FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014
It's been four year since Spain's goalkeeper Iker Casillas lifted the most expensive trophy in the footballing world - as the modern tiki-taka initiators emerged winners in South Africa in a highly competitive tournament in 2010.
Whilst this term's World Cup tournament would kick-off on June 12, with 32 top countries gracing the showdown in Brazil, fans and lovers of football are expecting to see superb performances from players who have been exceptional in the last four years - particularly last season.
Unfortunately, players like Isco, Carlos Tevez and Samir Nasri - who were instrumental in their teams' successes last season, have all been left out of this summer's tournament.
However, there are still players who will create chances, score wonderful goals and show goodskills in Brazil.
This article, after careful observations and research, predicts the top twelve stars who will influence the outcome of the tournament and help their countries to win matches.
Let us begin with the least of all...
12. Adam Lallana
The 26-year-old World Cup debutant is expected to fill the role of an attacking midfielder for England this summer. Popularly described as the English Andres Iniesta, Lallana displays superb qualities that are not usually associated with English players.
The young Southampton Captain will create good goalscoring opportunities for the Three Lions in Brazil.
11. Peter Osaze Odemwingie
Many might quibble at Osaze's inclusion alongside other players on this list, but the Russian born Nigerian forward will definitely put up a good show at the World Cup tournament this summer. The 32-year-old Stoke City striker, who plays either right or left wing for Nigeria, helped the current African Champions equalise in a 2-2 international friendly draw against Scotland on May 28.
Renowned for his skills and excellent work rate, Odemwingie would be set to justify his recall to the National team and leave a legendary impression at the hearts of Nigerians - since this will be his last World Cup.
10. Eden Hazard
The talented Chelsea forward is known for his creativity, speed and technical ability - and he can change a game with his turn of pace or dribble. The 23-year-old player helped Belgium tear apart Luxembourg in the international friendly on May 26.
And alongside stars like Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtouis and Vincent Kompany, Hazard will be very impressive at the World Cup.
9. Marko Reus
Marko Reus established himself as a regular member of Joachim Low's side in the World Cup qualification campaign - where he netted five goals and made three assists, in six matches.
Known for versality, speed and technique, the 25-year-old Borussia Dortmund star will prove very vital at the heart of Germany's midfield this summer.
8. Mario Balotelli
The self acclaimed "coolest player of the Italian side" will undoubtedly create many scenes at the summer tournament in Brazil. Known for his agility, speed and power, Balotelli, 23, is expected to lead the Azzurri's attack.
And with the help of Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi, the AC Milan striker would be a sufficient threat to any defense line in the one-month long tournament.
7. Gary Cahill
Gary Cahill, 28, is unarguably the best defender in the English squad as well as one of the best defenders from the European section gracing this tournament. Having netted a header as England cruised past Peru in an international friendly win last week, the Chelsea defender will also be vital for Roy Hodgson side when they hope to convert a set-piece.
In fact, the defensive pressure is on the 28-year-old and his form remains a determinant factor as to whether England will survive the group stage this summer.
6. Luis Suarez
It is yet to be certain whether or not the 2013/2014 Premier League Golden Boot winner will win his race to be fit for the World Cup, but if he comes out fit, Suarez will definitely contend for the tournament's Golden Shoe. The Liverpool striker ended the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign as top scorer in the South American section with 11 goals.
His powerful shot, aerial ability and remarkable technical ability will see him scoop an award in Brazil this summer.
5. Andres Iniesta
The 30-year-old Barcelona playmaker, as usual, will symbolise Spain's adequate midfield control. The tiki-taka remains a dominant determiner of the outcome of his side's match as Zinedine Zidane rightly pointed when he said "Iniesta has got so much influence in Spain's game".
Known for his speed of thought, superfine passes and masterful touch of the ball, Iniesta will surely complete more passes and create more chances than other midfielders in any game that features him.
4. Franck Ribery
The 31-year-old Bayern Munich winger, who is known for pace, energy, skill and precise passing, may have lost his usual aura since April - but he remains France's best option. Former France captain Zidane has called him the "jewel of French football".
With this year's World Cup likely to be his last, Ribery will be looking forward to achieving something spectacular - and a flawless play from the 2013 Ballon d'Or second runner-up will be France's lifeline in order to avoid a disappointing showing in Brazil.
3. Neymar da Silva Santos
As Brazil aim to rewrite the 1950 World Cup history - when they hosted the tournament and lost 2-1 to Uruguay in the finals - Neymar remains the Selecao's greatest hope. The 22-year-old Barcelona forward is known for his acceleration, speed, dribbling, finishing and ability with both feet. At the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, Neymar's performance saw him awarded the Golden Ball - as the best player of the tournament.
And with the assistance of Oscar, Willian, Ramires and Bernard, Brazil's newest hero is sure to surpass global expectations this summer.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo
The 29-year-old Portuguese captain is in a stunning vein of form - as he netted 50 goals in 46 appearances for Real Madrid in the just concluded season. After netting a double in Portugal's 5-1 friendly win over Ghana, the Madrid star emerged Portugal's top goalscorer of all time, with 49 goals.
Although Portugal are rarely seen as legitimate contenders of the World Cup because of the rest of the squad, the majestic 'commander' remains the only one who could power an un-fancied side to World Cup glory.
Renowned for being a fast, skillful and show-off player, Ronaldo will be someone every defender would rather not play against.
1. Lionel Messi
The 26-year-old Argentina Captain, who won the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, is known for his finishing, pace, dribbling, balance, positioning, vision and passing ability.
Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella have carefully selected Messi's long term friends and colleagues - like Javier Mascherano, Sergio Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta, Ezequiel Garay, Angel Di Maria and Sergio Romero - who all played and won international tournaments alongside the Blaugrana star at youth level. Sabella did this in order to promote understanding and team play on the pitch - as Messi remains the country's hope of World Cup success this term.
Having ended the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign as second top scorer in the South American section with 10 goals, the Barcelona ace will be out for serious business at the tournament in Brazil this summer