The 2014 FIFA World Cup was the 20th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial world championship for men's national football teams organised by FIFA. It took place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014, after the country was awarded the hosting rights in 2007. It was the second time that Brazil staged the competition, the first being in 1950, and the fifth time that it was held in South America. Fans and pundits alike consider this edition of the World Cup to be one of the greatest ever held.
31 national teams advanced through qualification competitions to join the host nation in the final tournament (with Bosnia and Herzegovina as only debutant). A total of 64 matches were played in 12 venues located in as many host cities across Brazil. For the first time at a World Cup finals, match officials used goal-line technology, as well as vanishing spray for free kicks. FIFA Fan Fests in each host city gathered a total of 5 million people, and the country received 1 million visitors from 202 countries. Every World Cup-winning team since the first tournament in 1930 – Argentina, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Uruguay – qualified for this tournament. Spain, the title holders, were eliminated at the group stage, along with England and Italy. Uruguay were eliminated in the round of 16, and France exited in the quarter-finals. Host nation Brazil, who had won the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, lost to Germany 7–1 in the semi-finals and eventually finished in fourth place. (Full article...)