The atmosphere around the world is reaching fever pitch as there’s only a few hours to go before the start of the 20th edition of the World Cup.
To kick off this edition of FIFA’s flagship tournament hosts Brazil take on Croatia in Sao Paulo.
The expectations will weigh heavily on the shoulders of Brazil as only victory will do in front of their fans.
The hosts have based themselves at the CBF training centre in the state of Rio and have a short trip for the first game in Sao Paulo.
Luiz Felipe Scolari suffered a scare on Tuesday when his star striker Neymar suffered an awkward fall in training.
But the scares turned to relief when doctors found no damage to his ankle.
Croatia boss Niko Kovac has not been so lucky.
Danijel Pranjic is unlikely to start having sustained an ankle injury in the final warm-up fixture against Australia at the weekend.
The Panathinaikos defender joins fellow left-back Ivan Strinic on the sidelines.
Mario Mandzukic meanwhile will miss the opener through suspension leaving Nikica Jelavic the likely deputy.
Players to watch
During the World Cup the focus will be on plenty of top class players.
Euronews has picked out five stars that will be hoping to shine on the World stage.
Here’s a look at our pick of the crop.
Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo will be hoping to carry over his league form and light up Brazil with his pace and goal scoring abilities.
Can one man win the world cup? We’ll soon find out.
Four-time world player of the year Lionel Messi will be playing his third World Cup and the Argentina skipper will have the expectations of a nation on his shoulders.
Something Neymar would know all about.
Brazil’s darling will look to thrill the home support and help his nation to a record-extending sixth title – and where better place to do that than on home soil.
One World Cup record is well within the reach of Germany’s Miroslav Klose.
Two more World Cup goals for the 36-year-old striker and he will surpass Brazilian Ronaldo’s career record of 15.
Lastly we’ll be keeping our eyes on Spain’s Sergio Ramos who, if he carries over his domestic league form, will be a serious contender for the World player of the year award.
Predictions, predictions, predictions
What World Cup would be the same without a few predictions.
Here’s the Euronews sports desk’s prediction for the tournament opener.
It didn’t take long and although a few though croatia could cause an upset, the majority of the team strongly believe Brazil will kick-start their campaign for a sixth title with a 2-1 win over Croatia, but we might be wrong.
You haven’t got long now to have a stab at the result yourself – send us your predictions using #TheCornerScores on facebook or twitter.
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