France star Franck Ribery was ruled out of the World Cup on Friday as fears of burnout mounted over a lengthening list of players who will miss the tournament through injury.
Today's Brazil is a completely different country from the one that last hosted the World Cup in 1950 but some things have hardly changed even after 64 years.
Former England captain David Beckham has indicated that he could come out of retirement to play for the Major League Soccer team he is aiming to launch in Miami.
Colombia's talismanic striker Radamel Falcao will miss the Fifa World Cup after losing his battle to recover from the crushing knee injury he sustained playing for his club Monaco in January.
Germany will travel to this month's World Cup in Brazil with only one out-and-out striker after coach Joachim Loew cut Kevin Volland from his final 23-man squad on Monday.
From Zinedine Zidane to Diego Maradona, here are some of the scandals that have marred the World Cup.
When Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded the Ballon d'Or for his dazzling achievements over the course of 2013 he had plenty of reason to celebrate although one could forgive him for feeling apprehensive about his country's hopes at the World Cup.
England manager Roy Hodgson has publicly given his backing to striker Rickie Lambert's impending transfer from Southampton to Liverpool.
Italy manager Cesare Prandelli admits he faces a huge task to lift his shattered players in time for the World Cup after Riccardo Montolivo was ruled out of the tournament with a devastating broken leg.
Spain striker David Villa has announced he will leave La Liga champions Atletico Madrid after being made an "irresistible" offer thought to be from MLS side New York City FC.
The Brazilian city where Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Nigeria's John Mikel Obi will train for the World Cup is in the grip of a crippling dengue fever epidemic.
Freshly brewed: Young guns Adnan Januzaj of Belgium and England's Luke Shaw have got unexpected call-ups on the back of strong performances in the English Premier League. Will they make good on the promise?