World Cup Schedule 2014: Full Listing of Dates, Squads and Groups

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World Cup Schedule 2014: Full Listing of Dates, Squads and Groups
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the 2014 FIFA World Cup field has been set and the groups have been drawn, it's finally time to check out when the world's best football teams will be taking to the fields in Brazil.

With an endless amount of storylines surrounding the highly anticipated event and legacies of many great players on the line, there will be no shortage of excitement brewing between the 32 teams in the field.

Will Brazil defend their home turf? Will Spain repeat as World Cup champions? Will another team emerge from the field to gain glory for their nation?

All of those questions and more will be answered over the course of a month in South America.

 

2014 World Cup Groups
Group A
Team Confederation FIFA Ranking
Brazil CONMEBOL/Hosts 10
Croatia UEFA 16
Mexico CONCACAF 20
Cameroon CAF 51
Group B
Team Confederation FIFA Ranking
Spain UEFA 1
Netherlands UEFA 9
Chile CONMEBOL 15
Australia AFC 59
Group C
Team Confederation FIFA Ranking
Colombia CONMEBOL 4
Greece UEFA 12
Ivory Coast CAF 17
Japan AFC 48
Group D
Team Confederation FIFA Ranking
Uruguay CONMEBOL 6
Costa Rica CONCACAF 31
England UEFA 13
Italy UEFA 7
Group E
Team Confederation FIFA Ranking
Switzerland UEFA 8
Ecuador CONMEBOL 23
France UEFA 19
Honduras CONCACAF 41
Group F
Team Confederation FIFA Ranking
Argentina CONMEBOL 3
Bosnia-Herzegovina UEFA 21
Iran AFC 45
Nigeria CAF 36
Group G
Team Confederation FIFA Ranking
Germany UEFA 2
Portugal UEFA 5
Ghana CAF 24
United States CONCACAF 14
Group H
Team Confederation FIFA Ranking
Belgium UEFA 11
Algeria CAF 26
Russia UEFA 22
South Korea AFC 54

FIFA

Schedule

Group A

Date Time City Home Team Away Team
June 12 4 p.m. ET
9 p.m. BST
Sao Paulo Brazil  Croatia
June 13 Noon ET
5 p.m. BST
Natal Mexico   Cameroon
June 17 3 p.m. ET
8 p.m. BST
Fortaleza  Brazil  Mexico
June 18 3 p.m. ET
8 p.m. BST
Manaus  Cameroon  Croatia
June 23 4 p.m. ET
9 p.m. BST
Brasilia  Cameroon  Brazil
June 23 4 p.m. ET
9 p.m. BST
Recife  Croatia  Mexico

 

Group B

Date Time City Home Team Away Team
June 13 3 p.m. ET
8 p.m. BST
Salvador  Spain  Netherlands
June 13 6 p.m. ET
11 p.m. BST
Cuiaba  Chile  Australia
June 18 6 p.m. ET
11 p.m. BST
Rio De Janeiro  Spain  Chile
June 18 Noon ET
5 p.m. BST
Porto Alegre  Australia  Netherlands
June 23 Noon ET
5 p.m. BST
Curitiba  Australia  Spain
June 23 Noon ET
5 p.m. BST
Sao Paulo  Netherlands  Chile

 

Group C

Date Time City Home Team Away Team
June 14 Noon ET
5 p.m. BST
Belo Horizonte  Colombia  Greece
June 14 6 p.m. ET
11 p.m. BST
Recife  Ivory Coast  Japan
June 19 Noon ET
5 p.m. BST
Brasilia  Colombia  Ivory Coast
June 19 6 p.m. ET
11 p.m. BST
Natal  Japan  Greece
June 24 4 p.m. ET
9 p.m. BST
Cuiaba  Japan  Colombia
June 24 4 p.m. ET
9 p.m. BST
Fortaleza  Greece  Ivory Coast

 

 

Group D

Date Time City Home Team Away Team
June 14 3 p.m. ET
8 p.m. BST
Fortaleza  Uruguay  Costa Rica
June 14 6 p.m. ET
11 p.m. BST
Manaus  England  Italy
June 19 3 p.m. ET
8 p.m. BST
Sao Paulo  Uruguay England 
June 20 Noon ET
5 p.m. BST
Recife  Italy  Costa Rica
June 24 Noon ET
5 p.m. BST
Natal  Italy  Uruguay
June 24 Noon ET
5 p.m. BST
Belo Horizonte  Costa Rica  England

 

Group E

Date Time City Home Team Away Team
June 15 Noon ET
5 p.m. BST
Brasilia  Switzerland  Ecuador
June 15 3 p.m. ET
8 p.m. BST
Porto Alegre  France  Honduras
June 20 3 p.m. ET
8 p.m. BST
Salvador  Switzerland  France
June 20 6 p.m. ET
11 p.m. BST
Curitiba  Honduras  Ecuador
June 25 4 p.m. ET
9 p.m. BST
Manaus  Honduras  Switzerland
June 25 4 p.m. ET
9 p.m. BST
Rio De Janeiro  Ecuador  France

 

Group F

Date Time City  Home Team Away Team
June 15 6 p.m. ET
11 p.m. BST
Rio De Janeiro  Argentina  Bosnia-Herzegovina
June 16 3 p.m. ET
8 p.m. BST
Curitiba  Iran   Nigeria
June 21 Noon ET
5 p.m. BST
BeloHorizonte  Argentina  Iran
June 21 6 p.m. ET
11 p.m. BST
Cuiaba  Nigeria  Bosnia-Herzegovina
June 25 Noon ET
5 p.m. BST
Porto Alegre  Nigeria  Argentina
June 25 Noon ET
5 p.m. BST
Salvador  Bosnia-Herzegovina  Iran

 

Group G 

Date Time City Home Team Away Team
June 16 Noon ET
5 p.m. BST
Salvador  Germany  Portugal
June 16 6 p.m. ET 
11 p.m. BST
Natal  Ghana  United States
June 21 3 p.m. ET 
8 p.m. BST
Fortaleza  Germany  Ghana
June 22 3 p.m. ET 
8 p.m. BST
Manaus  United States Portugal 
June 26 Noon ET 
5 p.m. BST
Recife  United States  Germany
June 26 Noon ET
5 p.m. BST
Brasilia  Portugal  Ghana

 

Teams to Watch in Brazil

Brazil

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

There are few, if any, squads heading to the World Cup this summer that are capable of the excitement that the host country brings.

The Brazilians are led by 21-year-old phenom Neymar (he'll be 22 once the tournament begins), who has turned into a superstar player over the last six months. From leading his team to a dominating 3-0 victory over Spain in the Confederations Cup final to excelling immediately as a featured part of Barcelona's offense since signing in the summer, he's impressed on every level.

The team's goal-scoring and attacking prowess doesn't end there, though. Fred, Hulk, Robinho, Oscar and Paulinho will also be getting plenty of the ball in attacking spots. Julio Cesar is a world-class goalkeeper and the defense is littered with experience.

This squad lucked out in not having to go through the rigors of World Cup qualifying—not that it would've tripped them up—and they've shown no signs of rust without the extra competition. They're dominating their opponents in seemingly every match and look poised to carry that into the World Cup.

 

Spain

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Spanish national team have been the absolute dominant force of world football's biggest events over the last half decade. 

Led by Vicente del Bosque, Spain not only won the last World Cup in 2010, but they also won the Euro Championship in both 2008 and 2012. Save for a Confederations Cup loss to Brazil this summer—certainly not a tournament that the world gets up for compared to Euro and World Cup action—the Spanish have been unbeatable in international competitions. 

The pass-heavy style of Spain may bore you, but there's no hiding from the fact that this squad possesses a level of chemistry that is unrivaled in today's soccer. The formula of Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Ramos, Cesc Fabregas and more has translated into many championships.

Dynasties don't last forever, and despite a deeper bench than ever this upcoming summer, Spain's reign won't last forever. With many players in this core group quickly exiting their prime, the window of opportunity is closing and the players will take advantage of that. 

 

Italy

Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Italy boast one of the most talent-rich rosters in the field, but it all starts and ends with one player—Mario Balotelli.

After many years of a by-committee approach that relied heavily on midfield and defensive prowess, Italy suddenly have their best weapon at the head of the offensive attack. Balotelli was too young to crack the roster in 2010, but he has emerged as an explosive striker who can generate goals individually and at a moment's notice.

The 23-year-old will be accompanied by Andrea Pirlo, one of the most skilled passers and strategic midfielders in the game. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon between the pipes means that nothing will be getting into the net easily. 

After their emergence in Euro 2012, it's obvious that this new-look Italy team can thrive with Balotelli at the top. Assuming he continues his ascendance on the international stage, Italy are a threat to win it all.

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