Welcome to Brazil

Our introduction to the biggest single-sport tournament on earth

Welcome to Brazil
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It’s back! After four years the FIFA World Cup returns, with 64 matches to be played over four weeks in 12 stadiums across Brazil.

The host nation, already the most successful team in the history of the competition, will be looking to add title number six on home soil. But Brazil will face a tough time from teams boasting some of the best players in the world.

Reigning champions Spain head to South America high in confidence having won the last three major international tournaments. Germany have reached at least the semi-finals in the last three tournaments, while the Netherlands can still call on the core squad that reached the final four years ago.

FIFA Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo will grace the tournament for Portugal, while his arch-rival Lionel Messi lines up for Argentina, adding another intriguing sub-plot to the upcoming tournament.

To get the lowdown on all the other teams taking part.

This will be the second time the FIFA World Cup has taken place in Brazil, with the South American nation last staging the tournament in 1950. Sixty-four years later, the face of the competition has changed beyond recognition and the 20th edition of the tournament will be played at a mixture of shiny new stadiums and renovated classics. You can find out more about the different venues on page 6.

If you’re not lucky enough to have a ticket to Brazil, then never fear, as we’ve compiled a comprehensive rundown of the venues showing the games. Click here to plan where you’ll be catching the action.

Wherever you decide to watch and whoever you support, enjoy the upcoming festival of football!

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