The five World Cup knockout round games we most want to see

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By now we know the eight Round of 16 match-ups, perhaps none more fascinating than France versus Argentina (though Brazil vs. Mexico is in with a shout).

[ MORE: England 0-1 Belgium ]

But with a World Cup Final rematch out of the picture, as well as Germany-Brazil, which matches do we most want to see in the quarters, semis, or final?

5) Belgium vs. Brazil, July 6 quarterfinal, Kazan

This one is strictly for entertainment’s sake, and we could also include France vs. Brazil. The free-flowing attacks squaring up with rock-solid defense corps is an A-plus in a neutral’s book.

4) Argentina vs. Brazil, July 10 semifinal, St. Petersburg

Should Messi and Co. handle France and then either Uruguay or Portugal, the Argentine side could meet a side it took just one point from in qualifying. It’s more than Neymar vs. Messi, but that storyline sure doesn’t hurt anything.

3) France vs. Spain, July 15 final, Moscow

Self-explanatory, really, but there’s no limit to the fun which would meet a pair of European monsters in Russia.

2) England vs. France, July 15 final, Moscow

The pressure that would sit on the shoulders of England in a final would be a lot regardless of its opponent, but there’s something about a channel-crossing final that would carry a wealth of added drama (yes, even for a final).

1) Portugal vs. Argentina, July 6 quarterfinal, Nizhny Novgorod

You can say this is easy pickings, low hanging fruit, but ask the average sports fan whether they want to watch the final or Messi vs. Ronaldo in a quarter. We bet you know 90 percent of their answers…