Four years ago in Brazil, we witnessed a counter-attacking World Cup with really good, pacy teams getting at each other all the way through the tournament. There were big surprises, not least when Germany beat the hosts 7-1 in the semi-finals in Belo Horizonte. It might not have been great for England, but in many ways it was a really uplifting World Cup.
And this time out new kids on the block such as Iceland, Costa Rica and Panama will only add to the party and they will take scalps. Thousands of fans will descend on Russia this week from all corners of the globe, not least those from Latin and South America who will undoubtedly ramp up the carnival atmosphere.
It promises to be a memorable four weeks, one great big party, and my big hope for the tournament is that the quality of football is every bit as higher, if not higher, than it was in Brazil.