Years of anticipation are set to give way to month-long excitement as the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off from Brazil on Thursday.
The host nation has won a record five World Cup titles, but has never secured the crown on its home soil, losing the 1950 World Cup Final to South American rivals Uruguay at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
When the Selecao open the tournament against Croatia in Sao Paulo on Thursday, they'll hope it marks the start of a redeeming journey.
Below you'll find a complete viewing guide for all 64 World Cup matches this summer.
|Date||Matchup||Start Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream|
|Thu, June 12||Group A: Brazil vs. Croatia||4 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Fri, June 13||Group A: Mexico vs. Cameroon||12 p.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Fri, June 13||Group B: Spain vs. Netherlands||3 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Fri, June 13||Group B: Chile vs. Australia||6 p.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Sat, June 14||Group C: Colombia vs. Greece||12 p.m.||ABC||WatchESPN|
|Sat, June 14||Group D: Uruguay vs. Costa Rica||3 p.m.||ABC||WatchESPN|
|Sat, June 14||Group D: England vs. Italy||6 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Sat, June 14||Group C: Ivory Coast vs. Japan||9 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Sun, June 15||Group E: Switzerland vs. Ecuador||12 p.m.||ABC||WatchESPN|
|Sun, June 15||Group E: France vs. Honduras||3 p.m.||ABC||WatchESPN|
|Sun, June 15||Group F: Argentina vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina||6 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Mon, June 16||Group G: Germany vs. Portugal||12 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Mon, June 16||Group F: Iran vs. Nigeria||3 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Mon, June 16||Group G: Ghana vs. United States||6 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Tue, June 17||Group H: Belgium vs. Algeria||12 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Tue, June 17||Group A: Brazil vs. Mexico||3 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Tue, June 17||Group H: Russia vs. South Korea||6 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Wed, June 18||Group B: Australia vs. Netherlands||12 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Wed, June 18||Group B: Spain vs. Chile||3 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Wed, June 18||Group A: Cameroon vs. Croatia||6 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Thu, June 19||Group C: Colombia vs. Ivory Coast||12 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Thu, June 19||Group D: Uruguay vs. England||3 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Thu, June 19||Group C: Japan vs. Greece||6 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Fri, June 20||Group D: Italy vs. Costa Rica||12 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Fri, June 20||Group E: Switzerland vs. France||3 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Fri, June 20||Group E: Honduras vs. Ecuador||6 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Sat, June 21||Group F: Argentina vs. Iran||12 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Sat, June 21||Group G: Germany vs. Ghana||3 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Sat, June 21||Group F: Nigeria vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina||6 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Sun, June 22||Group H: Belgium vs. Russia||12 p.m.||ABC||WatchESPN|
|Sun, June 22||Group H: South Korea vs. Algeria||3 p.m.||ABC||WatchESPN|
|Sun, June 22||Group G: United States vs. Portugal||6 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Mon, June 23||Group B: Netherlands vs. Chile||12 p.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Mon, June 23||Group B: Australia vs. Spain||12 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Mon, June 23||Group A: Croatia vs. Mexico||4 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Mon, June 23||Group A: Cameroon vs. Brazil||4 p.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Tue, June 24||Group D: Italy vs. Uruguay||12 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Tue, June 24||Group D: Costa Rica vs. England||12 p.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Tue, June 24||Group C: Japan vs. Colombia||4 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Tue, June 24||Group C: Greece vs. Ivory Coast||4 p.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Wed, June 25||Group F: Nigeria vs. Argentina||12 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Wed, June 25||Group F: Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Iran||12 p.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Wed, June 25||Group E: Ecuador vs. France||4 p.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Wed, June 25||Group E: Honduras vs. Switzerland||4 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Thu, June 26||Group G: United States vs. Germany||12 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Thu, June 26||Group G: Portugal vs. Ghana||12 p.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Thu, June 26||Group H: South Korea vs. Belgium||4 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Thu, June 26||Group H: Algeria vs. Russia||4 p.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Sat, June 28||Group A winner vs. Group B runner-up||12 p.m.||ABC||WatchESPN|
|Sat, June 28||Group C winner vs. Group D runner-up||4 p.m.||ABC||WatchESPN|
|Sun, June 29||Group B winner vs. Group A runner-up||12 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Sun, June 29||Group D winner vs. Group C runner-up||4 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Mon, June 30||Group E winner vs. Group F runner-up||12 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Mon, June 30||Group G winner vs. Group H runner-up||4 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Tue, July 1||Group F winner vs. Group E runner-up||12 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Tue, July 1||Group H winner vs. Group G runner-up||4 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Sat, July 5||Quarterfinal||12 p.m.||ABC||WatchESPN|
|Sat, July 5||Quarterfinal||4 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Tue, July 8||Semifinal||4 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Wed, July 9||Semifinal||4 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Sat, July 12||Third Place Game||4 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Sun, July 13||Final||4 p.m.||ABC||WatchESPN|
There are plenty of intriguing group stage matchups on tap this June, but few will be as highly anticipated as Friday's Group B opener between defending World Cup champions Spain and the Netherlands.
The two European powerhouses met in South Africa for the World Cup final four years ago, and La Roja won 1-0 in extra-time to secure their first-ever World Cup championship.
As ESPN FC points out, Spain are one of the favorites to conquer Brazil this summer:
Last FIFA World Rankings before the World Cup: 1) Spain 2) Germany 3) Brazil 4) Portugal 5) Argentina 6) Switzerland pic.twitter.com/j2H1RMiWy7— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 5, 2014
Although the two squads will look slightly different than they did in 2010, some familiar talent will be on display. Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and Sergio Ramos are just some of the Spanish stars set to return to the World Cup, while Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie and Wesley Sneijder each look to propel the Dutch back to the World Cup final.
Earlier this week, Robben discussed the key to the Netherlands' success, per the Associated Press, via FoxNews.com:
I don't think we're capable at the moment of playing tiki-taka or beautiful football. In the end, it's all about the result. The counter attack is a very dangerous weapon that we're certainly going to use at this tournament.
One day after Spain and Holland collide for Group B supremacy, two other past World Cup winners, England and Italy, will go head-to-head in a pivotal Group D clash.
Between them, Italy and England have combined to win five World Cups since 1934. Therefore, Saturday's showdown promises to add another thrilling chapter to this European rivalry. What's more, neither team can afford a poor showing. With 2010 World Cup semifinalist Uruguay set to make noise in Group D, it's possible that either Italy or England will be going home before the knockout stage.
That possibility only adds to the significance of their opener this weekend.
The drama will only continue on Monday when Group G, the Group of Death, gets underway. Although Americans will be glued to the United States-Ghana matchup, the preceding showdown between Germany and Portugal will be must-see television as well.
Opta Sports notes Germany's unparalleled World Cup experience via Twitter:
100 - Germany's opening group game vs. Portugal at the 2014 World Cup will be thier 100th in the finals - more than any other team. Machine.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 28, 2014
Three-time World Cup champions, the Germans have finished third at each of the previous two World Cups and were runners-up prior to that in 2002. Possessing an explosive roster loaded with talent in midfield, Die Mannschaft are the favorite to finish atop Group G.
However, Joachim Low's squad can expect to face stiff resistance from Portugal, a tournament dark-horse built around reigning FIFA Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
Which group opener are you most intrigued by?
Ronaldo has scored 49 goals in 110 appearances for Portugal since 2003, and led the squad to a fourth-place finish at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
The U.S. will hope to contain the dynamic forward in their second Group G match, but slowing Ronaldo will be Germany's burden during the first week of action in Brazil.
While both Germany and Portugal are projected to advance to the knockout stage, Monday's meeting in Salvador, Brazil will be a determining factor in how the group shakes out this summer. A poor result for Portugal could derail the Iberians' hopes of making a deep run.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.