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FOOTIE TWEETS: Pele kicks off WC countdown as Barton prepares for Champions League

The 2014 World Cup in Brazil is now just a year away as Brazilian legend Pele let us know in Rio during the week.

World Cup fever was rife in some parts of the world. Australia captain Lucas Neill was hoping the Aussie fans would fill Sydney's ANZ Stadium for Tuesday's crucial qualifier against Iraq which could send the Socceroos to Brazil 2014.

Chelsea's Juan Mata jetted into Brazil with the World-champion Spanish squad ahead of the Confederations Cup and was quick to cool down with a refreshing coconut drink.

New York Red Bulls star Tim Cahill woke up to recall his historic goal for Australia against Japan at Germany 2006, adding a quick word for the sponsor.

And Barcelona's Gerard Pique was preparing for the Confeds Cup after Spain's 2-0 win over Republic of Ireland in New York on Tuesday.

Away from international football, players were up to various things around the world. Bayern Munich's Jerome Boateng was putting in the hard yards in the gym as well as getting some sightseeing done in LA.

Rio Ferdinand was quick to lay down some harmless self-promotion regarding his Manchester United testimonial.

Wherever Chelsea's Eden Hazard was, it looks lovely…

Despite being in retirement, ex-Everton skipper Phil Neville was working hard to maintain his elite fitness.

And here he is revelling in his coaching work with the England U21s at the Euro championships in Israel.

Aston Villa's Andi Weimann was excited about modelling the club's questionable away kit for the 2013/14 season.

Stoke City midfielder Maurice Edu was hoping to use part of his holidays to catch recently-released horror film The Purge.

Toronto FC striker Robbie Earnshaw doesn't mind breakfast at dinner time…

And once again, our favourite Twitter contributor Joey Barton finishes things off. He was gearing up for Champions League football for next season….only if you leave QPR though Joey!

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Andrew Slevison
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