We're just four days into the World Cup, but already people are suggesting that Brazil 2014 is on course to be one of the greatest tournaments of all time.
It's a contentious point of view. Those of a certain age probably still hold Mexico 1970 in high regard, while USA '94 has plenty of misty-eyed supporters.
France '98 also had some memorable moments - and who could forget Italia '90, if just for Nessun Dorma alone?
But this year's tournament in Brazil has the potential to eclipse the lot of them.
Premature? Undoubtedly. Unjustified? Absolutely not. Here we present six reasons why it's right to believe the hype.
1. GOALS, GOALS, GOALS
The goalfest in Brazil has come as a welcome change after a horribly sterile group stage in South Africa four years ago, which was mostly notable for France going on strike and defending champions Italy failing to win a game.
In fact, after eight games the 2014 World Cup had more than double the number of goals as its predecessor at the same stage.
Number of goals after the first 8 games at the tournament: World Cup 2010: 13 World Cup 2014: 28 #WorldCup
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 15, 2014
Brazil 2014 is enjoying a remarkable three and a half goals per game - a figure which has not been bettered since 1958 in Sweden, a tournament when French striker Just Fontaine managed to plunder 13 goals, seven more than Pele.
Not saying 3.5 goals per game is rare in World Cups, but the last time it happened Tom Finney was in the England squad.
— Duncan Alexander (@oilysailor) June 15, 2014
This makes Brazil 2014 the most prolific tournament of the modern era, averaging as much as goal a game more than three of the past six finals. Italia 1990 remains the nadir with a paltry 2.21 goals per game.
Goals per game average by World Cup. Trending downwards, 2014 unlikely to be sustained, but a lot of fun right now. pic.twitter.com/XZK5BytYrK
— Dave Phillips (@lovefutebol) June 13, 2014
2. SHOCK RESULTS
Has there ever been a better group stage game than Netherlands' 5-1 rout of Spain? The margin of victory should not detract from the fact this was an all-time classic, filled with wonderful moments and one of the most iconic World Cup goals in Robin van Persie's diving lob header. The pure thrill of watching Arjen Robben charge through the defending champions made this a stunning night of football.
And what about upsetting the odds? On Saturday night we saw Costa Rica engineer a massive shock in England's group as they defeated Uruguay 3-1 with another thrilling performance. Joel Campbell was the star of the show in a result which blew open one of the toughest groups and sent seismic waves through an already pulsating tournament.
A reminder: this tournament is only four days old. And the first day only had one game.
3. NO DRAWS, AND TOPSY-TURVY GAMES
Not a single game has ended in a draw yet in Brazil; South Africa 2010 started with one. A cultural swing towards attacking tactics - and sublime counter-attacking - has made this an unforgettable start with teams looking to take all three points from the off rather than try and hold onto one.
As Rio Report said in its look at the Argentina match on Sunday night, we're not sure if teams can't, or won't, defend. But we're not complaining.
It's not just the attacking football and number of goals, though - it's the fact that the matches are exciting, and swinging to and fro with regularity as well.
In World Cup 2010, only 4 matches from 64 were won by the side that conceded first. In World Cup 2014 it's already 4 - from just 8 games.
— Michael Cox (@Zonal_Marking) June 15, 2014
This World Cup was designed for American fans. No draws, just goals.
— Terrence Clarke (@terrenceKC) June 15, 2014
No draws, no buses parked. This has been a wonderful #WorldCup so far.
— Shaun Khan (@ShaunFromBklyn) June 14, 2014
4. THE BIG NAMES ARE PERFORMING
Just look at the top scorers' list after three days: Robben, Van Persie and Neymar have two apiece and Alexis Sanchez has come to the party too with a goal and an assist from Chile. Andrea Pirlo put in another passing masterclass against England and Mario Balotelli took the man of the match award.
Even the famously World Cup-shy Lionel Messi is getting in on the act: he hadn't scored at the World Cup since a late scoreline-enhancer in a 6-0 dead rubber group stage win back in 2006, but he put that right against Bosnia on Sunday with a goal so good that you'd have sworn he was wearing a Barcelona shirt to pull it off.
To a man, the big players are stepping up to the stage without fear. No one has personified this trait more than Neymar, who responded to all the pressure on his shoulders with a brace in Brazil's 3-1 win over Croatia on the opening day.
5. IT'S IN BRAZIL
Forget the playing fields of public schools in England, Brazil is the real spiritual home of football. Against a backdrop of Rio's Sugarloaf Mountain and the Amazon rainforest, this tournament has bounced along to the stereotypical Samba beat which is said to infect this glorious, gigantic country. If you can't get up for a World Cup in Brazil - whether manager, player or fan - you need your pulse checking.
6. BECAUSE EVERYONE IS SAYING IT IS
It's been decided. Do one Mexico 1970.
I repeat: Best.World Cup.Ever.
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) June 14, 2014
Even Greece games are entertaining! This is the greatest World Cup ever.
— Ally Moncrieff (@AllorNothingMag) June 14, 2014
This World Cup is the best thing ever.
— Iain Macintosh (@iainmacintosh) June 14, 2014
I declare this the best World Cup ever, it's happening people, just keep spraying that sh*t out of the can and let the magic happen.
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) June 13, 2014
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