This year, there's an extra measure of drama — at the cost of both physical and emotional anguish for fans and players.
The U.S. team took a physical beating in its 1-0 victory over Ghana, with Jozy Altidore straining his hamstring and Clint Dempsey fracturing his nose after a high kick to the face.
Brazilian Marcelo Vieira bruised his pride by scoring an own goal in the first match of the tournament. And England supporters felt the sting of despair at the 2-1 defeat by Italy, while Uruguay and Algeria fans had their hopes raised and then dashed.
Relive the emotional and physical pain inflicted thus far at the 2014 World Cup below.