Having worked tirelessly to make it to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, all 32 teams involved in the spectacle will be dreaming big at the start of the competition.
The chance to play on this enormous stage in Russia may only come around once for many of the players set to feature in the latest edition. There'll be desperation to seize this opportunity in an event that can create legendary figures in the game.
The coronation of legends tends to come in the latter stages, but the road to glory starts in the group stages.
Here's a look at each group, how they're likely to finish up and a closer look at a couple of players with the potential to ignite this tournament.
World Cup Groups (In Order of Predicted Finish)
Lionel Messi, Argentina
In the eyes of some, for Messi to confirm his legacy as the greatest player to ever kick a football, a win in a major international tournament is required.
Now 30, this may be the final time we see the Barcelona man heading into a World Cup. Those backing the Albiceleste will be delighted that he has enjoyed an extraordinary season for his club once again.
Messi inspired the team to the La Liga title and the Copa del Rey this season. As noted by OptaJose, he's been an inspiration:
While a lot of responsibility falls on Messi at club level, arguably even more falls upon his shoulders for Argentina.
At times it has got too much for him. After the team lost to Chile in the final of the Copa America in 2016, Messi said he was going to step away from international football before eventually reversing his decision.
Argentina fans will be thankful he did, as he scored a stunning hat-trick last year in a must-win game against Ecuador to book the nation's place in Russia.
Without him, they struggled during some preparations, too, as Spain hammered a Messi-less Argentina 6-1 in a friendly, per Rob Palmer of Sky Sports:
The South American side has underperformed in recent years, with players who would typically excel at club level a long way short of their best for the national team. If they are going to repeat 2014's final appearance, they will need Messi to thrive.
Kevin De Bruyne, Belgium
Belgium probably still fall into the category of dark horses for this tournament despite the individual talents in Roberto Martinez's squad. If De Bruyne shines, then they are potential winners.
The Manchester City midfielder also heads into this tournament on the back of a magnificent club season, as he was the brains behind a title win and a Carabao Cup triumph. Under Pep Guardiola, he's taken his game on to new heights.
As noted by Sky Sports Statto, no player in the Premier League has been able to match his levels of creativity:
De Bruyne has also matured as a midfield player, something that will be crucial to Belgium at the World Cup.
The City man is much more comfortable playing deep at this stage in his career, and in the 3-4-3 system likely to be used by Martinez, he needs to be a little more disciplined than he may be for his club. Based on the way he's played this season, he's capable of doing that.
Earlier this year, Martinez explained how he will try to get the best from De Bruyne on Monday Night Football:
Sky Sports MNF @SkySportsMNF
🏴 @England fans watch out! 👀 How do you get the best out of @DeBruyneKev? 🇧🇪 "Average players complicate the game. Great players simplify it." 👌 Roberto Martinez and assistant @ThierryHenry explain what makes Kevin De Bruyne so special: https://t.co/y25eV0hn7F https://t.co/vh3ltkFnkh
The quality in this Belgium squad is good enough to match any team in the tournament. What they've lacked at the highest level and certainly in the UEFA European Championship two years ago was a player who can knit together their excellent defenders and thrilling attackers.
De Bruyne wasn't in a position to do that job then, but he is now. If he thrives in Russia, Belgium have what's required to be a force in the latter stages.