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5 Cities Where We Would Like to See the NFL Play

There are other cities in the world that could use some love from the NFL.

The NFL International Series kicks off this weekend when the Minnesota Vikings play the New Orleans Saints in London. Currently, the league is scheduled to play games in London, Mexico City, and Munich this season.

The league has also played a regular-season game in Canada as recently as 2013 and played exhibitions in the past in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, Spain, and Sweden.

Related: 10 Facts About NFL Games Played Outside of the U.S.

However, there are other places that could use some love. Here are five cities that we would love to see the NFL return to or play in for the first time.

5. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

A game at The Maracana would be a win-win for three reasons: 1) the time difference is only one hour ahead of Eastern time, 2) the Maracana is one of the most prestigious soccer stadiums in the world, and 3) it would bring the NFL to South America for the first time.

4. Tokyo, Japan

The NFL has played 13 games in Tokyo. The only two international cities to host more games are London and Toronto. While a return to the Tokyo Dome would require some planning for the teams on the travel front, fans would be willing to get up early on a Sunday morning to watch a night game in Japan.

3. Dublin, Ireland

The last time Dublin hosted an NFL game was in 1987 when the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Chicago Bears in the preseason American Bowl at Croke Park. A return the Croker is long overdue.

2. Vancouver, Canada

The NFL has played six regular-season games in Toronto but has only held a preseason American Bowl game in Vancouver — with the San Francisco 49ers beating the Seattle Seahawks 24-21. A regular-season game would be a fairly easy trip for two West Coast teams.

1. Rome, Italy

An NFL game has never been played in Rome. A regular-season matchup in the place that launched stadium sports with the Colosseum would be huge for both the NFL and the Eternal City.

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports' Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.