Brazil is gearing up to hose the 2014 FIFA World Cup from June 2 through July 13 while fans around the world have been fervently cheering on their teams in preliminary "friendly matches" between traditional rivals and bidding them bon voyage to Brazil with some zealous partying.
Here are 10 images of fans at the games ahead the big competition.
1. Ersatz Victory
Japanese soccer fans hold mock World Cup trophies as they cheer for their team during an international friendly soccer match between Japan and Cyprus in Saitama, north of Tokyo on May 27.
2. Soccer Selfies
Tim Cahill of Australia (top photo) and Erick Mathoho of South Africa (bottom photo at left) pose for photographs with fans after a friendly match between Australia and South Africa at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Monday, May 26. It was the last match for the Australian team on home soil before departing for the World Cup.
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3. Soccer Fans’ Wild Wigs
A customer tries on a wig designed for soccer fans at Jifa Group in Jimo City in east China's Shandong Province on May 24. As the World Cup in Brazil approaches, wig producer Jifa Group gets busier as the number of wig orders at home and abroad skyrocket.
4. Colorful Colombians
Top: Fans wear hats in the colors of the Colombian national flag during a ceremony bidding farewell May 23 to their national soccer team at Campin Stadium in Bogota, Columbia, before they leave for Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.
Bottom: Another supporter of the Colombian national football team cheers during the squad’s farewell.
5. Fluminense Fan Fury
Fluminense Football Club fans celebrate a goal during a Brazilian championship soccer match against Sao Paulo in Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on May 21. The event was the last soccer game at Maracana before the 2014 World Cup. The stadium will host seven matches, including the final on July 13.
6. Kissing the Bad Luck Ghost Goodbye
Fans pose with graffiti depicting Brazil's footballer Neymar, kissing goodbye the ghost of the “Maracanazo” (Brazil’s defeat by the winning Uruguayan team in the 1960 World Cup), in a suburb of Rio de Janeiro on May 9. Rio's residents have put the national colors in the streets to celebrate the World Cup.
7. Fans Flame in Friendly Game
Poland's fans are pictured prior to the FIFA 2014 World Cup friendly football match for Germany vs. Poland in Hamburg on May 13. Germany, the youngest team (its average age is 21.45) in the 106-year history of the German Football Association internationals, held Poland to a goalless draw as the Hamburg crowd booed.
8. Soccer Stadium Trial Run
Fans line up to enter the Arena da Baixada stadium as Atletico Paranaense and Corinthians prepared to play the first friendly match to test the stadium under construction for the World Cup in Curitiba on May 14. The Arena da Baixada is considered by FIFA as the stadium with the greatest construction delays.
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9. Brazil’s Biggest Soccer Fan?
Top: Brazilian soccer superfan Marilza Guimaraes da Silva, age 63, plays with a ball as she poses for a photo, dressed in one of her many outfits matching the colors of the Brazil's national flag at her soccer-themed home in Brasilia on May 27.
In the lower left photo, Marilza Guimaraes da Silva shows off her soccer posters and other soccer-related items at her home in Brasilia. The lower right photo shows her soccer-themed bathroom.
10. Cheering Corinthians
Corinthians soccer fans cheer their team at the Arena de Sao Paulo Stadium, one of the venues for the 2014 World Cup, during a soccer test match in the Sao Paulo district of Itaquera on May 18. The stadium will host the opening match of the 2014 World Cup.
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