However, for some sides bidding for glory in 2014, the potential route to the final looks less frightening than it does for some others.
Hosts Brazil, for example, could have to face Spain or Netherlands in the last 16 even if they are victorious in Group A. In the quarter-finals, they could face the likes of Colombia, England, Italy or Uruguay.
Argentina, France and Germany would then be the last obstacle they have to pass to reach the last hurdle at the end of the tournament.
Didier Deschamps's team, however, could find themselves in a second-round clash against Bosnia-Herzegovina before having to face Portugal or Russia in the last eight.
Click here to check out FourFourTwo's guide to the World Cup and pick out your team's potential route to the final.