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5 things: What to watch for Saturday at the World Cup

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
updated 11:34 AM EDT, Sat June 21, 2014
Germany's Mario Gotze scores the goal that would decide the World Cup final Sunday, July 13, in Rio de Janeiro. Gotze, a late substitute, scored the goal in extra time as Germany won 1-0. Click through the gallery to see all the goals scored in the World Cup. Germany's Mario Gotze scores the goal that would decide the World Cup final Sunday, July 13, in Rio de Janeiro. Gotze, a late substitute, scored the goal in extra time as Germany won 1-0. Click through the gallery to see all the goals scored in the World Cup.
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Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
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Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
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Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
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Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
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Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
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Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
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Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
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Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
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Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
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Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
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Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Germany vs. Ghana will pit half-brother against half-brother
  • It's going to be hot on the fields, and not from any temper flareups
  • The panoply of team names runs from clever to colorful to could-use-some-creativity

(CNN) -- More than a week into the tournament, diehard World Cup fans are losing sleep and falling down on their jobs as they yell at their TV and computer screens.

For those who haven't caught football fever, the enthusiasm and the sport may leave them befuddled.

But behind the World Cup there are stories that can speak to everyone.

1. It's a family affair

When Germany and Ghana face off Saturday, two brothers will as well. For Jerome Boateng, Germany defender, the match will be especially loaded. He'll be playing against not just his half-brother, Ghana's midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng, but also their father's home country -- a place he's never even visited, according to FIFA.

The brothers have reportedly ceased contact during the World Cup to keep their heads in the game. But will they hug on the field? And who will family members, if they're sitting in the stands, root for?

Hopefully cameras will swing their direction so we can find out.

2. Seeking light amid the darkness of violence

Nigerians love their football. In fact, market researchers at Repucom determined it's got the world's biggest football fan base out there.

More specifically, the firm's study shows 83% of Nigerians are interested in the sport and 65% participate. Those figures dwarf other nations, including World Cup host Brazil -- where 67% are fans and 28% play.

So football fanatics from that African nation will certainly have a vested interest in their team's Saturday World Cup game against Bosnia and Herzegovina. And given the tragedy that befell football watchers last Tuesday -- when a Boko Haram-backed explosion rocked a viewing center in northeastern Nigeria, killing up to 21 sports fans -- a win for Nigerians may be extra sweet.

3. It's getting hot in here

The heat and humidity in Brazil, some locations more than others, have been taking a toll on players. Dehydration. Cramps. Even hallucinations. There have been complaints about it all. Some have attributed a rash of injuries to the conditions. The venue in Manaus, an Amazonian city, has been especially brutal.

A quick online look at temps Saturday show that Argentina and Iran may be playing in 95-degree (Fahrenheit) conditions. The good news for them, though: humidity will only be at 45%.

Conditions for Germany and Ghana, on the other hand, look like they'll be 67 degrees with 76% humidity; Nigeria and Bosnia and Herzegovina will face 86 degrees and about 61% humidity.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be played in Qatar, where average temps this time of year exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. What's in a name?

The Three Lions (England) may have gone home, but the Desert Foxes (Algeria) are still in the game.

Each team in the World Cup arrives with a nickname. Some seem inspired: Clockwork Orange (Netherlands); the Coffee Growers (Colombia); Blue Samurai (Japan). Others are less so -- though at first glance they may fool you: Nationalmannschaft (Germany); Sbornaya (Russia), and Team Melli (Iran). The translation for these three: National Team. Really? That's the best you've got?

There are three games Saturday. Here's who is up:

The White and Sky Blue (Argentina) v. Team Melli (Iran)

National Team (Germany) v. Black Stars (Ghana)

Super Eagles (Nigeria) v. Dragons (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

5. Kicking politics aside

The World Cup tournament, which draws together 32 nations, puts the sport before politics. That mindset remains year-round for Dan Gaspar, the Portuguese-American goalkeeping coach for team Iran -- which goes up against Argentina.

He took the job in Iran to work with his friend and former colleague Carlos Queiroz, the football team's head coach. It was a decision that went against the advice of most. After all, wasn't Iran supposed to be America's enemy?

"Sports is my life," Gaspar told CNN's Reza Sayah. "When I came to Iran it didn't have anything to do with political reasons. My personality is one of adventure and curiosity. I wanted to experience a culture in a part of the world I had never been to."

Iran has surprised him. His impressions before coming haven't matched reality.

"When you listen to the news and you read the news, you see things. Sometimes during commercials I step off my couch and look out of the balcony and it's not what I am seeing, it's not what I am reading, it's not what I am hearing," he told Sayah.

"If I would've listened to the experts, and my friends, and family, I would have never been here in Iran. It's been part of my life for three years and the memories will last a lifetime."

Brazil 2014: Score updates and schedule of matches

World Cup by the numbers: Who's in, who's out?

World Cup: WAGs to riches - The business of being perfect

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