The Rio Report

‘Real men wear Orange’, ‘Dragons on the field’ and other naff World Cup bus slogans

The Rio Report

The World Cup finals in Brazil next month are filling even the most casual fan with excitement.

The hosts are favourites to unseat reigning champions Spain, the Netherlands have been in superb form, Germany are looking good, Chile and Uruguay are entertaining dark horses, while teams from Africa such as Ghana and Nigeria are continuing to improve. Even England could be a laugh, for the right reasons, after naming a young, exciting squad.

Yet, somehow, the corporate world that dominates the organisation of such tournaments manages to find ways to take the shine off our fun. Whether through astro-turf viral campaigns to promote washing powders, cheesy billboards adorning our roadsides or frankly terrible TV commercials telling us we too can be like Ronaldo, the build-up to the summer is dominated by tedious brand campaigns that offer little, particularly for the die-hard fan trying to navigate his or her way around an increasingly expensive Brazilian transport and hotel system.

The latest cringeworthy gimmick saw automotive company Hyundai ask fans to come up with their own team slogans.

Now some of them will be lost in translation - we imagine Bosnia's entry will mean something to native speakers - but Rio Report finds it hard to believe that these are the best they could come up with.

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(In alphabetical order)

ALGERIA - 'Desert Warriors in Brazil' (not at all a cliché. No, not at all)

ARGENTINA - 'Not just a team, we are a country' (the hint is in the name...)

AUSTRALIA - 'Socceroos: hopping our way into history!' (no excuses chaps)

BELGIUM - 'Expect the impossible!' (yawn!)

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - 'Dragons in heart, dragons on the field!' (what?)

BRAZIL - 'Brace yourselves! The sixth is coming!' (Sixth sense? Or column? Of course it refers to a potential sixth WC title, but try telling Bruce Willis that...)

CAMEROON - 'A lion remains a lion!' (unless it's a tiger)

CHILE - 'Chi chi chi! Le le le! Go Chile.' (What's Spanish for 'basic'? Oh, that's right, it's 'basico')

COLOMBIA - 'Here travels a nation, not just a team' (hang on, wasn't that Argentina?)

COSTA RICA - 'My passion is football, my strength is my people, my pride is Costa Rica' (reaches for sick bag)

COTE D'IVOIRE - 'Elephants charging towards Brazil!' (run to the hills! run!)

CROATIA - 'With fire in our hearts, for Croatia all as one!' (we know that's not true now...)

ECUADOR - 'One commitment, one passion, only one heart - this is for you Ecuador!' (see Costa Rica)

ENGLAND - 'The dream of one team, the heartbeat of millions!' (M&C Saatchi quake in their boots)

FRANCE - 'Impossible is not a French word' (note - this is a standard French proverb, so a bit cheeky to claim it as an original slogan)

GERMANY - One nation, one team, one dream! (isn't that Ed Miliband's campaign slogan?)

GHANA - 'Black Stars: here to illuminate Brazil!' (clear non sequitur)

GREECE - 'Heroes play like Greeks!' (Hero... geddit?!)

HONDURAS - 'We are one country, one nation, five stars on the heart' (noticing a theme here)

IRAN - 'Honour of Persia' (Pride of Hertfordshire! Beauty of Bedfont!)

ITALY - 'Let's paint the FIFA World Cup dream blue' (did Sepp Blatter write that?)

JAPAN - 'Samurai, the time has come to fight!' (and to fall on one's sword in defeat?)

KOREA REPUBLIC - 'Enjoy it, Reds!' (actually, don't! have a terrible time!)

MEXICO - 'Always united, always Aztecas!' (bo-ring)

NETHERLANDS - 'Real men wear orange' (this is a clear winner)

NIGERIA - 'Only together we can win' (anyone with knowledge of the Nigerian team's in fighting and factions will LOL at that)

PORTUGAL - 'The past is history. The future is victory' (this didn't get past the first line of tagline proposals for the last Nike ad)

RUSSIA - 'No-one can catch us!' (that's because they're all terrified of your leader - this one sounds like a TaTu song...)

SPAIN - 'Inside our hearts, the passion of a champion' (fairly inoffensive, this is spared execution)

SWITZERLAND - 'Final stop: 07-13-14 Maracana!' (there is so much wrong with this we don't know where to start...)

URUGUAY - 'Three million dreams.... let's go Uruguay' (sigh)

USA - 'United by TEAM, driven by passion' (and for everything else there's Mastercard)

So next time you gawp at the atrocity that is the Eurovision song contest, remember, it could be worse - you could be a dragon.

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