This World Cup has been one where the best names on the planet have risen to the occasion, and led their countries to glory, and it could be set for a final showdown between two of the best players on earth.
Lionel Messi of Argentina and Neymar of Brazil have so far lit up the tournament for their respective countries, and the Barcelona teammates could be on a collision course to meet one another in the competition decider.
More excitement to come
With the culmination of the group stages, we are sadly well over half way through the 2014 World Cup now, but there is still plenty of excitement and entertainment in store for football fans around the world.
And as the last 16 ties heat up - with more South American excelling - it is apparent that there is the potential for a dream final between Brazil and Argentina at the Maracana on July 13.
Drawn in separate halves of the knockout stages ensures both teams that they will not have to face each other until that stage, having to mainly contend with European opposition - and Colombia - before then.
Playing in conditions that they are accustomed to will be a major advantage when their opponents are struggling with the heat and humidity. And when sides are puffing and panting, these two former world champions will draw their not so secret weapons.
Messi and Neymar rise to the occasion
After not scoring at his previous two visits to a World Cup, Messi has finally announced his arrival on the grandest stage of them all, scoring four goals in the group stages.
Neymar has been similarly influential to Brazil’s progression to the quarter finals, also netting four times, and effectively converting the winning penalty in the shootout against Chile.
Both nations have been clinging onto the coattails of their star attackers, who are attempting to emulate the likes of Diego Maradona, and drag a side to a World Cup victory.
With Cristiano Ronaldo on a plane back to Portugal along with his teammates, the most anticipated final surely has to be a showdown between two of the world’s biggest names.
Tougher tests await
But as they come up against stronger sides in the latter stages of the tournament, the pedigree of both Messi and Neymar will be tested. Expect to see these immortals rescue their nations from the clutches of defeat and put them on course for a trip to Rio in the middle of July.
For neutrals all around the world - and with England eliminated - an Argentina - Brazil final would hopefully live up to the billing as an entertaining spectacle, fitting of concluding a World Cup in South America.
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