8 teams to root for in the World Cup if your favorite country went bust in qualifying


Why they’re fun:

Brazil has long been the juggernaut of international soccer, having won six World Cups over the years — more than any other country on the planet.

But while that might make you think that they’re something of a New England Patriots/Golden State Warriors/Evil Empire of the sport, this team is undeniably likable. Neymar is the centerpiece of what should be a dazzling attack, supported by Paulinho and Philippe Coutinho, all of whom are marvelous to watch and could find themselves with the goal of the tournament.

Also, Brazil is playing for redemption. After cruising to the semifinal of the 2014 World Cup, they were embarrassed on their home soil by Germany, falling 7-1 after the German side scored four goals in six minutes in the first half. With how the draw worked out, Germany and Brazil could potentially meet for a rematch, either in the first match of the knockout round, or the final.

Can they win?

Undoubtedly. They’ve done it six times before and return with a more loaded team this year than four years ago. If you love reveling in the World Cup and want to adopt a team with a real chance to take home the trophy, Brazil is your squad for the next month.

You should root for them if….

You like rooting for the 2018 Yankees — even if you’re usually against their stacked roster, you have to admit that they’re fun.



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