The four-year countdown is over, the World Cup finally kicks off on Thursday and it promises to be yet another scintillating tournament.
Group A contains Uruguay, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the host nation Russia.
Sportsmail's MARTIN KEOWN gives his rundown of each team in Group A, including the manager, the man to watch out for, their strength and their biggest weakness.
FIFA ranking: 14 Odds: 28-1
World Cup best: Two-time winners (1930, 1950)
THE BOSS: Oscar Tabarez
The 71-year-old is at his fourth World Cup with Uruguay, reaching the semi-finals in 2010.
THE STAR: Edinson Cavani
This forward’s movement has always impressed me, while he has formed a fearsome partnership with Luis Suarez. There should be plenty of goals for him in this group.
THE PROSPECT: Rodrigo Bentancur
Box-to-box midfielder, 20, who did the Double with Juventus this season. Has made that role his own for Uruguay in the last year.
Not only are they prolific in attack, Uruguay have rock-solid Atletico Madrid pair Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin at the heart of their defence.
Uruguay will be hoping Suarez stays out of trouble after his two controversial World Cups.
There should be plenty of goals for Edinson Cavani in this group if he performs
FIFA ranking: 45 Odds: 250-1
World Cup best: Group stage (1934, 1990)
THE BOSS: Hector Cuper
Experienced Argentinian who reached the Champions League final twice with Valencia.
THE STAR: Mohamed Salah
Such is the Liverpool star’s status in Egypt that he was runner-up in their 2018 presidential election. The nation will be willing him to quickly recover from