It is unquestionably the biggest and most prestigious tournament in world football. The 32 nations, representing five continents, will all compete in three weeks time each hoping for World Cup glory. The fact that it is being held in Brazil only heightens the build up and anticipation of the tournament.
It is only the second World Cup to be held in Brazil, with the first one being in 1950. Ever since the venue was confirmed in April 2007 all eyes have been on this tournament. With their history and mere presence the Brazilian nation has brought the competition since its creation in 1930 there was a feeling that the event was finally going to its spiritual home.
The country has enthralled all onlookers with their ability, desire and sheer enjoyment of the game. For almost every fan worldwide, whatever your nationality, Brazil is always your second team. There is an admiration for the beautiful football and technical expression they have demonstrated over a number of years, the wonderful yellow kit and the amazing colour and noise the fans always bring with them.
Despite the widespread concern over some of the stadiums it is hoped that all 12 will be ready for June. All of the venues will present the teams with different challenges in terms of atmosphere, heat and humidity. Brazil is an incredibly diverse nation and playing in Rio at the Maracana will differ hugely from playing in the humid and tropical weather in Manaus.
The sides who can perhaps cope with the varying playing conditions the most effectively should do well. A European side has never managed to win a World Cup in South America since the tournament’s creation in 1930. Last summer Spain lost to Brazil in the 2013 Confederations Cup Final and they are the current European and World Champions. It is a tough place to come and play football and the South American teams will certainly have an advantage early in the tournament.
Starting quickly could be essential in a couple of the groups. The draw has thrown up two in particular in which an early win either way could be of huge importance. Group B consists of Spain, Holland, Chile and Australia and the South American side could get an early victory over the two fancied Europeans. In Group G there is Germany, Portugal, Ghana and the USA which could prove to be very tight too.
There have certainly been some issues, to put it lightly, surrounding the World Cup before a ball has even been kicked. However, the football is actually now almost upon us and hopefully that will shift the focus to the competition itself. This next month promises much and if it delivers even some of what is expected it will be an incredible occasion. With the beautiful back drop of a wonderful football nation the world will watch on in amazement.
The World Cup is what football is all about.
Pictures courtesy of Wikipedia