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FIFA World Cup: 12 June 2014; Live Thread

Live thread for the opening day of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil where today on the agenda are the opening ceremony and the first match of the tournament with the hosts facing off against Croatia.

Buda Mendes

It's here! The World Cup is finally here!

Football fans around the world have been waiting for this to begin for a long time. To be exact, they/we have waited for this ever since the World Cup in 2010 ended. I'm pretty sure most of you frequenting this blog remember that tournament very fondly.

But things have changed over the past four years and this time around Spain aren't considered as the best team going into the tournament. Argentina and Brazil appear to be the teams of choice for pundits and fans alike to win the trophy, but Spain can still be seen in the top three on most valuations. But who will actually take home the prestigious trophy won't be known until the Final that will be played on 13 July.

With the opening ceremony set to begin I'll make this short. There's only one game on the fixture list today and it has a lot of potential as Brazil are taking on Croatia in what promises to be a very solid opener. Brazil are obviously going into the match as comfortable favorites, but this Croatia team has a lot of talent and could surprise many teams, especially because very few people expect anything from them meaning they will go into matches unburdened. Brazil on the other hand are not only one of the favorites to go all the way, but are also the hosts which will surely force them to play under a lot of pressure.

This match will also be very interesting from a FC Barcelona standpoint as (officially) two (but in reality three) Barcelona players will be in action. Neymar will look to have a big game for Brazil to ease some of the pressure on the team while Dani Alves will look to impress either his current or his next employers. The third player in the thick of it will be Ivan Rakitic who has reportedly already agreed to join the Catalan club, but because the official announcement hasn't been made yet, he is officially still a member of Sevilla.

Enjoy the World Cup, folks!

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