After an enthralling start to the 2014 World Cup full of goals, attacking football and controversy, the football world will turn its attention to the Maracana tonight, with Lionel Messi and Argentina opening their campaign against Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Argentina, among the favourites to lift the trophy this year, will be looking to make amends after crashing out of the 2010 World Cup with a crushing 4-0 quarter-final defeat to Germany.
Messi will lead the Argentines into battle, and coach Alejandro Sabella says that he will do 'anything he can' to ensure that the Barcelona star is on top of his game.
"Obviously any trainer, any coach with a player like Messi must do everything he can to make him feel well and protected, so that his individual performance can be 100 per cent," Sabella said.
After cementing his place as the world's best footballer with four consecutive Ballon d'Or awards from 2009-2012, Messi had a disappointing season by his standards last year and lost out to Cristiano Ronaldo for FIFA's most prestigious individual prize.
The Argentine has conquered club football but international success has eluded him thus far, and there have been whispers that he has been saving himself for the World Cup all year.
The 26-year-old missed a long stretch of last season with a succession of injuries, but he is now fully fit and ready to star on the world stage.
Comparisons to Diego Maradona and questions over whether Messi is the greatest player of all time have died down over the past year, but Argentina's talisman will certainly reignite the debate if he manages to lead his side to World Cup glory.