When the curtain comes down on the 2013/14 season, attentions will shift to the World Cup. Or maybe your mind is there already, wishing time would speed up until the tournament kicks off on June 12th.
There are still 104 days separating us from the opening day's game between Brazil and Croatia which, for some, is just too long to wait.
So, we've complied 10 ways to help. Follow these steps and the World Cup will be here before you know it.
Featuring World Cup bingo, YouTube clips and (we apologize) Ricky Martin.
Spend Time with Your Non-Football Loving Other Half
Let's face it, if you have a partner who doesn't like football, you need to start putting the groundwork in right now.
We're thinking dinner, movies, walks in the park or whatever works for you. As, between June 12th and July 13th, it's goodbye partner, hello football.
Deck Yourself out in Adidas Gear
Need a new wardrobe to wear in Brazil? How about a set of nice t-shirts from Adidas?
We hear they've designed a nice new line for the summer's tournament.
You can read all about them here, via The Guardian.
On second thoughts...
Make YouTube Your Best Friend
One surefire way to pass the time and get excited about the next World Cup is to watch highlights from previous tournaments.
Don't tell me you're not in the mood after watching those clips.
Learn Portuguese, a Little Goes a Long Way
Heading to Brazil this summer? Try and learn a phrase a day for the next 104 days and your South American experience will be all the richer for it.
Before you know it, you'll be able to order a beer, ask for directions, explain the offside trap and berate a referee, all while falando Portugues.
Wait Anxiously to Buy the 2014 World Cup Album
Fear not music lovers! Sony will be releasing the official 2014 World Cup album in due course.
Following on from Shakira's 2010 World Cup Song "Waka Waka," (no, we don't really remember it either) it has been announced that Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull will be teaming up with Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte to record "We Are One (Ole Ola)," the official Brazil 2014 anthem, which will make its live debut at the Arena De Sao Paulo on June 12.
Ricky Martin will also be recording a song for the upcoming album, which makes us think there may actually be better ways to spend your time...
Any England players needing to pass the time before the 2014 World Cup? I've got an idea, how about some penalty practice?
England manager Roy Hodgson spoke this week about his plans to bring a psychologist to Brazil as part of his backroom staff, in a bid to improve his side's chances in a penalty shootout.
As reported by Dominic Fifield in The Guardian, Hodgson said:
I'm not averse to using a psychologist. We are considering the possibility of inviting someone with us but I think it's very important they're someone who is part of the group. I'm not sure just suddenly shipping someone in to give the players a lecture would work.
I think there's another possibility, we should be encouraging players to know their penalty, to practise that penalty.
England, by the way, have won just one shootout since 1990.
Indulge in Some Early Summer Transfer Gossip
Perhaps you suffer from mythophobia—a fear of gossip, or perhaps you just harbour an irrational hatred of the football transfer window.
Either way, relax! As some early transfer speculation could be just the thing to bridge the gap between the season's end and the start of the World Cup.
This is the time of year when you are allowed to dream that maybe, just maybe your side's chairman will defy all expectations and sign the player of your dreams. So sit back and drink in the rumours linking Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Eden Hazard and Radamel Falcao to your club.
With a good few months between now and the opening game of the 2014 World Cup, we have plenty of time to swot up on random international football trivia.
You've got the glasses, you've read "Inverting The Pyramid" and you've basically nailed the hipster look. Now it's time to load up on obscure information that can be dropped casually into conversation when you're watching the games with your mates.
Did you know that Costa Rica's nickname is The Ticos? How about Korea Republic's coach, Hong Myung-Bo (pictured above)—he is his country's most capped player. And surely everyone knows that Algeria, nicknamed Les Fennecs, have qualified for four World Cups, including this year, and are coached by Vahid Halilhodzic?
Go forth, hipsters. The football facts are waiting.
Prepare Your Own Version of World Cup Bingo
The rules of this game are easy. Using the following World Cup cliches, prepare a set of bingo cards for you and your friends, put some money in a pot and listen out for the cliches as the tournament draws close.
Whoever completes their bingo card first, wins.
(We're pretty sure that, in a game like this, Qatar were granted the 2022 World Cup).
- A player is described as "The new Messi"
- Goalkeepers complain about Brazuca, the official World Cup ball
- Any mention of WAGS in the England hotel
- Complaints that mosquitos in Manaus are "the size of dogs"
- Hearing The Girl From Ipanema
- The words: "Group of Death"
- Belgium are described as "Dark Horses"
- References to THE 1998 Nike ad, set in a Brazilian airport (two points if it's aired)
- "Samba soccer" or "Sexy football" mentioned in a preview
- Images of the World Cup mascot. Extra points for anyone who can work out what it actually is
- Sweeping video of Copacabana Beach lingers, for a second too long, on a Brazilian woman's buttocks. It's artistic, innit?
Enjoy the Feeling That This Could Be Your Year
It happens every time. No matter how you crashed out in the last World Cup, or perhaps you didn't even qualify, it's impossible to ignore the optimistic feeling that is sprouting in your frontal lobe.
Why not enjoy it?
With 104 days to go until the tournament itself, this is the time to wallow in the idea that your country could actually do it this year. Forget about the statistics that are stacked against you, imagine that you're a 100 per cent confident in your manager and Brazil, well—Just. Don't. Think. About. Them.
Because, when the tournament begins and we come back down to earth with a bang, you might wish you had.
See you in Brazil!