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Published: June 9, 2014 at 12:12 p.m.
Updated: July 2, 2014 at 10:25 a.m.

World Cup-NFL team comparisons

With Thursday's results, the U.S. Men's National Team advances to the second round of the World Cup. Have a look at how they and other World Cup teams compare to their NFL counterparts.

11 Photos Total

  • Spain-Seattle Seahawks 11

    Associated Press

    Spain-Seattle Seahawks

    It only makes sense to pair the reigning World Cup champions with the most recent Super Bowl winners. Russell Wilson dazzles at distribution almost as well as Spain's brilliant midfielders, and Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique and Iker Casillas operate as a competent stand-in for soccer's Legion of Boom. Spain's World Cup run has come to an end, but the Seahawks are built for long-term success with a talent-rich roster full of young players with cap-friendly deals.

  • Brazil-Green Bay Packers 10

    Associated Press

    Brazil-Green Bay Packers

    Look beyond the matching green-and-gold uniforms and you'll find these two football powerhouses have more in common than gear. Brazil is the most successful team in the history of the World Cup, winning the tournament five times. The Packers, meanwhile, boast the most NFL championships with 13. In the stands, the fan fervor for their respective football teams might also be unmatched among their peers. On the field/pitch, each team features a talented defender who sports wild hair: David Luiz for Brazil and Clay Matthews for the Packers.

  • Germany-New England Patriots 9

    Associated Press

    Germany-New England Patriots

    The Deutscher Fußball-Bund and the Patriots have been among the elite for quite some time. Unfortunately for each, championship glory has been difficult to capture in recent years. Germany is owner of three World Cup championships; the Patriots own three Vince Lombardi Trophies. Germany hasn't won a World Cup since 1970, but are almost a sure thing to reach the quarterfinals (having advanced at least that far in last eight World Cups). Fast forward to 2014, and Patriots QB Tom Brady and German goal-scoring maestro Miroslav Klose are 36 years old, and both are possibly facing one last shot at ultimate glory.

  • U.S.-Carolina Panthers 8

    Associated Press

    U.S.-Carolina Panthers

    The U.S. parting ways with Landon Donovan mirrored the Panthers' recent breakup with franchise icon Steve Smith, but the similarities don't end there. These are both squads with intriguing pockets of talent and maddening flaws. Carolina with Cam Newton and that patchwork receiving corps. The U.S. with Michael Bradley and a wayward defense that has Ghana, Portugal and Germany licking their lips. The odds are heavily against them, but with any luck the USMNT will put it all together in Brazil a la Carolina's inspired run to the playoffs.

  • England-Dallas Cowboys 7

    Associated Press

    England-Dallas Cowboys

    It never fails. Each offseason, expectations for the Cowboys get over-inflated. Then, come December, it turns out those forecasts were full of hot air. Such is also life for the nation that boasts to have invented the sport of football, England. Many assume "The Three Lions" are entitled to be a World Cup favorite due to England's history in the sport and its domestic league. Yet, heartbreak typically awaits, just as with the Cowboys. Catchy marketing monikers ("America's Team") and top-flight domestic leagues (the EPL) haven't earned these two teams any glory in their respective sports' grandest stages in a very long time.

  • Argentina-Denver Broncos 6

    Associated Press

    Argentina-Denver Broncos

    Lionel Messi and Peyton Manning are still seeking their first titles for their current teams ­ and their legacy will be forever shaped by their ability to bring a trophy back home in 2014. With otherworldly attacking dynamism, both the Broncos and Argentina will strike fear into opposing teams ­ but to have any chance at a World Cup or Super Bowl, they've got to improve a shaky defense.

  • Italy-Pittsburgh Steelers 5

    Associated Press

    Italy-Pittsburgh Steelers

    These are two teams with a well-known championship pedigree, but the current squad is far from their best. Nevertheless, on their day, both Italy and the Steelers are going to be hard to beat. Historically, whether it's the Steel Curtain or Catenaccio, both teams have built their success on the back of a hard-nosed, disciplined defense.

  • Belgium-Philadelphia Eagles 4

    Associated Press

    Belgium-Philadelphia Eagles

    Young, exciting and fast. Those three words define the brilliance of Belgium and the Philadelphia Eagles, but could also describe their downfall. Like Chip Kelly's fast-paced system, Belgium coach Marc Wilmots sends a team into the World Cup that can be at its best, and worst, when the leash comes off. Belgium has never won a World Cup and the Eagles have never won a Super Bowl, but if they get some momentum this year, they're decent dark horses to go all the way.

  • Portugal-Indianapolis Colts 3

    Associated Press

    Portugal-Indianapolis Colts

    In forward Cristiano Ronaldo -- the recipient of the FIFA Ballon d'Or (given to top male footballer in world) in 2013 -- Portugal possesses arguably the world's greatest player. Aside from Ronaldo, Portugal does not possess an adequate supporting cast, which explains why Ronaldo has come up short in international competitions. In the NFL, the Colts have quarterback Andrew Luck, who in two seasons is rising among the elite at his position. However, Luck's supporting cast isn't quite at the same level as the prodigal passer.

  • Uruguay-Washington Redskins 2

    Associated Press

    Uruguay-Washington Redskins

    Uruguay's hopes at World Cup rest at the feet of striker Luis Suarez, a mercurial talent on par with Eagles-turned-Redskins speedster DeSean Jackson. If Suarez can return to full health, the sky is the limit with he and 2010 World Cup star Diego Forlan on the pitch together. The same goes for DJax and Robert Griffin III ­a combination that, when at full strength, is sure to run laps through the nightmares of opponents. Put defense aside for a second, purists, and enjoy the high-level offensive firepower of these two squads.

  • Ivory Coast-Detroit Lions 1

    Associated Press

    Ivory Coast-Detroit Lions

    This may be the last shot for both of these teams' golden generations to make good on their potential and capture some kind of glory. Though they are stacked with individual talent ­ whether it's Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Ndamukong Suh or Didier Drogba and the Toure brothers ­both teams have failed to make any serious run to a title with this promising core of players. A strong performance is necessary in 2014 from these teams to try and shake the reputation of being the group that just can't get over the hump.

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