Every four years all football fans across the world go into a special fully focused football mode. Now why is that? We are of course talking about the world's biggest and most emotional football event: the World Cup. Just 16 days from the start of the World Cup in Brazil, we now start taking you through the eight groups. And we naturally start from the top with Group A.
A lot of eyes will have a special focus on Group A. The reasoning be that this is where we find the host nation and one of the absolute top favourites: Brazil. For the first time, since 1950, the World Cup is taking place in Brazil and this is something that specially the Brazilian people have been waiting for. Back in 1950, they left the tournament with a bitter sweet feeling as Uruguay beat Brazil in the final in the the legendary match which has later on become known as El maracanazo.
Group A starts off with the tournaments opening match on the 12th of June, where Brazil and Croatia clash. During the World Cup in Germany in 2006 these two teams also met in their first match. Back then, Kaka became match winner after having scored the only goal in the 1-0 Brazilian victory. In the second opening match of the group, Mexico and Cameroon are head to head for what is just the second match ever between the two countries. Their first match was back in 1993 for a friendly where Mexico came out as winner with a 1-0 victory. Most people expect Brazil to take the first spot in the group, although Group A may very well be regarded as the most even of the groups n the tournament. Both Mexico, Croatia and Cameroon are countries with proud World Cup traditions and they will all come to Brazil with expectations of making it through the groups stage as a minimum.
If we zoom in on the four countries in Group A we can start out with the host nation from Brazil. The football crazy country is the only country that has participated at every single tournament, ever since the very first one back in 1930. Moreover, it the the only country that has won the trophy five times and it is therefore understandable that that the Brazilian people expect no less than a new World Cup title, since Brazil have not been able to snatch the World Cup title in fourteen years. Lead on by Neymar Jr. the eyes of the world will be on the country that is known for their colourful and always entertaining play.
Especially Brazil's love and passion for the game is also something that is expressed through the country's national shirt, which naturally comes with the characteristic yellow and green colours. Nike have been representing the Brazilian national team since 1997 and have been waiting for this moment, where the World Cup is to be hosted in Brazil ever since. Therefore, they have also made sure to give the players a home shirt that they can be proud of, and which encapsulates a lot of the symbols that represent Canarinho.
The group's European representation comes from Croatia; and after an emotional qualification, where they had to go all the way to the second play-off match before they could secure their participation in the World Cup, Croatia are back on the big scene after an absent 2010. And with the Real Madrid star Modric and Mandzukic, Croatia once again are aiming for big things, like in 1998 where the made the podium with a third place position.
And the past is also something that Nike have been looking to as they, for the 14th time in a row, where to design the Croatian national team shirt. Inspiration has been taken from the first Croatian national team shirt from 1991, which was designed by Croatian painter and graphic designer Miroslav Šutej, who was the man behind the iconic check design. The Red/White checks have gone to become synonymous with Croatia and it will certainly be exciting to follow them in Brazil.
Mexico was among the very last countries to qualify for the World Cup after a tough battle with New Zealand over two play-off matches. At their last five World Cup appearances, Mexico have been sent home in the round of 16, losing out to Argentina both in 2010 and 2006. This year, Mexico cannot run into Argentina in the round of 16 and are therefore entering this World Cup with great optimism and hope.
Adidas are responsible for Mexico's national team shirts for this tournament and they have found inspiration from a characteristic, although somewhat alternative industry in Mexico. They have used Mexican wrestlers when designing the shirts, and even if the shirts still display the traditional green colours, it is obvious that Adidas are trying to add a little extra hope with the hero inspired national team shirts. Will Chicharito and Co. live up to the expectations of the nation?
The last nation in Group A become one of the most loved and admired countries in the world, specially during the heydays in the 90's, where especially Roger Milla's entertaining appearances made Cameroon famous. Cameroon was the first country to make it to the quarter finals back in 1990 and with Eto'o in front, the African nation are still dreaming of those days and are hoping that the dreams can come true again.
Puma and Cameroon have had a very special partnership and it is therefore no surprise that Puma have designed a rather special national team shirt for the Lions from Cameroon. The shirt comes with a unique design with the symbolic lion as a part of the pattern that is displayed on the front of the shirt. There is no doubt that Cameroon's national team shirt will stand out at the World Cup as one of the more unique; and we are certainly looking forward to see what Eto'o and Co. can delivery in the green colours in Brazil.
We are very much looking forward to the World Cup kicks off on the 12th of June and it will definitely be a great experience to watch Brazil's first tournament match on home soil since 1950. Looking at Group A, we can not be sure of anything. How do you think things are gonna turn out in Group A? Take your football passion to a social level and share your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.