There are 32 teams in the World Cup. There are 32 days until a ball is kicked in Brazil. A ball in a competitive international football match, that is. To pass this time of anxiety and to distract from more important things like selection, injury and prediction hype, each day I will be revealing an XI (starting eleven) for each country in the competition. In the spirit of the World Cup as an event whose influence extends far beyond football, not one XI will be about the beautiful game. Rather, they will thematically cover something intriguing, critical or humorous about each country. I mustn’t take full credit for this. The idea of a football squad as analogy for something else is nothing new. I remember one of my greatest ever laughing fits when I first watched Monty Python’s Greeks vs Germans Philosopher’s Football Match. In this vein, it’s time to arrange the artists, animals, beaches and beers of all nations on a metaphorical football pitch and see who wins. Contributions are welcome.