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What You Need To Know About World Cup Warm Ups

We're now less than 10 days away from the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. 

Teams have narrowed their squads to the final 23 and have been preparing to play tuneup friendlies ahead of the first match in Brazil. How have some of the major teams across the world been doing? 


The host country has yet to play any tuneups ahead of their opener against Croatia on June 12th. Brazil fans finally got their first look at the 23-men trying to win the country's illustrious 6th World Cup title. Brazil beat Panama 4-0 in their first World Cup tune up which saw Brazil poster boy Neymar net a beautiful free kick to open the scoring. Hulk, Dani Alves and Willian also added to the total. It must have been refreshing for Brazlians to see Hulk find the back of the net after his struggles on the national team level. On June 6th Brazil will play Serbia in their final tuneup before their June 12th match against Croatia which will officially kick off the 2014 FIFA World Cup. 


Another favorite to win the tournament from South America has yet to play any warmup matches. The Albiceleste will play Trinidad and Tobago on June 5th and Slovenia on June 7th ahead of their first World Cup match on the 16th against Bosnia-Herzegovina. It will be exiting to see how manager Alejandro Sabella utilizes the plethora of strikers on a loaded Argentine squad.

Argentina Training

Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Maxi Rodriguez in Argentina training (Photo: @worldsoccershop | Twitter)


One of the popular dark horse picks in World Cup 2014 have already played several of tuneups before their first match against Algeria in the Brazil. The Belgians, led by stars Eden Hazard, Vincent Kompany and Romelu Lukaku have played two warmup matches. The Red Devils beat Luxembourg 5-1, which included a Lukaku hat-trick, and beat Sweden 2-0 on goals from Lukaku and Hazard. They have one more match on June 7th versus Tunisia before heading to South America. 


England started their warmup campaign with a convincing 3-0 victory against Peru in Wembley Stadium on May 30th. Goals from Daniel Sturridge and Gary Cahill highlighted the victory. The next two matches will be ones to watch for English supporters, as they are both against World Cup teams. June 4th the Three Lions will take on Ecuador and on June 7th they will face Honduras. England opens the tournament against Italy on June 15th. 

Daniel Sturidge

Daniel Sturridge opened the scoring for England in the 32nd minute against Peru (Photo: @FA| Twitter)


France has one more friendly ahead of their trip to Brazil. They’ll play Jamaica on June 8th before their World Cup opener against Honduras against June 15th. France already beat Norway 4-0, getting goals from Paul Pogba and Olivier Giroud. France tied Paraguay 1-1 in their most recent friendly. 


One of Europe’s favorites to lift the trophy have had an interesting few weeks leading up to the World Cup. Defender Phillipp Lahm, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger are all injured ahead of the tournament and the trio have yet to participate in a training session together. Lahm is expected to be back first, with Schweinsteiger and Neuer joining full training later. Germany tied Cameroon 2-2 yesterday and will play Armenia on June 6th before their first match on June 16th versus Portugal. 

Cameroon germany friendly

Germany's Mats Hummels and Per Mertesacker watch as Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o scores in the 62nd minute. Germany and Cameroon tied 2-2. (Photo: @arsenalengineer | Twitter)


The runners-up at Euro 2012 suffered a huge blow in their 0-0 draw against the Republic of Ireland on May 31st. Italian midfielder Riccardo Montolivo was stretchered off the pitch in the first half after suffering a broken leg. To make matters worse, Alberto Aquilani, who came on for Montolivo, left the match with an injury as well. Manager Cesare Prandelli will use his last friendly match versus Luxembourg on June 4th to figure out a replacement for Montolivo. But that is a huge blow to the Italians ahead of their June 15th bout with England. 

Montolivo injured

Italy will be without star midfielder Riccardo Montolivo for the World Cup after he broke his tibia against the Republic of Ireland on Saturday. (Photo: @houndsoccer| Twitter)


El Tri suffered the loss pf a midfielder similar to Italy's in their latest World Cup tuneup. Key midfielder Luis Montes broke his tibia and fibula this past Saturday in Mexico’s 3-1 victory over Ecuador. It’s a huge blow to Mexico, and some players were even seen crying as they saw Montes carried off the pitch. Mexico beat Israel 3-0 in their other friendly and will take on World Cup squads Bosnia-Herzegovina and Portugal on June 4th and June 7th. Mexico is one of the few teams to play four tuneup matches. 


Robin van Persie’s early goal was enough to beat Ghana 1-0 in Holland's first World Cup tuneup. It was a good sign for Holland, as this was their first victory since last October when they beat Turkey in their final match of World Cup qualifying. The Dutch will play Wales June 4th before their highly anticipated opener against Spain on June 13th in Salvador, Brazil. 

Robin Van Persie

Robin van Persie's goal in the 5th minute was all the Netherlands needed to beat Ghana (Photo:FIFAworldcup | Twitter)


Without Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe in the lineup for their first tuneup match against Greece, manager Paulo Bento was pleased with how his team performed. The Portuguese tied the World Cup bound Greeks 0-0 and have one more match against Mexico on June 7th. Bento has not said whether Ronaldo will play in that match. 


The defending World Cup champions and manager Vincente del Bosque are rolling the dice, picking to keep injury ridden striker Diego Costa on their 23-man roster. La Roja cruised to a 2-0 victory over Bolivia in their first warmup, getting goals from Fernando Torres and Andres Iniesta. Their next and final tuneup will be June 7th against El Salvador.

Diego Costa and Fernando TorresVincente del Bosque decided to take both Diego Costa and Fernando Torres to Brazil (Photo: @102greatgoals | Twitter)

Vincente del Bosque decided to take both Diego Costa and Fernando Torres to Brazil (Photo: @102greatgoals | Twitter)


The hopes of 3 million Uruguayans are hinging on the health of Luis Suarez’s left knee. The Premier League scoring leader is optimistic that he will be back in time for the World Cup, where he will team up with PSG goal scorer Edinson Cavani. Uruguay won their first warmup against Northern Ireland 1-0 and have one more match scheduled for June 5th against Slovenia.  

United States of America: 

The post Landon Donovan era has gone well for the U.S. Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad has rallied off two victories against Azerbaijan and Turkey. Klinsmann is still clearly tinkering with the lineups, but their next match against fellow World Cup team Nigeria on June 8th will be a good test for the Americans. The U.S. will face Ghana June 17th.

Fabian Johnson

Fabian Johnson was on the receiving end of a spectacular pass by Michael Bradley which put the U.S. up 1-0 against Turkey. (Photo: @GoalUSA | Twitter)

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