The World Cup is a celebration of football like no other. It is quite simply the biggest sporting party in the world, and what's a party without guests? In this instance, the passionate fans of each country are the guests, and throughout the history of this great tournament, they've managed to light it up time and time again.
Whilst every set of fans are passionate in their own right, some are just exceedingly more enthusiastic than one would consider to be 'normal'. Let's take a look at some of the most ardent supporters in the history of the World Cup...
Who cares if they call it soccer? The United States of America know how to back their team to the hills and are some of the most passionate supporters around.
The nation's biggest fan group, The American Outlaws, is an 18,000 member-strong group of fans that travel wherever the U.S. national team go, and epitomises how much they all love their football.
You absolutely cannot question their commitment to the cause.
Yes, they may moan and be perceived as some of the most pessimistic fans around, but the English are unquestionably passionate about their national team.
They perhaps earn a bad reputation thanks to the negligence of a minority, but all in all, the Three Lions' fans are a vocal, supportive bunch who live and breathe football.
In terms of the history of the World Cup, they were probably at their best in 1966 when on home soil, and incidentally, when the Three Lions went all the way.
Republic of Ireland
Whether they're dominating the streets of the host nation with their catchy chants, or simply helping the locals change their burst tyre (this did happen, look it up), the Irish are a blessing at any tournament they attend.
In terms of their effect on the national team's form, the Republic of Ireland fans were probably at their best in 1994. They helped their side to the round of 16 where they narrowly lost out to an excellent Dutch side, but if the chances of progression rested on the atmosphere generated by the fans, the Irish would've won at a canter.
Ghana fans are a true inspiration for their side, as well as a lot of good humoured fun. Their vibrant colours and vociferous atmosphere generated through drums, maracas and so on create a jubilant atmosphere that is just impossible to not smile at.
Their support seems to have had the desired effect on the national team as well. The Black Stars were cruelly denied a place in the 2010 semi-finals thanks to the hands of Luis Suarez, but nevertheless, they were excellent in South Africa that year.
La Albiceleste faithful have always been a giant in the world of football fandom. Even back in 1978, when they littered every pitch with white and blue ticker tape as they spurred the national team to World Cup glory, they were regarded as some of the best fans.
They love their side so much that even some of Argentina's open training sessions generate tens of thousands of fans in attendance, more than some Premier League games would get in total. After Cristiano Ronaldo finally got some silverware on the international scene, here's hoping Lionel Messi can get in on the act in Russia this summer...
The Dutch, similarly to the Brazilians, are renowned for lighting up the place with vibrant colours. The Oranje faithful can often be seen all dressed in eye catching, luminous orange, whereas some opt to dress in unusual costumes.
As crazy as it may seem from a non footballing perspective, the Netherlands' support is wonderful and goes some way to helping their side by being their 12th man; no more so than when they spurred their team all the way to the final back in 2010.
Brazil fans do football the right way. Every four years when the highly anticipated tournament rolls round, a sea of yellow cascades upon any arena or place that the Brazilian national team might be, creating a real party atmosphere with it.
The scenes after the Selecao's gutting 7-1 loss to Germany in 2014 epitomised the passion within their fanbase. Thousands stayed inside the stadium after full time in tears of devastation, but remained to see off their side and thank them for their efforts; it was a true show of how much football means to the Brazil fans, and the lengths they will go to in forgiveness of their side's failings.
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