With less than a week to go until the big kick off, the attention of the world’s media has finally turned to the tournament itself and who will ultimately come out as winners. Hosts Brazil are the bookies favourites to lift their sixth World Cup and mark a return to the top of the football mountain. However current holders Spain are unlikely to hand over the title and will put up a fight as they aim to be the first ever nation to win four major international tournaments in a row. Runners up from the 2010 World Cup Holland will also be in contention although injuries to key players could curtail any chances they have. Germany continue to flourish under Joachim Low and will be looking to go all the way and prove those who doubt his team’s ability to do so in the process.
Fellow European hopefuls Italy and England will fight it out in the group stages before moving on to the knock out rounds and both have aspirations to last until the end. England take with them a strong squad but with Italy and Uruguay in their group, qualification may not be as easy as hoped. Speaking of Uruguay, they are looking to add another World Cup title to the two they already have, with the 2010 failure still fresh in their minds. Argentina are out for revenge as they look to finally put the ghost of Maradona behind them and lift the World Cup again. With Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Angle Di Maria in their squad, this may be their best chance in doing so in a long time. Other hopefuls include Belgium, France, Portugal and Ghana but in truth, anyone could win the tournament given the right form and the right amount of luck. So who do you think will walk away from the Estádio do Maracanã on July 13th with the World Cup trophy? Let us know below in our World Cup Winners poll.