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OK, back to the stars we go.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
The best player across the 2013-14 season was Ronaldo, who is as close to a one-man team as you can get at the international level. With poor strikers and unpredictable wingers, CR7 is the man Paulo Bento relies on.
Lionel Messi, Argentina
Messi had a rough 2013-14 season—by his standards—but is expected to hit the World Cup in peak fitness. If he fires like he has in the last two years, Argentina could win it.
The country of Brazil held its collective breath as Neymar went down in training on Monday, live on television. The worry that followed suggests just how much is riding on the Barcelona attacker, and he's expected to lead his nation to glory.
Andrea Pirlo, Italy
Everything in Italy's system, no matter the formation, runs through Andrea Pirlo. He's the master, the creator, the No. 1 target for the opposition to stop.
Mario Goetze, Germany
With Marco Reus out of the World Cup, Germany's suspect firepower took a big, big hit. Mario Goetze goes from important to key in the wake of it, and he'll play as the primary attacking outlet for Die Mannschaft.
Andres Iniesta, Spain
Iniesta is still Spain's best player, and the man who scored the winning goal at the 2010 edition will look to spark his side once more. A magician on the ball.