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For the love of the game: Soccer players kiss

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Players on the pitch have no problem smooching.

Austria's Marko Arnautovic (right) congratulates teammate Marc Janko.
Austria's Marko Arnautovic (right) congratulates teammate Marc Janko.
Alexander KleinAFP/Getty Images

The World Cup starts this week in Brazil and it will be the biggest worldwide sports event of the year. While international soccer lags behind U.S. major pro sports in its outreach and acceptance of gay players, the sport has America beat in at least one instance -- its players have no problem kissing on the field.

Maybe it's a European or Latin thing, or maybe it's because there are so few goals scored so celebratory emotion gets pent up, but soccer players show no shame in kissing their teammates.

That and ripping off the uniform after a goal or the post-game shirt exchange will be reason enough to watch the World Cup. Now all we need is for a player to come out and pull a Michael Sam with his boyfriend.

Click on images below for larger view.

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Sebastian Boenisch (right) of Leverkusen and Oemer Toprak.
(Photo by Micha Will/Bongarts/Getty Images)

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Real Madrid's goalkeeper Iker Casillas (right) and Sergio Ramos.
(Photo by Miguel Riopa/AFP/Getty Images)

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TFC's Jonathan Osorio (right) kisses Jermain Defoe.
(Photo by Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

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Steaua Bucurest's Cornel Rapa (left) kisses teammate Vlad Chiriches.
(Photo by Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)

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Ali Abbas of Sydney FC kisses teammate Alessandro Del Piero.
(Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

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Ricardo Quaresma (right) of Porto kisses goalkeeper Helton.
(Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

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Australian player Mark Bresciano (left) kisses Josh Kennedy.
(Photo by Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images)

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Behrang Safari (left) of RSC Anderlecht kisses Silvio Proto.
(Photo by Nico Vereecken/Photon).

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Austria's Marko Arnautovic (right) with teammate Marc Janko.
(Photo by Alexander KleinAFP/Getty Images).

And, last but not least, Sevilla teammates Ivan Rakitic and Daniel Carrico shared a lip lock last month: