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Photo via Shutterstock
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For many Americans, soccer is a weird sport. You can’t use your hands, matches that end in ties are common, and the game clock increases — not decreases — as time goes on.

But once every four years, soccer can be pretty fun to watch. That’s when the most talented players on earth gather in once place to compete for the highly-anticipated World Cup, with millions of passionate fans around the globe cheering on their home country.

Thankfully for those of us that just don’t understand soccer — er, fútbol — Seattle’s Common Craft video firm is here to help. The startup, which has built a business out of simple, explanatory online videos, today launched an excellent GIF-based soccer guide that details everything from World Cup format to the laws of the game.

While we’re in the soccer spirit, check out this sweet visualization from Seattle-based big data company Tableau Software. There’s information on each country’s performance in every World Cup, including data on goals scored and allowed per game:

The 2014 tournament kicks off today with a Brazil vs. Croatia opening match at 1 p.m. PT. Here are a few ways to watch the match online — even without a cable subscription.

Editor’s note: Love soccer? Make sure to join the fun in the GeekWire World Cup Challenge.

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