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Russia, England, Spain reach World Cup 2014, Bosnia-Herzegovina reaches rapture

Four more European nations qualify for World Cup 2014 in Brazil, including history-making Bosnia Herzegovina.

It took them until the final day Round 1, but Spain is headed through to defend its World Cup championship next year in Brazil.

England, Russia and history-making Bosnia-Herzegovina are joining them after the latest round of soccer games across Europe on Tuesday.

For the home fans in Albacete, Alvaro Negredo and substitute Juan Mata propelled Spain to a 2-0 victory over Georgia. The Spanish wanted a better effort after a middling 2-1 win against Belarus on Friday.

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Belgium, Germany breeze through qualifying to book Brazil berths

World Cup 2014 qualifiers have eight teams a win or draw away from qualifying to soccer's biggest stage in Brazil.

Three European powerhouses added their names to make it a "lucky 13" headed to Brazil and the 2014 FIFA World Cup after matches on Friday.

Belgium, Germany and Switzerland each won comfortably during Friday qualifiers to put their names alongside Japan, Australia, South Korea, Iran and hosts Brazil, the first to reserve placings at next summer's finals. The Netherlands and Italy went through last month alongside the United States, Costa Rica and Argentina.

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Lionel Messi and father in court on alleged tax fraud charges

Lionel Messi and his father, Jorge Messi, are accused of establishing shell companies in South America to avoid paying millions of dollars in taxes.
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Lionel Messi of Barcelona receives the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2011 trophy on January 9, 2012 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

Argentine international soccer player and Barcelona FC talisman Lionel Messi made headlines Friday, but not in the usual way of herculean goals and magical footwork on the pitch.

Messi, a four-time World Footballer of the Year award recipient, is considered by many to be the best soccer player in the world - perhaps the best in history - and despite unprecedented success and massive amounts of media attention, he's somehow managed to keep a pristine image.

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Miracle on water: Team USA completes comeback to win America's Cup over New Zealand (VIDEO)

Oracle Team USA captures America's Cup sailing race with record eighth-straight win over stunned Emirates Team New Zealand.
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Oracle Team USA crew members skippered by James Spithill celebrates after they beat Emirates Team New Zealand skippered by Dean Barker in race 19 to win the America's Cup on September 25, 2013 in San Francisco, California. (Ezra Shaw/AFP/Getty Images)

The America's Cup is so-named for a reason.

Oracle Team USA added to sailing lore on Wednesday afternoon by winning the America’s Cup against Emirates Team New Zealand in a result of epic proportions.

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Riot ends Turkish soccer game between Besiktas and Galatasaray

Fans stormed the field and chanted "everywhere is Taksim, everywhere is resistance," Gezi Park protest slogan.

An Istanbul soccer game between Turkish teams Besiktas and Galatasaray ended with a riot on Sunday after midfielder Felipe Melo received a red card in stoppage time for a reckless challenge.

Hundreds of supporters stormed the Olympic Stadium field and forced players from both teams to escape into dressing rooms with just two minutes left to play.

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'Battle of the Sexes,' 40 years since Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs

Billie Jean King blazed a trail for women athletes by beating Bobby Riggs in tennis 40 years ago today.
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Rachel Yankey of Arsenal passes the ball during the UEFA Women's Champions League semifinal against Germany's VFL Wolfsburg on April 14, 2013 in Borehamwood, England. (Charlie Crowhurst/AFP/Getty Images)

It seems fitting that on this, the 40th anniversary of the Battle of the Sexes, English soccer star Rachel Yankey reminds us she once shaved her head to play against the boys.

Sure, she was eight years old at the time, but that shouldn’t take anything away from her dedication or passion.

In an interview with BBC Sport published on Friday, England’s most veteran player said it seemed perfectly understandable to join her friends when they signed up with a local club.

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Brazil World Cup qualifying draws crowd after US, Italy book their tickets

Costa Rica, Argentina also join hosts Brazil after qualification wins this week for the world's biggest sporting event.
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Landon Donovan of the United States soccer team celebrates his second-half goal against Mexico with teammates Brad Davis, far left, and Graham Zusi on Sept. 10, 2013, in Columbus, Ohio. The United States defeated Mexico 2-0. (Jamie Sabau/AFP/Getty Images)

Will this be lucky No. 7 for the United States under new coach Jurgen Klinsmann?

After another stunning victory for the Americans over Mexico on Tuesday night in Ohio, the US punched its ticket to Brazil and the 2014 World Cup of soccer. The United States has played in seven straight World Cup tournaments, and is looking to write some modern history. America's best result is third — in 1930.

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Ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez pleads not guilty to murder (VIDEO)

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was arraigned Friday on murder and weapons charges in connection with the June killing of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd.
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Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez sits in the courtroom Aug. 22, 2013, during a hearing on murder and weapons charges in North Attleboro, Mass. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez pleaded not guilty Friday to murder and weapons charges in the June killing of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd.

He will be held without bail until his next court appearance on Oct. 9.

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Putin promises no anti-gay discrimination in Sochi Olympics

Olympic homosexual athletes will not be discriminated against, despite a new Russian law that bans "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations," Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.
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Protestors hold images of Russian President Vladimir Putin wearing lipstick during a protest against Russian anti-gay laws opposite the Russian embassy on Aug. 23, 2013 in Madrid, Spain. (Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed homosexuals will not suffer discrimination in his country during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, despite a new law that bans "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations."

Protestors have demanded the boycott or cancellation of the upcoming games, and while that's not going to happen, the Olympics will test the government's new law and its will to enforce it under the focused gaze of millions.

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Diana Nyad completes record-breaking Cuba to Florida swim

The 64-year-old is the first person to make the 110-mile swim without a protective shark cage.
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US swimmer Diana Nyad begins her attempt to swim in a three-day non-stop journey from Havana to Florida on Aug. 31, 2013. (YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images)
The Key West, Fla., resident has tried and failed the journey four times before — first in 1978 with a cage, then three times in 2011 and 2012 without a cage.
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