The rosters are set. The training camps are wrapping up. The friendlies are behind us. The World Cup is here.
Because you don't want to miss a single match, below you'll find information to ensure you'll catch every game from this year's tournament. This is your one-stop shop for World Cup info, folks.
And for fun, we'll also go through every group's intriguing player, whether that be the star most instrumental to his team's success or simply a talent so dynamic you won't be able to look away when the ball lands at his feet.
Notes: All matches will be streamed live at WatchESPN.com or the WatchESPN app. While the matchups aren't set for the knockout phase yet, you can find that full schedule at ESPN. The schedule below is for the group phase.
|World Cup Schedule|
|Date||Time (ET)||Team 1||Team 2||Group||TV||Venue|
|Thursday, June 12||4 p.m.||Brazil||Croatia||A||ESPN||Arena Corinthians|
|Friday, June 13||12 p.m.||Mexico||Cameroon||A||ESPN2||Estadio das Dunas|
|Friday, June 13||3 p.m.||Spain||Netherlands||B||ESPN||Arena Fonte Nova|
|Friday, June 13||6 p.m.||Chile||Australia||B||ESPN2||Arena Pantanal|
|Saturday, June 14||12 p.m.||Colombia||Greece||C||ABC||Estadio Mineirao|
|Saturday, June 14||3 p.m.||Uruguay||Costa Rica||D||ABC||Estadio Castelao|
|Saturday, June 14||6 p.m.||England||Italy||D||ESPN||Arena Amazonia|
|Saturday, June 14||9 p.m.||Ivory Coast||Japan||C||ESPN||Arena Pernambuco|
|Sunday, June 15||12 p.m.||Switzerland||Ecuador||E||ABC||Nacional|
|Sunday, June 15||3 p.m.||France||Honduras||E||ABC||Estadio Beira-Rio|
|Sunday, June 15||6 p.m.||Argentina||Bosnia-Herzegovina||F||ESPN||Estadio do Maracana|
|Monday, June 16||12 p.m.||Germany||Portugal||G||ESPN||Arena Fonte Nova|
|Monday, June 16||3 p.m.||Iran||Nigeria||F||ESPN||Arena da Baixada|
|Monday, June 16||6 p.m.||Ghana||United States||G||ESPN||Estadio das Dunas|
|Tuesday, June 17||12 p.m.||Belgium||Algeria||H||ESPN||Estadio Mineirao|
|Tuesday, June 17||3 p.m.||Brazil||Mexico||A||ESPN||Estadio Castelao|
|Tuesday, June 17||6 p.m.||Russia||South Korea||H||ESPN||Arena Pantanal|
|Wednesday, June 18||12 p.m.||Australia||Netherlands||B||ESPN||Estadio Beira-Rio|
|Wednesday, June 18||3 p.m.||Spain||Chile||B||ESPN||Estadio do Maracana|
|Wednesday, June 18||6 p.m.||Cameroon||Croatia||A||ESPN||Arena Amazonia|
|Thursday, June 19||12 p.m.||Colombia||Ivory Coast||C||ESPN||Nacional|
|Thursday, June 19||3 p.m.||Uruguay||England||D||ESPN||Arena Corinthians|
|Thursday, June 19||6 p.m.||Japan||Greece||C||ESPN||Estadio das Dunas|
|Friday, June 20||12 p.m.||Italy||Costa Rica||D||ESPN||Arena Pernambuco|
|Friday, June 20||3 p.m.||Switzerland||France||E||ESPN||Arena Fonte Nova|
|Friday, June 20||6 p.m.||Honduras||Ecuador||E||ESPN||Arena da Baixada|
|Saturday, June 21||12 p.m.||Argentina||Iran||F||ESPN||Estadio Mineirao|
|Saturday, June 21||3 p.m.||Germany||Ghana||G||ESPN||Estadio Castelao|
|Saturday, June 21||6 p.m.||Nigeria||Bosnia-Herzegovina||F||ESPN||Arena Pantanal|
|Sunday, June 22||12 p.m.||Belgium||Russia||H||ABC||Estadio do Maracana|
|Sunday, June 22||3 p.m.||South Korea||Algeria||H||ABC||Estadio Beira-Rio|
|Sunday, June 22||6 p.m.||United States||Portugal||G||ESPN||Arena Amazonia|
|Monday, June 23||12 p.m.||Australia||Spain||B||ESPN2||Arena da Baixada|
|Monday, June 23||12 p.m.||Netherlands||Chile||B||ESPN||Arena Corinthians|
|Monday, June 23||4 p.m.||Croatia||Mexico||A||ESPN||Arena Pernambuco|
|Monday, June 23||4 p.m.||Cameroon||Brazil||A||ESPN2||Nacional|
|Tuesday, June 24||12 p.m.||Italy||Uruguay||D||ESPN||Estadio das Dunas|
|Tuesday, June 24||12 p.m.||Costa Rica||England||D||ESPN2||Estadio Mineirao|
|Tuesday, June 24||4 p.m.||Japan||Colombia||C||ESPN||Arena Pantanal|
|Tuesday, June 24||4 p.m.||Greece||Ivory Coast||C||ESPN2||Estadio Castelao|
|Wednesday, June 25||12 p.m.||Nigeria||Argentina||F||ESPN||Estadio Beira-Rio|
|Wednesday, June 25||12 p.m.||Bosnia-Herzegovina||Iran||F||ESPN2||Arena Fonte Nova|
|Wednesday, June 25||4 p.m.||Honduras||Switzerland||E||ESPN2||Arena Amazonia|
|Wednesday, June 25||4 p.m.||Ecuador||France||E||ESPN||Estadio do Maracana|
|Thursday, June 26||12 p.m.||United States||Germany||G||ESPN||Arena Pernambuco|
|Thursday, June 26||12 p.m.||Portugal||Ghana||G||ESPN2||Nacional|
|Thursday, June 26||4 p.m||South Korea||Belgium||H||ESPN||Arena Corinthians|
|Thursday, June 26||4 p.m.||Algeria||Russia||H||ESPN2||Arena da Baixada|
Group A: Luka Modric, MF, Croatia
Yes, you might have thought this selection would have been Brazil's Neymar, but truthfully, Brazil should win this group whether their big superstar is electrifying or not. But it's hard to imagine Croatia advancing out of this sneaky-tough group if Luka Modric doesn't play well.
The deep-lying midfielder and Real Madrid standout is the creative force on this Croatia team, and their success begins and ends with his work in the middle of the pitch. In a group devoid of any weak teams—Mexico and Cameroon are no pushovers—Modric will be the key figure in deciding which team advances alongside Brazil.
Group B: Whoever Plays Forward For Spain
Vague, yes, but the key to this group will likely be whether Spain gets anything out of the forward position or not. Diego Costa remains uncertain to play, though if he is at 100 percent or close, he'll likely lead the line.
But what happens if he can't go? Will the Spaniards return to the false-nine strategy they've employed in the past with Cesc Fabregas? Will they trust one of the other forwards on the roster?
This is a Spanish side that was humbled by Brazil in the Confederations Cup. The days of tiki-taka dominance might be coming to an end, so having Costa roaming in the box would be a huge bonus for Spain and make their attack far more versatile.
Spain, the Netherlands and Chile are all capable of winning this group, but all three have question marks. The Dutch have lost Rafael van der Vaart and Kevin Strootman in the midfield. Outside of Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez, does Chile possess the firepower of the other two top contenders?
But the group will likely be decided by the forward play of Spain. If they get production out of the position, they should win this group without too much incident.
Group C: Yaya Toure, MF, Ivory Coast
Even if Radamel Falcao was playing for Colombia, he still wouldn't be the most important player in this group.
No, that distinction belongs to Yaya Toure.
The midfield anchor on a team full of dangerous attackers, Toure is the straw that stirs the Ivory Coast drink. He is coming off of an epic season for Manchester City that saw him score 20 goals and add nine assists in 35 Premier League performances.
A man who can play any role in central midfield, he is at his best marauding forward and linking up the play from the defense to attack. He's a physical, athletic presence in the middle of the pitch who can play a pretty pass but also is a threat to score from distance. One of the more well-rounded players in the world today, Toure will be the key figure in a Group C devoid of weak teams.
Group D: Mario Balotelli, F, Italy
But no player in Group D will influence his team's success quite like Mario Balotelli will do so for Italy.
When Balotelli is sulking, slumping or stuck on the bench, Italy are a very good defensive team with an experienced midfield, but a club that struggles to really provide a cutting edge on the attack. When Balotelli is in form, however, Italy are incredibly difficult to beat.
If Balotelli is at his best, Italy will win this group. If he's a non-factor, however, the Italians will face a struggle to advance out of their group.
Group E: Antoine Griezmann, LW, France
France should win this group without much drama, but the man to watch in the process is Antoine Griezmann now that Franck Ribery will be missing the tournament. How he replaces the fiery left-winger will be key to France's chances in this year's World Cup.
Griezmann isn't chopped liver, mind you, and has played quite well for France down the left flank. Depending on whom you ask, he's a superior option to Loic Remy in that role and has the talent to be one of the breakout stars on the international stage in Brazil.
Ribery's loss is a big one. Griezmann could go a long way to softening the blow.
Group F: Lionel Messi, F, Argentina
Lionel Messi is a once-in-a-lifetime talent, a brilliant finisher, a man who could dribble past a defender if both were trapped in a phone booth. His game is all about precision, poetry, artistry. He can turn on a dime and rip off a powerful shot in a smaller space than that.
No team has a more dangerous attack than Argentina, but no player is more important to that attack than Messi. He'll set up his teammates as well, yes, but don't be surprised if Messi lights up the score sheet at this World Cup.
Group G: Cristiano Ronaldo, LW, Portugal
If Messi is a poem, Cristiano Ronaldo is heavy metal.
Where Messi is about precision and touch, Ronaldo is about power, speed and athleticism (not that he's lacking in the touch department, mind you). His runs down the left wing are the stuff of legend, his shots from distance or set pieces the stuff of nightmares for opposing keepers. He can score in every way, from every angle, at any time.
For comparison's sake, Ronaldo is the LeBron James of footy (Messi would probably best be described as Larry Bird, for what it's worth). While Germany have the most talent in this group, Portugal have the best player.
Group H: Eden Hazard, LW, Belgium
On a team loaded with stars—from Vincent Kompany to Dries Mertens to Romelu Lukaku, to name a few—Eden Hazard stands out. The Chelsea star is one of the top left-wingers in the world today, with a bullishness on the ball, a brilliant touch and the ability to finish from distance.
But it is his low center of gravity on the ball that makes him so fun to watch. Keep an eye on him when he is surrounded by defenders or challenged on the ball—you simply can't bully him away from it. That skill often allows him time to plot a course around a defender or his teammates time to join him in the attack.
There are high hopes for Belgium in this year's World Cup, and they will be expected to cruise through this group. Their chances, without question, begin with Hazard's performance.
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