The FIFA football World Cup is upon us.

Sure, the majority of Kiwis prefer to watch rugby and, like our Australian cousins, we're only just getting used to calling it football, but this tournament brings populations from across the globe together.

Once every four years nations dare to dream.

The world's elite will carve their names into World Cup history, while new stars will inevitably be born on the grandest stage of all.


Even though the All Whites are not included in this year's tournament, it's still an event the majority of New Zealand sports fans will not miss.

It may still be a minor sport on these shores, but more than three billion people are set to tune into the 2018 finals in Russia with bated breath.

To look back at World Cup highlights is to experience a rollercoaster of emotions. From Geoff Hurst netting the first and only hat-trick in a World Cup final in 1966, to Maradona's hand of god, Zidane's head-butt, the birth of the Cruyff Turn in '74 and Gazza's tears at Italia '90.

It's all there, an extravaganza of blood, sweat and tears.

The drama began before a ball was kicked this week as 2010 winners Spain sacked manager Julen Lopetegui just days before the competition began.

From this editorial you can probably gather that I am a fan of the beautiful game and will be tuning in all hours of the day for my fix.

Particularly on Tuesday when England lock horns with Tunisia.

Despite the magic of the World Cup, I am, as an England supporter, a realist, or, more accurately, a pessimist.

David Beckham's sending off in '98, Ronaldinho's freak goal in 2002, penalty shootout heartbreak in 2006 and a failure to qualify from the group stages in 2014 have left me with little hope of England lifting the most prestigious prize in world football.

But, there is still hope.

Even if football isn't a sport that you have taken much notice of before, I urge you to tune in.

You won't be disappointed.