With the FIFA World Cup a little over a week away, excitement over the event is building to a fever pitch.
Everyone is prepping for the drama, thrills, and surprises that are typically found in World Cup game fixtures.
As football fans try and guess which teams are most likely to advance beyond the group stage, some national teams have been more speculated about than others
Among the list of favorites to win it all are former champion Spain and host country Brazil.
It's actually more fun to consider which dark horses could surprise everyone and win it all.
This nation has stood in the shadow of neighboring France for some time, but that may be changing.
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 1, 2014
Les Bleus are known more for drama and scandal in recent years than they are for quality football. Manager Didier Deschamps could find himself more focused on the French team not being a source of national embarrassment instead of winning the World Cup.
Meanwhile Belgium has flourished in recent years in terms of the development of promising football talent.
If there was ever an underdog in this entire World Cup, it has to be the United States. The nation finds itself locked in a group with Portugal and Germany, the latter of which advanced to the 2010 quarterfinals. There is also Ghana, a nation that has already knocked out the United States TWICE.
Perhaps the threat of being trampled by Ghana for the third WC in a row will raise the fighting spirit of the American team. In doing so, it may give them a shot at taking points off of Portugal or Germany.
A couple of upsets could be all the US men's team needs to stun everyone and perhaps find a place in World Cup history.
South American teams other than Brazil or Argentina
— BBC Radio 5 live (@bbc5live) May 19, 2014
Much has been said about the epic rivalry between host nation Brazil (who many see as a very likely victor) and Argentina. However, bringing the World Cup to South America will likely influence other South and Central American nations to truly rise to the occasion.
It wouldn't be the first time a South American host had the Cup piped by a neighboring nation. Such an opportunity could likely prove too good for a team like Uruguay or Chile to pass up.
Which team could stun everyone and win the World Cup? Share your pick in the comments!
Image via YouTube