Updated June. 12, 2014 06:21
The 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the worlds soccer extravaganza, will kick off with a Brazil-Croatia match at 5 a.m. Friday (Korea time). At this years event that will entail a total of 64 matches through July 14, a total of 32 countries that passed the qualifiers in their respective continents will hold a group league of eight groups through June 27, with the top and runner-up of respective groups advancing to the second round of 16 teams to stage a tournament.
The opening match between Brazil and Croatia will mark the 773rd match in the history of the World Cup, which marks the 20th anniversary this year. The event is expected to have the 2,209th goal overall scored in the World Cups. As Bosnia and Herzegovina, which declared independence from former Yugoslavia, is set to participate in this years event for the first time, the number of countries that have taken part in a World Cup finals event amounts to 77 in total.
Leading candidates of the champion at this years event include Brazil, the host country, Argentina, Italy, and Germany. Brazil will seek to garner the World Cup championship for the sixth time in total, and Italy for a fifth time.
Korea, which belongs to Group H along with Russia, Algeria, and Belgium, will hold its first match at the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba at 7 a.m. on Wednesday next week. Under the leadership of Coach Hong Myung-bo, the Korean national team is aiming to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time at a World Cup event overseas.