MUMBAI: The D-Day has finally arrived for football fans as the FIFA WC 2014 begins in Brazil in what is promised as a starry event. The fans across the world will be cheering for their favourite teams.
With a few hours to begin, indiantelevision.com picks up the top five teams that hope to take home the trophy that truly matters.
Brazil - The host country is a top favourite this season. The team being led by Paris Saint Germain defender Thiago Silva is hopeful of bringing back the trophy home for the sixth time. A key favourite in the team is 22-year-old star footballer Neymar. Tomorrow will be his 50th international when Brazil plays against Croatia in the opening match. Brazil previously won the World Cup in 1958,1962,1970,1994 and 2002.
Argentina - Brazil’s biggest arch rival, the South American giant, won the world cup twice in 1978 and 1986.The team being led by another top contender Lionel Messi is slated to have its first match against Bosnia on 16 June.
Spain - The team that is hopeful of retaining the world cup title after winning it the last time in 2010. The captain Iker Casillas has said in recent reports that he hopes of holding on to the title. Spain’s first match will be against Netherlands on 14 June.
Germany - Having won the world cup three times previously in 1954, 1974 and 1990. A contingent of players who despite having injuries are led by the talented Phillip Lahm who are optimistic of lifting the world cup a fourth time around. They will meet Portugal in their first match scheduled for 16 June.
Belgium - The underdogs this world cup, Belgium's youthful squad is brimming with talent who are the favourites for fence sitters this time around. The team first match will be against Algeria on 17 June. The team’s best performance (they have never won the cup) so far has been at the 1986 world cup where they were placed fourth. The team is led by captain Vincent Kompany.