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A Costa Rica fan poses for a photo outside the stadium before the FIFA World Cup, Group D match at the Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: TuesdayJune 24, 2014. See PA Story SOCCER England. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No use with any unofficial 3rd party logos. No manipulation of images. No video emulation
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Eight sides have survived a World Cup full of shocks to make it to the quarter-finals, with just three wins separating them from making history.
Here are 10 key facts on the sides in the last eight to give you more insight than a TV pundit.
1 Costa Ricans don’t call themselves Costa Rican. If you hear the Costa Rican national side being referred to as Los Ticos, that’s because that’s what Costa Rican men call themselves. Women are ticas and foreigners are known as gringos or gringas.
2 France have lots of familiar faces. While England have the most Premier League players in their squad, France have 10 players from these shores.
3 Germany are doing it again. In the last 17 World Cups, Germany have only failed to reach the last eight once. The lone failure came way back in 1938, when Switzerland knocked them out in the first round.
4 Holland buckle in finals. The Dutch have reached the World Cup final three times, but never won. The Oranje, as they are known in the Netherlands, lost in 1974 to West Germany, in 1978 to Argentina and in 2010 to Spain.
5 The French are pampered. The French Football Association has insisted that its base, the JP Hotel in Sao Paulo has two types of soap in every room – one for showering and one for washing hands – and that every room is identical.
6 Colombians like a coffee. The Colombian national side are known as Los Cafeteros after one of their most well-known exports – coffee.
7 Germany go a step further. The Germans have built their own training facility in Brazil in Bahia. Their HQ is a gated community with 13 houses and 65 rooms.
8 Brazil are the best. Brazil have qualified for the World Cup the most times, won it the most, have the record for the most consecutive wins and have scored most goals.
9 Costa Rica are the best in Central America. Los Ticos have qualified for the World Cup more than any other side in Central America.
10 Argentines travel well. Only three of the Argentina squad play in their domestic league –Agustin Orion, Fernando Gago and Maxi Rodriguez.