World Cup guide: All 32 competitors unmasked

It’s that time again. After four long, tantalizing years we are about to get what we’ve been waiting for: the FIFA World Cup is upon us.

Brazil is the venue, and glory awaits the team who can go all the way. The World Cup will see 32 teams take the stage this summer, and after a salivating 64 different matches, somebody will be crowned as champions of the world.

This is the moment that football fans across the globe have been waiting for. This is the year where dreams will be crushed, heroes will be born and history will be made. This is the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Click the links at the bottom of each group overview to view FULL group previews. Enjoy!

Group A: Brazil, Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon

The 2014 FIFA World Cup officially opens when Group A spurs the tournament into life, and with host nation Brazil in the group, things will get very interesting, very fast.

The Samba stars will be pitted against Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon, and the World Cup’s first group will provide viewers with extraordinary atmosphere. When Brazil plays, the world watches.

Check out Group A action here!


Group B: Spain, Netherlands, Chile and Australia

The World Cup’s second group is undoubtedly much more interesting than Group A. With three fantastic football nations vying for progression into the knockout rounds, this is the type of group where anything can happen.

With three nations (including the reigning champions) going head-to-head for progression, this is a group that you will not want to miss. Expect some fantastic games, and maybe a surprise or two.

Check out Group B action here!


Group C: Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan

Despite not boasting a traditional heavy-hitter, Group C is one of the most interesting groups that this World Cup has to offer. With three quality teams from three different continents, viewers will have quite the ride watching.

Three attractive teams from three different continents: Group C could turn out some surprising results.

Check out Group C action here!


Group D: Uruguay, Costa Rica, England and Italy

At every World Cup, one group always bears the (sometimes unworthy) title of being the “Group of Death.” This summer, if any group deserves the ominous title, then it is certainly Group D.

In this type of group, anything can happen. Three elite footballing nations are battling for only two spots that will clinch progression to the knock-out rounds, and one underdog is hoping to stun their competitors. Due to the extremely unpredictable nature of the group, any prediction made can end up looking foolish. But having said that…

Check out Group D action here!


Group E: Switzerland, Ecuador, France and Honduras

On paper, Group E has a clear divide in quality compared to some of World Cup 2014′s other groups. There are two teams that look likely to progress, and then two teams that would require miraculous campaigns to do anything other than face elimination.

But in football, as we all know, it doesn’t always turn out that way. Everybody in this group is playing for something – Switzerland is playing for the respect that they deserve from world football, while Honduras is playing for the pride of just being involved.

And then there’s France, playing for the most dangerous thing of all – redemption. It makes for a very exciting group.

Check out Group E action here!


Group F: Argentina, Bosnia, Iran and Nigeria

The selling point of this fascinating group is quite simple: diversity. While some of the other groups have a collection of teams that have rivalries or are used to playing one another, the teams in Group F are as different as they could possibly be.

Four teams, representing four different continents, with four very different styles of football – Group F may not hold the tournament’s biggest teams, but it is definitely the World Cup’s most diverse group.

Check out Group F action here!


Group G: Germany, Portugal, Ghana and the USA

When the groups were drawn, many people labelled Group G as a potential “Group of Death” at World Cup 2014. And while Group G is certainly a fantastic group, those people were wrong. Group D has three genuine superpowers in world football, and Group G simply doesn’t have that.

But it does have two superpowers. It does have possibly the favourite for the entire tournament. It also has possibly the best player on the planet. No, it may not be the Group of Death, but Group G is certainly not to be dismissed.

The United States and Ghana are solid teams, while Germany and Portugal will lock horns yet again in the battle for supremacy. This group promises fireworks, and maybe the tournament’s best game, too.

Check out Group G action here!


Group H: Belgium, Algeria, Russia and South Korea

There’s no beating around the bush: Group H has been unanimously touted as the weakest group at this summer’s World Cup. With no true footballing great, at first glance the group looks uninteresting.

But when you dig a little deeper, it actually promises to be quite exciting. Belgium have exploded onto the international scene with a golden generation of players, and the other three teams in Group H are all fairly well-matched.

Check out Group H action here!

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