This content is not available in your region

Reaching fever pitch around the world

Access to the comments Comments
By Euronews
Reaching fever pitch around the world

<p>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. </p> <p>To kick off this edition of <span class="caps">FIFA</span>’s flagship tournament hosts Brazil take on Croatia in Sao Paulo.</p> <p>The expectations will weigh heavily on the shoulders of Brazil as only victory will do in front of their fans.</p> <p>The hosts have based themselves at the <span class="caps">CBF</span> training centre in the state of Rio and have a short trip for the first game in Sao Paulo.</p> <p>Luiz Felipe Scolari suffered a scare on Tuesday when his star striker Neymar suffered an awkward fall in training.</p> <p>But the scares turned to relief when doctors found no damage to his ankle.</p> <p>Croatia boss Niko Kovac has not been so lucky.</p> <p>Danijel Pranjic is unlikely to start having sustained an ankle injury in the final warm-up fixture against Australia at the weekend. </p> <p>The Panathinaikos defender joins fellow left-back Ivan Strinic on the sidelines.</p> <p>Mario Mandzukic meanwhile will miss the opener through suspension leaving Nikica Jelavic the likely deputy.</p> <p><strong>Players to watch</strong></p> <p>During the World Cup the focus will be on plenty of top class players.</p> <p>Euronews has picked out five stars that will be hoping to shine on the World stage.</p> <p>Here’s a look at our pick of the crop.</p> <p>Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo will be hoping to carry over his league form and light up Brazil with his pace and goal scoring abilities. </p> <p>Can one man win the world cup? We’ll soon find out.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>Something Neymar would know all about.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>One World Cup record is well within the reach of Germany’s Miroslav Klose.</p> <p>Two more World Cup goals for the 36-year-old striker and he will surpass Brazilian Ronaldo’s career record of 15.</p> <p>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.</p> <p><strong>Predictions, predictions, predictions</strong></p> <p>What World Cup would be the same without a few predictions.</p> <p>Here’s the Euronews sports desk’s prediction for the tournament opener.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>You haven’t got long now to have a stab at the result yourself – send us your predictions using #TheCornerScores on facebook or twitter.</p> <p><hr></p> <p><div id="fb-root"></div> <script>(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_GB/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script> <div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152280334358110&set=a.234076628109.138056.101402598109&type=1" data-width="600"><div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152280334358110&set=a.234076628109.138056.101402598109&type=1">Post</a> by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/euronews">euronews</a>.</div></div></p> <p><a class="twitter-timeline" href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23TheCornerScores" data-widget-id="477043140105228288">Tweets about "#TheCornerScores"</a> <script>!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");</script></p>