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The 6 best World Cup ads

June 25, 2014: 8:11 AM ET

By Ben Brody

Sure, companies unleash a lot of money -- and creativity (sometimes) -- for Super Bowl ads. But it's World Cup spots that get the eyeballs, at least on the web. Since April, viewers spent 1.2 billion minutes on YouTube watching World Cup ads, according to the video-sharing service. That's about four times what they spent viewing Super Bowl ads this year. What's everyone watching? These:

1. "Winner Stays," Nike

With nearly 82 million views, this is one of this year's most popular ads. It starts with two teams of regular guys challenging each other to a match, but as the game goes on, they transform into Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Neymar Jr. and other well-known players. Basketball star Kobe Bryant and the Incredible Hulk even make appearances. This 4-minute spoof is perfect for half-time or pre-game viral viewing.

2. "House Match," Adidas

What would it be like if David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane took on Gareth Bale and Lucas Moura in a glass-smashing indoor game? This ad tells you.

3. "The Match Part 1," Samsung

More Ronaldo, more Rooney, plus Lionel Messi and others -- clearly individual players are the prized brands right now. In the 7-minute first part of this epic, the world's best strikers go up against a group of rough-playing aliens. (The second part is forthcoming.) Our boys have a lot of motivation: The aliens will destroy Earth if they fail. But can they work as a team after a lifetime as rivals? It's like a dramatic, CGI "Space Jam" for soccer.

4. "All-Time Greats," Emirates

While flying Emirates, Cristiano Ronaldo (who else?) notices two men discussing the "legend" in their midst. But it may not be who we think.

5. "United in Rivalry," Visa

In this multi-lingual ad, we learn that even Nobel Peace Prize laureates love a little trash talking when it's on the soccer field and their home nation's honor is at stake. Bonus: Morgan Freeman narrates the end.

6. "GOL!" McDonald's

Kick a ball into a third-story window? Or into a moving basket? No sweat in this ad, where some seriously impressive soccer tricks are on display.

  • Manchester United: Losing games and money

    By Mark Thompson, CNNMoney International Editor

    Manchester United have sacked their coach after a disastrous season, which means they'll miss out on Europe's lucrative Champions League next season.

    David Moyes was appointed less than a year ago, when the club's most successful manager -- Alex Ferguson -- retired after 26 years.

    Under Ferguson, the team had won the richest national soccer league for 13 of the last 21 years, and used the steady MORE

    - Apr 22, 2014 12:40 PM ET
  • Nike shares pop on strong sales

    On your mark, get set. Go!

    Shares of Nike (NKE) jumped 5% Friday morning, after the company's second quarter results topped analysts' expectations.

    Nike said late Thursday that earnings rose 11% on sales of $6 billion in the quarter, driven by surprisingly strong demand in North America.

    The company also said future orders for Nike footwear and apparel were up 14% in North America. These orders would be delivered in the December to MORE

    - Dec 21, 2012 11:56 AM ET
  • Ugly day for maker of UGG boots

    The only thing that's uglier than UGGs is the recent performance of Deckers Outdoor.

    Are large furry boots no longer in fashion? Seems that way for investors at least.

    Shares of Deckers Outdoors Corp. (DECK), the maker of the UGG line of footwear, have been trampled underfoot (of all the Led Zeppelin songs to use in the opening ceremonies for the London Olympics, Danny Boyle chose that one?) the past MORE

    - Sep 19, 2012 12:36 PM ET
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