The 2014 World Cup is nearly here, in just a few days the first ball will be kicked and the tournament will begin. Brazil, the host nation, will be playing Croatia in Sao Paulo in the opener which will follow a short opening ceremony.
Brazilian right-back Dani Alves said it is time for this team to make a statement and justify them being labeled as the favorites to win the World Cup.
“The moment of truth is starting now,” Alves said, via The Guardian. “It’s not just about three points, it should also send a message to future rivals.
“I think it’s the most important game of the World Cup, along with the final.”
They’re playing a Croatian team in the opener that is banged up and reeling from some injuries and that could benefit the home team after a lackluster warm-up match against Serbia. That performance has Croatia smelling blood in the water and feeling confident they can crash Brazil’s party on Thursday.
“Brazil looked a bit weary against the Serbs and the pressure to deliver on home soil is already everywhere to be seen,” Croatia coach Niko Kovac was quoted as saying in Croatian media on Sunday, via Gulf News.
“It seems they are expected not only to win all their games but also play entertaining football too and that is our chance. The longer we hold our own, the more anxious they will get and we want to make it as difficult as possible for them.
“We certainly won’t park the bus in our penalty box, we want to have a real go at them and are confident that we can get a result. They’ve won 15 of their last 16 games but I know what tactics to deploy.”
Want to watch the opening ceremony? Here is all the information you need to watch:
Date: Thursday, June 12
Time: 4:00 p.m. ET/9:00 p.m. BST
Venue: Arena de Sao Paulo
Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil
TV Info: ESPN, ITV1 (UK), ESPN Deportes, Univision (Spanish)
Radio Info: Sirius XM FC, ESPN Radio
Live Stream: Watch ESPN / ITV Player (UK) / Univision Deportes (Spanish)
Tags: 2014 World Cup