- IMAGE: RICARDO MAZALAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
- IMAGE: HASSAN AMMAR/ASSOCIATED PRESS
- IMAGE: KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/ASSOCIATED PRESS
- IMAGE: FABRIZIO BENSCH/ASSOCIATED PRESS
- IMAGE: THEMBA HADEBE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
- IMAGE: DOLORES OCHOA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
- IMAGE: NATACHA PISARENKO/ASSOCIATED PRESS
- IMAGE: MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ/ASSOCIATED PRESS
- IMAGE: MARTIN MEJIA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
- IMAGE: FERNANDO VERGARA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
- IMAGE: FRANK AUGSTEIN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
- IMAGE: MANU FERNANDEZ/ASSOCIATED PRESS
When teams win big and legends are born on the pitch, there's only one thing to do: hug it out.
In a World Cup brimming with action, players, coaches and fans have both felt the cruel pangs of defeat and the indescribable joy of victory, so the hugs go both ways — to both comfort and to congratulate.
National heroes in Tim Cahill of Australia and the Arjen Robben of Holland hugged it out after a hard fought battle on the pitch on Wednesday. Mexico's Rafael Marquez hugged Guillermo Ochoa — the impenetrable fortress of team Mexico — after his stellar performance in the goal against Brazil on Tuesday. Hugs also get you close to the gods of the pitch, like Bosnia-Herzegovina's Haris Medunjanin congratulating Lionel Messi after Argentina's victory on Sundaywith a brilliant Messi goal to secure the win.
Chile handily defeated the reigning world champs on Wednesday, and hugs were to be had all around.
Gods of soccer are still, at the end of the day, human beings participating in a celebration of sport and nations. And in the World Cup of Hugs, everyone ultimately wins.
Check out the tournament's best hugs thus far, below, that are sure to put a smile on your face.