- US to play Ghana, Portugal, Germany at World Cup Updated: Dec-06-13 9:48 pm
- Something for everyone to talk about in WCup draw Updated: Dec-06-13 5:48 pm
- What they said about the World Cup draw Updated: Dec-06-13 5:34 pm
- Amazon city is World Cup winner Updated: Dec-06-13 5:24 pm
- World Cup draw: the strong, the weak, the lucky Updated: Dec-06-13 4:53 pm
- Defending champion Spain gets repeat of 2010 final Updated: Dec-06-13 12:47 pm
- Past champions betting on Brazil to win 2014 WCup Updated: Dec-05-13 1:42 pm
- Suarez invokes comparisons with Messi, Ronaldo Updated: Dec-05-13 1:14 pm
- 5 Things to Know about foreign World Cup coaches Updated: Dec-05-13 8:24 am
- AP soccer poll honors: Gareth Bale, Arsenal Updated: Dec-03-13 11:50 am
- Bale top player, Arsenal 1st in AP football poll Updated: Dec-03-13 11:04 am
- Platini: Ballon d'Or vote toughest in history Updated: Dec-03-13 8:24 am
- Column: Because of Messi, Ronaldo for Golden Ball Updated: Nov-29-13 1:55 pm
- Column: Because of Messi, Ronaldo for Ballon d'Or Updated: Nov-29-13 1:09 pm
- 10-man Madrid beats Galatasaray 4-1 in Champions Updated: Nov-27-13 6:00 pm
- Quotes from voters in AP football poll Updated: Nov-26-13 11:26 am
- 5 things to know about Group B of Champions League Updated: Nov-26-13 9:23 am
- Franck Ribery says he'll be back by Club World Cup Updated: Nov-22-13 12:11 pm
- 5 stars who won't be playing at the World Cup Updated: Nov-21-13 4:09 pm
- Column: Hold the hype on the World Cup Updated: Nov-20-13 12:14 pm
- France, Portugal reach World Cup Updated: Nov-20-13 11:37 am
- Superb Ronaldo boosts Ballon d'Or hopes over Messi Updated: Nov-20-13 9:41 am
- FIFA extends voting deadline for Ball d'Or Updated: Nov-20-13 6:53 am
- Ronaldo's hat trick sends Portugal to World Cup Updated: Nov-19-13 7:21 pm
- Ronaldo hat trick brings Portugal to World Cup Updated: Nov-19-13 7:11 pm
The U.S. drew a daunting task for next year's World Cup: difficult opponents, tropical venues and a wearying 9,000-mile zigzag journey across Brazil.
There are scores to settle, family feuds and no shortage of karmic reckoning. For something so random, Friday's World Cup draw delivered a blockbuster mix of intrigue, entertainment and story lines that will keep folks talking from now until the tournament kicks off June 12.
COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil - Coaches and players were quick to react to Friday's World Cup draw. The following is a selection.
COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil - The Amazonian jungle city of Manaus was the big winner at the World Cup draw.
Who wound up in difficult groups and who got away easy from Friday's World Cup draw (average world ranking for four teams in parentheses):
COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil - Defending champion Spain will play its opening World Cup game against the Netherlands, a repeat of the 2010 final, while host Brazil faces a relatively easy path to the knockout stage after Friday's draw.
COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil - Past world champions gathering in Brazil for Friday's World Cup draw are betting on the hosts to win next year's tournament on home soil.
By mixing jaw-dropping goals with a growing list of brushes with controversy, Luis Suarez divides opinion like perhaps no other player in world football.
COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil - The World Cup promises friendly reunions and old scores to settle - and that's just in the coaching dugouts.
LONDON - Gareth Bale took first place in The Associated Press global soccer poll Tuesday after scoring his first hat trick for Real Madrid.
PARIS - What's not to like about Cristiano Ronaldo? Other than the fact that he's fabulously rich, a giant success in his chosen profession, has a cute-looking son and steps out with a fashion model.
PARIS - What's not to like about Cristiano Ronaldo? Other than the fact that he's fabulously rich, a giant success in his chosen profession, steps out with a fashion model, has a cute-looking son and is dreamy to many members of the opposite and indeed his own sex.
MADRID - Real Madrid overcame Sergio Ramos' early sending off and Cristiano Ronaldo's absence to seal its spot in the Champions League last 16 with a 4-1 hammering of Galatasaray on Wednesday.
LONDON - Quotes from voters in this week's AP global football poll:
PARIS - They are some of the biggest names in football but they won't be playing at the World Cup next year. Here is a look at five players whose absence will make the tournament in Brazil a poorer spectacle.
PARIS - Even though it comes around comet-like just once every four years, or perhaps precisely because of that, the World Cup's grip on the planet's imagination remains impressive. French fans' delirious chants of "We're going to Brazil!" after their team dug deep to defeat Ukraine in the playoffs and Cristiano Ronaldo's joy at his hat trick that qualified Portugal showed how much this most global of sports tournaments means to nations and people alike.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a dazzling hat trick to lift Portugal into next year's World Cup at the expense of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Sweden, and France came back in remarkable fashion to overtake Ukraine for a berth in the 32-nation field for next year's tournament in Brazil.
MADRID - Cristiano Ronaldo put his enormous talent on display with a hat trick in World Cup qualifying, and the reward may be the Ballon d'Or after a voting deadline extension on Wednesday improved his chances of beating out Lionel Messi for the honor.
ZURICH - Cristiano Ronaldo is now the favorite to win the Ballon d'Or following changes made Wednesday to the voting process.
The irrepressible Cristiano Ronaldo scored a dazzling hat trick to send Portugal into the 2014 World Cup finals at the expense of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Sweden on Tuesday, while France advanced by conjuring a remarkable turnaround against Ukraine.
SOLNA, Sweden - Portugal qualified for the World Cup after a superb hat trick from Cristiano Ronaldo secured a 3-2 win over Sweden and a 4-2 victory on aggregate in Tuesday's thrilling finale to their playoff.