Sports

8:22am

Sun July 13, 2014
Sports

Can Brazil Regain Soccer Glory With Beauty Over Brawn?

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 12:09 pm

Brazil fans on Copacabana Beach were subdued during the third-place game against the Netherlands on Saturday. The national team gave them little to cheer about.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Copacabana Beach is supposed to be fun, but it wasn't Saturday night, after the Netherlands beat Brazil 3-0 in the World Cup third-place game.

That loss came on the heels of the 7-1 drubbing by Germany earlier in the week. It's the first time since 1940 that Brazil has lost consecutive home games, prompting calls for change in a country long associated with soccer splendor.

Sunday's championship match pits Germany against Argentina in Rio de Janeiro. But for Brazilian fans, the tournament that began a month ago with so much hope for the host country has ended with a thud.

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5:59pm

Sat July 12, 2014
The Two-Way

Netherlands Dominates Brazil To Win Third Place In World Cup

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 7:48 pm

Daley Blind of the Netherlands (5) celebrates scoring his team's second goal with Ron Vlaar (2), Georginio Wijnaldum (20) and Bruno Martins Indi (right) during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Third Place Playoff match between Brazil on Saturday.
Robert Cianflone Getty Images

Coming off of a devastating loss to Germany, World Cup host Brazil's chances at redemption were dashed by the Netherlands on Saturday. The 3-0 victory secured a third-place finish for Oranje in the 2014 World Cup.

A penalty kick at just 3 minutes in from Robin Van Persie, granted after Brazil's Thiago Silva yanked down Arjen Robben, got the Netherlands off to an early lead.

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5:20pm

Sat July 12, 2014
Sports

Heading Home To Ohio, LeBron Returns To Cleveland Cavaliers

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 6:30 pm

Four years after famously leaving, NBA superstar LeBron James has decided to return to the team where he started his professional career. Many fans in Cleveland say they're excited to have him back.

8:08am

Sat July 12, 2014
Sports

Cavaliers Fans Can Finally Make Peace WIth Their Old LeBron Jerseys

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 12:12 pm

From the basketball court to the soccer pitch, ESPN's Howard Bryant and NPR's Tamara Keith catch up on the latest news in sports.

8:08am

Sat July 12, 2014
Parallels

Financial Scandals Tarnish Spanish Soccer Glory

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 12:12 pm

Barcelona football star Lionel Messi (right) leaves a courthouse in Gava, Spain, in September 2013, after a hearing on tax evasion charges. Messi and his father paid $6.5 million to try to settle the case, but his father may still go on trial.
Josep Lago AFP/Getty Images

Many of the biggest stars in global soccer — Neymar, Messi, Ronaldo — play the regular season with club teams in Spain. Their marquee names have helped their Spanish teams get filthy rich. Real Madrid and FC Barcelona top Forbes magazine's list of the world's richest sports franchises. You have to scroll down to No. 4 to find the New York Yankees, and NFL teams below that.

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7:39am

Sat July 12, 2014
Sports

Rio's Statue Is Restored, But Brazil Team's Redemption Still Ahead

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 12:12 pm

Restoration work on Rio's famed "Christ the Redeemer" statue is now complete. But can Brazil get redemption after not making it to the World Cup finals?

5:38am

Sat July 12, 2014
Goats and Soda

What If The World Cup Were Awarded For Saving Trees And Drinking Soda?

Leif Parsons for NPR
Leif Parsons for NPR

The World Cup is down to four teams: Argentina, Germany, Brazil and the Netherlands. We've seen how these nations perform on the soccer field. But how do they perform in the fields of health and development?

Poverty

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4:11pm

Fri July 11, 2014
Sports

In World Cup's Final Weekend, Messi Bears Brunt of Argentina's Hopes

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:21 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

After a month of riveting soccer and global passion and, yes, some serious interest here in the U.S., the World Cup wraps up this weekend in Brazil. Tomorrow, the host country will try to gain a bit of redemption in a third-place match against the Netherlands. And Sunday, the main event - Germany plays Argentina in the final at hallowed Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. NPR's Tom Goldman will be there. And he joins me now for a preview of this weekend's matches. Hey, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Melissa.

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4:11pm

Fri July 11, 2014
Sports

Homeward Bound: Lebron James Declares His Return To Cleveland

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:21 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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12:46pm

Fri July 11, 2014
The Two-Way

LeBron James Will Return To The Cleveland Cavaliers

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 1:20 pm

A Cleveland Cavaliers fan holds up a LeBron James poster at a New York Yankees game Thursday. One day later, the fan's wish was granted: James will return to the Cavs for this year's new season.
Tony Dejak AP

The Miami experiment is over: LeBron James will play for the Cleveland Cavaliers next season. The NBA star opted out of his contract with the Heat after spending four seasons in Miami, where he won two championships.

James, 29, played for Cleveland for seven seasons before leaving the town, and his home state of Ohio, for Miami. Speculation about his next move heated up after James and the Heat were trounced in the NBA Finals by the San Antonio Spurs.

Update at 12:45 p.m. ET: 'I'm Coming Home'

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