Countries you didn’t know were soccer crazy

In these Soccer Nations, fans live and breathe the sport.

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Israel's men's national team draws big crowds whenever it plays at home. Israel's men's national team draws big crowds whenever it plays at home. (Photo: JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

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Israel

The Maccabi Tel Aviv sport's club has one of the top basketball teams in all of Europe. And the club's football team has also claimed the hearts of fans.

The top domestic league (which Maccabi Tel Aviv happened to win last year) is the Israeli Premier League, which often ranks in the top half of the Union of European Football Associations list of top domestic leagues.

The national team is no slouch either, having ranked No. 15 in the world in 2008, ahead of such soccer-mad countries as Ireland, Cameroon and South Africa. Many of the games attract upwards of 20,000 people. To give some perspective, that's about what NBA games in the U.S. attract.

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