expectations were running high for Japan’s national soccer team, which played impressively on its way to making the Group of 16 four years ago in South Africa. Seemingly the whole country was pumped up, with both long-time soccer nuts and people who ordinarily have little interest in sports getting behind the men in blue.

Sadly, though, Japan’s shot in Brazil came to a close after just three games, with its best outing being a 0-0 draw with Greece. It’s safe to say fans are disappointed, and there’s another group of people that acutely shares their pain: retailers stuck with boxes of unsold Japanese soccer team merchandise.

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Is there a correlation between sex and World Cup success?

Is there a correlation between sex and World Cup success?

Another World Cup has come and gone, and diehard soccer fans will have to wait another four years until their national teams will have another chance for glory. While many of the successful teams in the tournament depended heavily on star players such as Argentina’s Messi or Portugal’s Ronaldo, it’s undeniable that the all-around teamwork of Germany was instrumental in their first-place finish. Another possible contributing factor to their victory was…sex?!

As both English and Japanese-language news agencies have reported, all the teams participating in the Cup had different policies regarding their players and sexual intercourse during the tournament. Furthermore, all of the teams that advanced to the quarterfinals had policies that allowed sex, while all of the teams which specifically forbade sex during the tournament were eliminated in the group stage or the round of 16.

Funnily enough, the German team was one of the groups that allowed its players to engage in some adult fun during down time…

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World Cup humiliation for Brazil inspires Internet memes

World Cup humiliation for Brazil inspires Internet memes

Brazil’s loss to Germany in the World Cup was, without a doubt, some of the biggest news of the week. Even non-soccer fans have heard about–and thrived on the Schadenfreude of–the massive blow out. It’s probably fair to say that, while not the biggest loss in World Cup history, it will likely be the most memorable of this tournament, and after losing to the Netherlands earlier today there’s even less for the country to celebrate.

And here to make sure that no one will ever forget about the horrible beating that Brazil faced is the Internet and tons of memes to make you laugh and cry simultaneously!

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Greece national football team players turn down individual bonuses for something else

Greece national football team players turn down individual bonuses for something else

The World Cup is not just a battle between nations to determine who is the strongest in the world. It is also a momentous celebration of international exchange and an opportunity for citizens of the world to display their national pride. Heart-wrenching and heartwarming stories alike are born from the event, which remain in people’s minds long after the final score has been forgotten. Some of the most memorable stories from the tournament don’t even take place on the pitch during gameplay; rather, they materialize in other acts of chivalry off the field.

Although Greece was defeated by Costa Rica on Sunday, Greek citizens couldn’t have been prouder to see their national team advance to the Round of 16 for the first time ever. The Greek athletes also seemed content just having served as representatives for their home country, as they incredibly refused individual monetary bonuses and instead asked for a joint venture that should further unite them in spirit with their fellow countrymen.

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These anime mascots are just what the World Cup has been missing!

These anime mascots are just what the World Cup has been missing!

Here at RocketNews24 we believe there are few things that can’t be improved with a sprinkling of anime style – even sports mascots. So we were thrilled to learn that one mystery artist has created unofficial anime mascots for all 32 World Cup teams. If you like your football with a side helping of cute and quirky cartoon girls, you’ve come to the right place!

Join us after the jump for a host of new anime characters dressed as superheros, animals and more – all in their team colours, of course.

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Uruguayan soccer star can’t stop biting, but can open your beer with this crazy bottle opener

Uruguayan soccer star can’t stop biting, but can open your beer with this crazy bottle opener

The most distinctive aspect of soccer is that use of the hands is prohibited. But did you know players aren’t allowed to use their teeth either?

This minor detail of the rule book seems to have slipped the mind of Uruguay forward Luis Suarez, who currently stands accused of biting an opponent for the third time in his career during the country’s recent match against Italy at the World Cup. For his part, Suarez doesn’t seem to get what all the fuss is about, brushing off the incident with the declaration that “these things happen on the pitch.”

But it’s not just the 27-year-old striker who isn’t taking the incident seriously, as novelty goods manufacturers in China have apparently already started producing bottle openers that will help you crack open a cold one using Suarez’s now infamous teeth.

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Uruguay midfielder harnesses the power of DBZ to protect his shins

Uruguay midfielder harnesses the power of DBZ to protect his shins

While the soccer-watching world has been keeping an eye on Uruguay forward Luis Suárez, whose hunger for victory has earned him a nine match, four month suspension, teammate Walter Gargano has been dazzling the otakusphere in other ways. Namely, the proud display of his Dragon Ball Z shinguards.

Midfielder Gargano posted a photo to his Instagram account two days ago, prompting a flurry of excited reactions to his equipment choice.

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Otsukare-sama deshita: A look back at Team Japan’s time at the World Cup

Otsukare-sama deshita: A look back at Team Japan’s time at the World Cup

It’s over. With their 1-4 defeat against Colombia, Team Japan is officially out of the World Cup tournament after just three matches. The boys in blue put up a good fight, but arguably left a lot on the pitch in Group C, in what many say was Japan’s best chance to make a big impact on the world stage. But despite the disappointing losses (and one unbelievable tie), there were some truly great moments that came out of the tournament for Samurai Blue. So before we all move on and choose a different team to support, let us take a moment to look back at the matches, the players, and those crazy fans who came together to root on NIPPON!

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How not to choose a kanji tattoo: A guide for World Cup footballers

How not to choose a kanji tattoo: A guide for World Cup footballers

Are you a professional footballer? Are you thinking about getting an exotic-looking tattoo in Japanese or Chinese script? With this year’s World Cup players the most inked in history, it’s no wonder the players keep taking their shirts off to show off their skin. Today, we bring you a guide to getting inked as a World Cup footballer – or to be more accurate, a guide to what not to do.

Greek footballer Theofanis “Fanis” Gekas, who has been attracting online attention in Japan recently for his unusual Chinese(ish) tattoo, isn’t the only World Cup player with some not-entirely-accurate ink on his arms. Join us after the jump for photographic evidence of what your mother (should’ve) told you: “If you can’t read it, don’t get it permanently etched onto your skin.”

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Game-winning Greek penalty kick wrongly awarded because a guy tripped? 【Updated】

Game-winning Greek penalty kick wrongly awarded because a guy tripped? 【Updated】

Controversial calls during the World Cup are about as unexpected as Kanye West hysterically ranting on Twitter; that is to say, it happens a lot.  But when it comes to contested fouls in this year’s tournament, here’s one where the argument that it was bogus may just have some… legs! Get it?

At first glance, there didn’t seem to be anything fishy about the stoppage time foul against Greek striker Giorgos Samaras that gave up a penalty kick to the Greeks and sealed their win over Ivory Coast. Most early coverage of the game seems to make no mention of the controversial call, but when fans – who appear to oftentimes be more attentive than game officials – started posting replay footage online, some started to wonder whether Samaras actually tripped over his own feet and wasn’t fouled at all.

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Colombia beats Japan, still picks up a few Japanese supporters for its inspiring sportsmanship

Colombia beats Japan, still picks up a few Japanese supporters for its inspiring sportsmanship

The international nature of professional soccer makes for some uniquely compelling individual matchups at the World Cup. Since the event is only held once every four years, during the time between tournaments the members of each country’s national teams go back to playing for their respective, privately owned clubs.

It’s easy to imagine how this could make things awkward for a player who has a club teammate who’s on the roster of a different national team. One day you’re doing everything you can to beat him at the World Cup, but a few weeks later, you’re going to have to go back to working together, no matter how bitterly contested your match in Brazil was.

Sometimes, though, the opposite happens, and these personal connections bring a little extra sportsmanship to the World Cup, like what happened between Japanese defender Yuto Nagatomo and Colombian midfielder Fredy Guarin.

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Columbia Records Japan changing name in support of national team’s game against Colombia

Columbia Records Japan changing name in support of national team’s game against Colombia

Things aren’t looking too good for Japan’s soccer team as it goes into its third and final game of group play at the World Cup. After a heartbreaking loss in its opener against Ivory Coast, and then a contest with Greece in which neither team’s shots could find the net, it’s do-or-die time for Japan, which is going to need quite a bit of help, and possibly luck, to advance to the Round of 16.

But all of the myriad tie-breakers Japan needs to go its way won’t mean anything if it can’t defeat group powerhouse Colombia, which currently has a 2-0 record. With all of Japan hoping for a victory over the South American nation, Team Japan is getting a little bit of extra moral support as the Japanese arm of Columbia Records is changing its name to help cheer on its local sports heroes.

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World Cup players swap shorts after match

World Cup players swap shorts after match

The World Cup, an event that brings thousands of people from all over the world together, has some beautiful moments – Neymar, of Team Brazil (who many are calling “the face of the World Cup”) busting into tears of pride at the climax of his nation’s anthem, Japanese fans cleaning their area after a losing game, and the always heartwarming tradition of exchanging jerseys after the match – to name a few.

But we’re not quite sure what to make of Ivan Rakitic of Croatia and Stephane M’Bia of Cameroon exchanging shorts after Wednesday night’s match. But we suppose we can count this as another one of those “beautiful moments.” After all, nothing says “good game, mate” like having your opponent’s ball sweat up in your nether regions. (Soccer ball sweat, you pervs!)

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Despite the draw with Greece, Japan’s World Cup team still has a glimmer of hope

Despite the draw with Greece, Japan’s World Cup team still has a glimmer of hope

Japan has had a bit of a rough start at the 2014 World Cup. After losing to 2-1 against the Ivory Coast, the team came back strong against Greece and got an amazing…0-0 tie. Well, it’s better than losing right?

Though you may be ready to throw in the towel for the Japanese soccer team, we’re here to tell you that things aren’t quite as bleak as they may seem. While having lost the first game of the tournament certainly isn’t a good sign, there are teams who’ve made it to the next round in similar circumstances!

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Can these Japanese kitties accurately predict the advancing teams of the World Cup?

Can these Japanese kitties accurately predict the advancing teams of the World Cup?

You may remember that octopus named Paul whose accurate series of “predictions” during the 2010 World Cup about Germany’s matches and Spain’s victory shot him to worldwide fame.

Well move over, Paul, because you’ve got two new furry rivals! Stepping up to the challenge in 2014 are Munchkin kitties Kikunosuke and Rikimaru. Their owner had them “predict” which two teams from each of the initial groups A through H would proceed to the rest of the tournament. Japanese fans would be well-advised to listen to the cats, since Japan was picked to advance from group C.

Keep reading to find out which sixteen teams will advance, at least according to the cats!

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Japanese fans are waving around blue plastic garbage bags at today’s World Cup match…

Japanese fans are waving around blue plastic garbage bags at today’s World Cup match…

Every country has their fair share of crazy fans dressed in garb ranging from carrot headdresses to scarves with the power of 1000% elephants, but the Japanese supporters are by far our all-around favorite. During their first match against Côte d’Ivoire last Saturday, they showed up with plenty of white paint on their faces and bowling pins on their heads. With Japan’s second match currently underway, we couldn’t help but notice a strange new addition to the cheer gear of Samurai Blue supporters; an item we’ve all seen before being used for its intended purpose.

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Women in China say the World Cup makes them sad, protest by removing their “World Cups” in public

Women in China say the World Cup makes them sad, protest by removing their “World Cups” in public

Men of the world, have you been prioritizing World Cup matches over your wives and girlfriends recently?

Earlier this month in China, a group of women got together and took off their “soccer balls” in order to cheer up their fellow female counterparts who have been neglected by their husbands and boyfriends. We have no idea if that makes any sense, but here’s how it looks!

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Kanji fail – Japanese World Cup fans notice Greek player’s strange tattoo

Kanji fail – Japanese World Cup fans notice Greek player’s strange tattoo

It must be tough playing in the World Cup. Not only are you representing your entire country, but every mistake you make is seen by millions of people all over the world. Poor Igor Akinfeev, the Russian goalkeeper who let a straightforward shot from Korea’s Lee Keun-ho roll up and over his head and into the goal. It was enough to make anyone want to curl up into a ball and die, and Igor’s mortified face was painful to watch, inspiring thousands of Tweets proclaiming, “Yikes!”

Japanese netizens have taken notice of another footballer faux paus, this time in the form of an unfortunate tattoo. We’ve seen it before – misinformed fans of body modification adding “Chicken Noodle Soup or “casket maker” in exotic scrawl, and Team Greece representative, Theofanis “Fanis” Gekas, has added to the list of tattoos that have piqued the interest of Japanese netizens.

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Japanese soccer fans celebrate the World Cup with Samurai Blue curry

Japanese soccer fans celebrate the World Cup with Samurai Blue curry

Now that the World Cup is well and truly underway, fans in Japan have found themselves in the full-blown throes of soccer fever. While some would remedy the malady with a set of earplugs and a good lie-down, others look to the food world, with World Cup menus popping up all over the country offering all sorts of surprises. One place in Osaka has put together a creative curry and cocktail set that represents the Japanese soccer team, Samurai Blue, and the host country of Brazil. Can you see the two countries in the image above?

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