2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™

12 June - 13 July

2014 FIFA World Cup™

All to play for

Carlo Costly of Honduras celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
© Getty Images

MATCHDAY PREVIEW – Three spots in the Round of 16 remain up for grabs from Groups E and F, with France boasting at least one foot in the knockout phase. Victorious in their first two games, Les Bleus need just a draw against Ecuador to advance and could even go through following a narrow defeat. If Didier Deschamps's men lose and Switzerland overcome Honduras, three teams would finish on six points and goal difference would enter into play – and France currently boast a tally of +6 compared to 0 for Ecuador and -2 for the Swiss.

The winners of that section look set to avoid Argentina in the next round, with La Albiceleste already qualified thanks to decisive goals from Lionel Messi in their two outings. Argentina need to avoid defeat at the hands of Nigeria to top Group F, as their African rivals can still leapfrog them at the last. Meanwhile, Iran could well progress if they beat eliminated Bosnia and Herzegovina, providing Nigeria fail to take a point off the pacesetters.

The matchesNigeria-Argentina (Group F), Estadio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre, 13.00 (local time)

Bosnia and Herzegovina-Iran (Group F), Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, 13.00 (local time)

Honduras-Switzerland (Group E), Arena Amazonia, Manaus, 16.00 (local time)

Ecuador-France (Group E), Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, 17.00 (local time)

Did you know? Wait over: Carlo Costly's strike in Honduras's 2-1 loss to Ecuador ended his country's 511-minute wait for a FIFA World Cup™ goal, with their previous having been scored by Eduardo Laing against Northern Ireland on 20 June 1982. *Los Catrachos *thus came within seven minutes of the unenviable tournament record still held by Bolivia.

Top ten: Lionel Messi's efforts have resurrected the tradition of the goalscoring Argentina No10, a shirt number feared by La Albiceleste's* *opponents in the past. Ariel Ortega was the last No10 to find the net for the South Americans at a World Cup, registering against Jamaica on 21 June 1998. The same player was then unable to get his name on the scoresheet in 2002, a fate that likewise befell Juan Roman Riquelme in 2006 and Messi in 2010. Messi's opening strike at Brazil 2014 was also his first World Cup goal in 623 minutes since he hit the target against Serbia and Montenegro eight years ago. *

History makers:* Stuttgart forward Vedad Ibisevic had the honour of burying Bosnia and Herzegovina's maiden World Cup effort. Joseph Yobo, meanwhile, will become the first Nigeria player to win his 100th cap if he features against Argentina.

*Sturdy sequence: *France are unbeaten in their last six World Cup meetings with South American opposition, posting three wins and three draws since succumbing 2-1 to Argentina during the group stage in 1978.

Suspended playersYohan Cabaye (FRA)

*Treading the tightrope

*Jefferson Montero, Juan Paredes, Antonio Valencia, Enner Valencia (ECU)

Patrice Evra, Paul Pogba (FRA)

Jerry Bengtson, Victor Bernadez, Boniek Garcia, Luis Garrida (HON)

Javad Nekounam, Masoud Shojael, Andranik Timotian (IRN)

John Obi Mikel (NGA)

Haris Medunjanin, Emir Spahic (BIH)

Johann Djourou (SWI)

Check it out"I don't think composure only comes with age," explained Raphael Varane when FIFA.com met up with the 21-year-old France defender. "Personally speaking, it's something I've always had; I think it's something natural." Find out what else Varane and his fellow rock at the back, 24-year-old Mamadou Sakho,* *had to say.

FIFA.com also took a recent trip to the Boca Juniors football academy in Brazil, where a camera crew spoke with the coaches and their young players. Make sure not to miss the results – after all, it's not every day you find an Argentinian training centre in the land of samba!

Elsewhere, with Zinedine Zidane having just turned 42, FIFA.com invites you to take another look at our interview with the great man at the 2014 World Cup Final Draw. Zizou shared his thoughts on Brazil, a country he admires – and that admires him back, despite the pain he inflicted during his playing days.

On this dayThere was euphoria at the Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires on 26 June 1978 as Argentina won their first World Cup title by defeating the Netherlands 3-1 after extra time. The host nation's political situation was fraught at the time, but El Matador *Mario Kempes gave the locals plenty to cheer, hitting two goals in the Final and finishing overall top scorer on six strikes. The *Oranje deserved plenty of credit too for having reached their second consecutive showpiece, despite Johan Cruyff opting to stay at home. They frustrated La Albiceleste in normal time before Kempes completed his double and Daniel Bertoni increased the deficit, with the Dutch becoming the third side to lose two Finals after Czechoslovakia (1934 and 1962) and Hungary (1938 and 1954). The Netherlands then added to their unenviable record with a third Final reverse when they fell 1-0 to Spain in 2010, again after extra time.

*Play and win *Since 1982, the adidas Golden Ball has been awarded to the most exceptional player at each edition of the World Cup. Who will follow in the footsteps of giants like Diego Maradona, Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane by receiving the adidas Golden Ball in Brazil? Make your selection for the adidas Golden Ball winner and you could win your very own piece of World Cup history: an actual match ball used during the 2014 World Cup Final at the Maracana on 13 July.

Top tweet

Switzerland's official account tweeted after their training session in Manaus, and it looks like they're ready for their match against Honduras.

"Rubbing shoulders with the Arena de Amazonia..tomorrow the decisive #HONSUI game takes place here."

Auf Tuchfühlung mit der Arena da Amazônia.. Morgen findet hier das alles entscheidende Spiel #HONSUI statt. #SFVASF pic.twitter.com/mnAhi1qdDc

— nationalteamsSFVASF (@SFVASF) June 24, 2014

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