Group A

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Oribe Peralta (left) will be a key player for  Mexico in Brazil.  Photograph: Henry Romero / Reuters

Manager: Miguel Herrera Best finish: Quarter-finals (1970 and 1986) World Cup record: Played 53, Won 14, Drawn 14, Lost 25 History (...)

Neymar of Brazil and Felipe Baloy of Panama compete for the ball  at the Serra Dourada Stadium. Photograph:    Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Brazil beat Panama 4-0 in their penultimate friendly before hosting the World Cup, with Neymar, Dani Alves, Hulk and Willian scoring the goals in a le(...)

Brazil’s  Neymar  during a training session in Teresopolis, near Rio de Janeiro last month.  Photograph: Ricardo Moraes / Reuters

Manager: Luis Felipe Scolari Best finish: Winners (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002) World Cup record: Played 104, Won 71, Drawn 16, Lost 17(...)

Cameroon’s Vincent Aboubakar   during a friendly  against Paraguay in  Austria last month. Photograph: Dominic Ebenbichler / Reuters

Manager : Volker Finke Best finish: Quarter-finals (1990) World Cup record: Played 23, Won 4, Drawn 7, Lost 12 History Trailblazers(...)

Croatia’s Ivan Rakitic (centre) takes part in a training session in Bad Tatzmannsdorf  near Vienna. Photograph: Antonio Bronic / Reuters

Manager: Niko Kovac Best finish: Third place (1998) World Cup record: Played 16, Won 7, Drawn 2, Lost 7 History Croatia’s first sho(...)

Mexico’s Luis Montes  celebrates scoring against Ecuador before he sustained a broken leg that will keep him out of the finals.  Photograph: Mike Stone/Reuters

Mexico beat Ecuador 3-1 in a friendly in Dallas on Saturday but the win was overshadowed by a broken leg for Luis Montes that has ruled the midfielde(...)

A member of Brazil’s Homeless Workers’ Movement  protests in front of Sao Paulo’s World Cup stadium on May 15th, 2014.  Photograph: Nacho Doce / Reuters

Millions of Brazilians will be cheering like crazy during the World Cup, but not all of them for Brazil. With kick-off two weeks away and tensions si(...)

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