2014 FIFA World Cup June 12 Preview: Brazil, Croatia To Kick Off Tournament

Buda Mendes

The World Cup opens today! It's time for Brazil vs. Croatia, the first game of the world's premier soccer tournament.

Every day of the World Cup, we'll have a preview of the day's events. Feel free to chat about the day's matches in here as they unfold.

It's here! It's here! It's time for the greatest sports tournament in the world to kick off, the 2014 FIFA World Cup! For the first time since 1950, the most successful team in International soccer history will get to host the cup on their own home turf. Because of that, Brazil are the early favorites according to just about everyone's number crunchers and in the popular opinion polls as well.

That's just numbers, though. In soccer, they rarely make the difference when you only get a handful of matches to make magic happen. Now, we're off.

Brazil vs. Croatia

2 p.m. Mountain Time
Brazil will be the obvious favorites to open the FIFA World Cup on their home soil with a win against Croatia, but it's the two best teams in the group, and you never know what the feisty Croatians will be able to pull out. With a still-shaky Mexico and a weak Cameroon team behind them, draw will do just nicely for the Croatians against the hosts. If it was played on paper, Oscar, Hulk, Neymar and the gang would be the obvious favorites without question, but they do have a lot of youth and a goalkeeper who certainly isn't among the greatest in the tournament. Croatia have some monumental players from Ivan Rakitić and Luka Modrić to my boy Darijo Srna (vamos Шахта́р), and could surprise.

And remember, even the eventual winners of tournaments trip over themselves early on sometimes -- remember Switzerland's victory over Spain in 2010? This should be a fun one.

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