Soccer
  • They are some of the biggest names in soccer, or on the verge of becoming a star, but they won't be playing at the World Cup next year.

    In this Nov. 19, 2013 file photo Sweden's forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic removes the captain's armband, after the World Cup 2014 qualifying playoff second leg soccer match between Sweden and Portugal, at Friends Arena in Stockholm. Sweden lost 2-3. The tournament in Brazil will be a poorer spectacle without Zlatan Ibrahimovic strutting his stuff for Sweden, or Welshman Gareth Bale leaving defenders in his wake with his searing pace. Prolific scorer Robert Lewandowski of Poland, Czech goalkeeper Peter Cech and r
    LAST UPDATE : Nov 21, 2013, 11:11 AM EST
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  • Mexico's Oribe Peralta celebrates a goal against New Zealand in their World Cup qualifying soccer match at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013.

    El Tri earned the next-to-last berth in the 32-nation field by defeating New Zealand Wednesday night for a 9-3 aggregate win in their home-and-home playoff.

    LAST UPDATE : Nov 20, 2013, 11:16 AM EST
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  • In this Nov. 19, 2013 file picture Croatia's defender Josip Simunic, left, is challenged by Iceland's Alfred Finnbogason during their World Cup qualifying playoff second leg soccer match against Iceland, in Zagreb, Croatia. Croatia's World Cup qualification celebrations have been marred by apparent pro-Nazi chants by fans and defender Josip Simunic. Croatia qualified for the World Cup with a 2-0 win over Iceland on Tuesday. Video footage shows Simunic taking a microphone to the field after the match and sho

    Croatia's World Cup qualification celebrations have been overshadowed by apparent pro-Nazi chants by some fans and defender Joe Simunic.

    LAST UPDATE : Nov 20, 2013, 11:54 AM EST
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  • Algerian people celebrate their victory after the World Cup qualifying playoff second leg soccer match against Burkina Faso, in Algiers, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. Algeria won 1-0 to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

    Celebrations for Algeria's victory over Burkina Faso that sent the country's soccer team to the 2014 World Cup finals left 12 people dead and some 240 injured.

    LAST UPDATE : Nov 20, 2013, 11:49 AM EST
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  • France's soccer team celebrate after defeating Ukraine during the World Cup qualifying playoff second-leg soccer match between France and Ukraine at Stade de France stadium in Saint Denis, outside Paris, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. France beats Ukaine 3-0 in playoff second leg to qualify for World Cup.

    Greece, Ghana and Algeria also earned berths, and Mexico took a 5-1 lead into the second leg of its playoff against New Zealand.

    LAST UPDATE : Nov 19, 2013, 11:04 PM EST
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  • Iceland's players practice during a training session Monday, Nov. 18 2013, at the Maksimir stadium in Zagreb. Iceland will play Croatia on Tuesday in a World Cup qualifying playoff second-leg soccer match.

    Icelanders who have fought back for five years since the country's spectacular financial collapse finally have something to smile about.

    LAST UPDATE : Nov 19, 2013, 5:45 PM EST
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  • Barcelona's Andres Iniesta, centre, vies for the ball with AC Milan's Riccardo Montolivo during a group H Champions League soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday Nov. 6, 2013.

    Spain's decision to play a soccer game at former colony Equatorial Guinea has drawn the ire of the country's opposition in exile group in Madrid.

    LAST UPDATE : Nov 14, 2013, 4:13 PM EST
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  • In this Dec. 23, 2011 file photo, former soccer stars Romario, left, and Ronaldo give a news conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Romario and Ronaldo are at odds over the World Cup in Brazil, criticizing each other's conflicting comments about what the tournament means to the country's population.

    In a clash of Brazilian soccer greats and World Cup champions, Romario and Ronaldo are at odds over what the showpiece tournament means to the country.

    LAST UPDATE : Nov 08, 2013, 11:36 AM EST
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  • Barcelona's Lionel Messi shoots to score against AC Milan during a group H Champions League soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday Nov. 6, 2013.

     

    Barcelona beat AC Milan 3-1 Wednesday night to clinch a berth in the second round of the Champions League.

    LAST UPDATE : Nov 06, 2013, 7:06 PM EST
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  • Brazil's Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo adjusts his glasses during a news conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Monday, Oct. 28, 2013. Rebelo is not expecting waves of protests during the World Cup next year, saying the Brazilian people will be more worried about celebrating the tournament than complaining of its cost.

    The Brazilian government wants to improve services for the nearly 600,000 international visitors and 3 million local tourists expected at next year's World Cup.

    LAST UPDATE : Nov 04, 2013, 10:12 AM EST
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