February 18, 2014

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After winning the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, Neymar & Co. will hope to lift the World Cup trophy this summer on home soil, with the eyes of a nation upon them.
Bruno Magalhaes/AP
There may not be two names more synonymous with Brazil and its soccer culture than Ronaldo, left, and Pele.
Patrick Seeger/DPA/AP

I got my first taste of this not in Rio or São Paulo but in Lyon, France, where the dots of a year's study were joined by weekly five-a-side games with expatriate Brazilians and assorted others. It was on the unforgiving concrete of the local court that I first began to pick up Portuguese.

Brazil fans live and die with the fortunes of the Selecao, pouring emotion and passion into the game.
Fernando Llano/AP
Another Brazilian word will be introduced to soccer fans this summer: Caxirola - the official fan noisemaker of the 2014 World Cup.
Fabio Pozzebom/Agencia Brasil/AP

Jack Lang writes about football (mainly Brazilian) for a number of websites and publications, including The Mirror, Yahoo! Eurosport, When Saturday Comes, and UEFA.com. You can find links to all his articles on his blog, Snap, Kaká and Pop!

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