Most years when the domestic season ends, millions of fans worldwide are forced to endure what feels like endless months of no football.

And yes, there are always pre-season friendlies and practice matches, but let's be honest, they just don't feed our appetite.

Thankfully, 2018 will be one of those years when the arduous wait for the return of domestic football will not seem so long.

Why, you ask?

The answer is simple. This summer, 32 nations will come together in Russia to take part in the ultimate international tournament - the FIFA world cup.

But everyone already knew that?

Yeah, but you've got to admit it's exciting to know that football fans worldwide will actually have something to keep them entertained over the summer.

The World Cup is less than three months away, and the build-up to the tournament has already begun.

The international break has given competing countries the chance to experiment with tactics, bring new players into the fold and begin to shape their squads for the summer.

There have been plenty of eye-catching results over the last week or so, but who looks most likely to be crowned champions of the world in Russia?

Here's how some of the favourites to win got on in the most recent round of friendlies.

Garish Germans?

The reigning world champions had two tough tests over the last week, hosting matches against two of the other heavyweights in Spain and Brazil.

Die Mannschaft drew 1-1 with their fellow Europeans and then went on to lose 1-0 to their South American visitors - the first game they have lost since their Euro 2016 semi-final defeat to hosts France.

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The results of the two games do not make good reading for veteran manager Joachim Low, but should still be taken with a pinch of salt.

Germany has a tendency to be able to turn on the style when they need it most, and will still be confident of a good World Cup.

Furthermore, Thomas Muller's goal against Spain was his 38th for his country, and none have come in a German defeat.

So as long as the Bayern man is fit and firing, Germany probably remain the favourites.

Spectacular Spain!

Spain were the previous holders of the competition before Germany, having won the tournament in South Africa in 2010.

Rodrigo's goal gave Spain a 1-1 draw in Dusseldorf, a match which could have gone either way and showed the competitiveness of both sides.

But what happened in their following game turned many a head in world football.

Argentina arrived in Madrid hoping to worry the European giants but was sent home with their tails between their legs after a 6-1 hiding.

An Isco hat-trick was complemented by goals from Diego Costa, Thiago and Iago Aspas, and while the Argentines were without main man Messi, it proved to be a delightful display from Julen Lopetegui's side.

Germany may still be favourites, but Spain looks deadly in this kind of form. Don't disregard their chances of regaining their crown.

Flighty France

Les Blues have not won a major international tournament since Euro 2000 and after their painful defeat in their own European final against Portugal two years ago, they will be looking to set the record straight in Russia.

They will, however, have to play much better than they did in their last two games if they want to grab their first honours in 18 years.

They were 2-0 up and cruising against Colombia, but capitulated to a 3-2 defeat at home, before beating this summer's hosts 3-1 in St. Petersburg.

The Russia win was encouraging, but it was still a game that they should have been expected to win.

However, the Colombia debacle highlights a weakness within the French ranks, and manager Didier Deschamps will need to stamp-out that sort of thing if they want glory this summer.

Brilliant Brazil

Brazil got revenge over Joachim Low's men with their 1-0 away victory in the first game between the two since Germany destroyed the Selecao 7-1 at their own World Cup four-years-ago.

Head coach Tite described the humbling defeat as "like a ghost" before the game, and so will be thrilled that his players put their opponents to the sword - Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus got the all-important goal.

They also travelled to and beat Russia, disposing of this summer's hosts 3-0 - Miranda's goal complimented Barcelona pair Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho's strikes.

The friendlies went about as well as Brazil could have hoped. Two wins, no goals conceded, and a solid platform upon which to build a successful World Cup campaign.

The South Americans could be in with a shout this summer.

Encouraging England

If it weren't for a questionably-awarded penalty in the dying minutes against Italy, England would have come away from the last two friendlies with two wins and a huge confidence boost.

While they had to settle for a draw at Wembley, the rise in confidence is still there - the Three Lions beat the Dutch in their own back garden and should have beaten the Azzurri. All without Harry Kane too.

Still though, before we get ahead of ourselves, we have to take into account that, despite these two sides' extensive international pedigree, neither Holland or Italy qualified for the World Cup, and so aren't exactly at the level they used to be.

But still, credit where credit is due, two very encouraging performances from England have set them up nicely for this summer's tournament.

However, Gareth Southgate still has to somehow break his side's rotten run of form in recent tournaments and will need to get the very best out of his players if England stands any chance of ending their 52-year wait for World Cup glory.