On June 12, the world’s eyes turn to Brazil for the start of the 20th FIFA World Cup, but the planet’s biggest football tournament will have plenty of news and views in the months leading up to it. ESPN FC’s World Cup Daily blog is the place to be:
• Brazil-born Diego Costa says he does not like being the target of abusive chanting from opposition club fans, but imagines his detractors will change their tune once he scores his first goal as a Spain international. Read more.
• The general secretary of the 2022 World Cup local organising committee in Qatar has insisted the tournament can still be held in its usual summer slot despite the claims of Jerome Valcke, which have caused consternation throughout the game. Read more.
• The English Football Association is to announce a friendly against Peru as the nation's final warm-up game for the World Cup. Read more (BBC).
• And in other friendly news, Nigeria will take on Mexico as part of their preparations for the tournament. Read more (Daily Independent).
INTERNATIONAL BIRTHDAYS: Kenneth Vermeer (1986), Sime Vrsaljko (1992), Marouane Chamakh (1984)
DID YOU KNOW?
More than 100,000 spectators have been recorded at 17 matches in either Rio de Janeiro or Mexico City. The all-time record was at the Maracana Stadium in 1950, when 173,850 fans witnessed the surprise defeat of Brazil and triumph of Uruguay.
You can contribute your thoughts on the World Cup by taking part in our Medium Project. Just click this link and get writing.