TIME

Crepes vs. Bratwurst: World Cup Matches Reimagined With Food

Soccer has never looked so delicious

The World Cup isn’t just about soccer or athleticism — it’s about bringing people together and taking pride in one’s country and culture, right? To emphasize that part of the event, artist George Zisiadis decided to focus on one key part of culture: food.

He chose one popular dish from several different nations — mussels and fries for Belgium, acarajé for Brazil, and so on — and then combined them.

“Rather than focus on its adversarial nature, I wanted to playfully re-imagine the World Cup and celebrate how it brings cultures together,” Zisiadis told Mashable. “Just like futbol, food also represents nationalities and brings people together.”

George Zisiadis
George Zisiadis
George Zisiadis
George Zisiadis
George Zisiadis
George Zisiadis

Head over to Zisiadis’s website to see more World Cup food pairings.

TIME world cup 2014

5 Reasons Brazil Will Lose to Germany (and 3 Reasons It Won’t)

Brazil v Colombia: Quarter Final - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
Neymar lies injured while Marcelo shows concern looking over him during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Quarter Final match between Brazil and Colombia at Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil on July 4, 2014. Lars Baron—FIFA/Getty Images

The pre-tournament favorite Brazil isn't playing much like it at the moment. Here's why Brazil could lose the in the World Cup 2014 semifinals to Germany.

The World Cup reaches the semifinals this week, starting with Germany taking on host Brazil. A day later, Argentina faces the Netherlands. Although the pre-tournament favorite, Brazil hasn’t done much to back up that designation. Here’s why it could be the end of the road for the Seleção.

1) No-Mar
With Neymar out of the World Cup with a fractured vertebra, the Brazilians not only have lost their best scorer, they’ve lost their talisman, and to some degree their hope. Neymar was willing to put Brazil on his back and carry it. He’s a player whose value extends beyond his incredible skills. And with Thiago Silva suspended because of his own stupidity in getting a second yellow card, Brazil has lost its defensive anchor, too.

2) Brazil’s strikers need to add a syllable (and some goals)
Fred. Hulk. Jo. Brazilian players often go by one name—Pele, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho—but its current crop of monosyllabic frontrunners have come up short on goals. Buy a vowel. That’s why players such as Willian and Ramires need to step in Neymar’s absence.

3) The team is mediocre
It may be the worst thing you can say about Brazil, but it’s what Colombia’s players remarked after the game against them—which Colombia lost 2-1 on two set pieces rather than from the run of play. Mexico players were likewise unimpressed after El Tri’s scoreless draw with the Seleção. The magic that marked great Brazilian teams—when three or four players could each do amazing things— is missing from this outfit. Even worse: teams no longer fear Brazil. Germany certainly won’t be intimidated.

4) Brazil is playing like a team that’s afraid of losing
There’s more pressure on this team than any team in the history of football. How could it not get to them? In fact, it has. Neymar’s loss gives Brazil’s team a soul-saving excuse should it lose to Germany, not exactly a motivating thought.

5) Germany isn’t Colombia
Or even Mexico, and that’s not a good thing. Brazil thrives in a wide-open, up-and-down game. Germany is not likely to allow that kind of freedom, as it showed against France. If the Germans cut down on the space, Brazil is going to find it awfully tough going. So are the spectators.

And here, three reasons not to give up on Brazil

1) It got to the semis, didn’t it?
Brazil has won 4 games and tied one, and although none of those results have been pretty to watch, the team has managed to find a way to progress. Against Colombia, it found a way through a corner kick and a piece of powerful artistry from David Luiz on a magnificent free kick.

2) Again, Germany isn’t Colombia.
Or even Mexico, and that’s a good thing. The Germans have looked less impressive with each subsequent game after pole-axing a weak Portuguese team in their opening match. Against France, it reverted to a circa 1986 model of play, with lots of possession in the back and little going forward. And the winning goal? A header by one of its giant backs after winning a free kick. Boring old Germany.

3) It’s the World Cup and it’s in Brazil.
The script has been written, and Brazil just has to play to play its part. Certainly, the crowd at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte is going to turn the joint into a noise avalanche. Brazil’s players just need to ride it to victory.

TIME Research

This Infographic Shows Which World Cup Team Has The Loudest Fans

An unscientific recording of fans' cheering predicts which team will win the World Cup

An expert audiologist with the Hear the World Foundation recorded sound during all four quarter final World Cup games in Sao Paulo, Brazil. When the decibel level spiked above 90, the audiologist recorded the level and for which team the cheering was intended. At the end of each game, the average decibel level of each team’s fans was calculated by adding the decibel levels at each spike, divided by the total number of spikes. Hearing is put into jeopardy at just 90 decibels.

Check out the infographic below for a prediction on who will win the World Cup based on having the loudest fans.

Hear the World Foundation
TIME World Cup

The Soccer Net: A Popular Destination for World Cup Players

Players have taken to the net in celebration, frustration and disappointment

TIME Soccer

Meet Brazil’s ‘Black-Magic Enthusiast’ and His Anti-German Voodoo Dolls

FBL-WC-2014-BRA-MACUMBA
An Afro-Brazilian ritual takes place at a religious-goods shop in Rio de Janeiro on July 3, 2014 Yasuyoshi Chiba—AFP/Getty Images

After Neymar's injury, the Brazilian team may need all the magic it can get

Magic, or some other supernatural tendency, has had a long and weirdly intimate relationship with the game of soccer.

This isn’t simply a matter of the clairvoyant octopus or turtle that may have accurately predicted the outcome of a World Cup match or two. When Ghana’s national team, for instance, lost to Zambia in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, Ghanaian coach Goran Stevanovic pointed to deliberate acts of witchcraft between his players as a plausible explanation for the upset. (Stevanovic, it should be said, was fired shortly afterward.)

So let us be disturbed, but not particularly surprised, by Helio Sillman, the Brazilian “black-magic enthusiast” who, via a voodoo doll in his occult curio shop in northern Rio de Janeiro, has plans to “take [Germany’s] top player and bind his legs so he can’t run on the pitch,” reports AFP.

Brazil will play Germany on Tuesday afternoon in what’ll likely be a riveting match, considering the near infallibility of both teams so far. In the past few weeks, Brazil has trounced Cameroon, Chile, Croatia and Mexico; Sillman has voodoo dolls of players from all four teams sitting in a bowl in his shop. The match results are proof, he says, that his magic works.

The Brazilian team may need all the magic it can get. Neymar, the team’s golden player, apparently fell outside the domain of Sillman’s protective aura when he was kneed in the back during Friday’s quarterfinal match against Colombia, causing a particularly nasty lumbar vertebra fracture that’ll keep him benched for the remainder of the World Cup.

[AFP]

TIME World Cup

Tim Howard Does Not Want You to Hug Him

Tim Howard
Tim Howard of Everton instructs his team during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Everton at Selhurst Park on November 9, 2013 in London, England. Bryn Lennon—Getty Images

Lovable, but maybe not huggable

Tim Howard saved a record 16 goals in the U.S.-Belgium World Cup match this week, but don’t expect him to save your wounded ego after you try to give him a hug.

This fan went in for a hug with the All-American Wall and Howard did what he does best: blocked him out and turned him around. Here’s to the fan getting some love from Kyle Beckerman or Clint Dempsey.

TIME Pictures of the Week

Pictures of the Week: June 27 – July 4

From the killing of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers and Tim Howard’s World Cup heroics to the beginning of Ramadan and Hurricane Arthur photographed from space, TIME presents the best pictures of the week.

TIME Appreciation

Turtle vs. Dog Is the Best Soccer Match You’ll See During the World Cup

You’ll never guess who wins the closest thing the World Cup has to the Puppy Bowl

The World Cup this year has been even more packed than most with high-intensity, hair-raising games, but none of them holds a candle to this matchup for the ages: turtle v.s. dog.

Posted to Facebook under the title “Italian soccer :) ( a.k.a. also a turtle and a dog can manage …” by Valeria D’Innocenzo Carlantoni in Civitavechia, Italy, a small town near Rome, this 1:17-long clip features some surprisingly cheeky touches and fancy footwork. The aggressive tackle at the end is exceptional, though it’s a miracle no one got carded.

If you’ve been rooting for the U.S., soothe your broken heart (which should still be celebrating the OMG-mind-blowingly awesome performance of U.S. goalie Tim Howard) with this clip.

Try and watch this video without, at least in your head, narrating the action in a game announcer voice. This needs to be the World Cup’s version of the Puppy Bowl.

TIME

Feel Good Friday: 11 Fun Photos to Start Your Weekend

From giant pandas to rain god rituals, here's a handful of photos to get your weekend started right

TIME

Facebook Found Out What’s More Popular: “Soccer” or “Football”

Belgium v USA: Round of 16 - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JULY 01: Julian Green of the United States scores his team's first goal past Thibaut Courtois of Belgium in extra time during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Belgium and the United States at Arena Fonte Nova on July 1, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images) Michael Steele—Getty Images

Some people are going to be very upset

As the world descended into World Cup mania, Facebook decided to sift through its 1 billion-plus tournament related posts to run a little (completely emotion manipulation-free) study. Starting at the beginning of the games, the social network decided to track what was more popular: “soccer,” “football,” futbal” … you get the general idea.

And the most prevalent translation, based on Facebook comments and posts, is going to make some people very unhappy:

  1. Soccer
  2. Football
  3. Fútbol
  4. Futebol
  5. Futbol

That might numb the burn of the USA vs. Belgium game.

Facebook also looked at the use of the word “goal” on the site. More specifically, it looked at which countries used the most letters to express its enthusiasm. It turns out that Venezuelans are the most Gooooool exuberant, using an average of 21 characters to spell it out. Here are the top five elongated spellers:

  1. Venezuela (21.2 characters)
  2. Gabon (18.4)
  3. Tunisia (13.4)
  4. Mexico (12.8)
  5. Montenegro (12.8)

And just in case you needed some visualizations:

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