Watch: TVNZ stars embrace FIFA World Cup fever as the would-be Lionel Messis razzle-dazzle with their ball skills

With the FIFA football World Cup kicking off tomorrow a bunch of TVNZ hosts and reporters got into the spirit.

The likes of Dan Corbett, Jenny-May Clarkson, Jack Tame, Wendy Petrie and other were filmed showcasing their football skills.

1 NEWS NOW will have comprehensive coverage of the Football World Cup from Russia over the next month.

The likes of Jack Tame, Jeremy Wells and Dan Corbett got into the spirit. Source: Breakfast

Watch: Brazilian superstar Neymar eggs birthday boy Philippe Coutinho during pre-World Cup hi-jinks

The Brazilian World Cup squad appear to be relaxed heading into the start of the tournament later this week after they took time out from training to celebrate midfielder Philippe Coutinho's birthday in unique fashion.

Coutinho, who turned 26, was taking a break during the team's training when he was ambushed with all the ingredients of a birthday cake - eggs, flour and milk - by his teammates.

Superstar striker Neymar kicked off the prank by cracking an egg over Coutinho's head but the 26-year-old got revenge later when he egged him back.

Brazil kick off their World Cup campaign against Switzerland in Rostov-On-Don on Monday at 6am NZT.



'I'm working to win' – Football Ferns coach adamant team can beat top nations at World Cup

Football Ferns coach Andreas Heraf apologised for what he said after Sunday’s loss to Japan but he refuses to regret his decision to run the team how he did.

Heraf created uproar over his negative tactics against Japan at the weekend that gave the Football Ferns little opportunity to show just how they do stack up against the world No.11 side.

But he's adamant his approach is necessary for their future success.

"Maybe we will never have the technical skills like the Japanese team which is not a shame but I still am convinced we can compete and beat teams like them on the world stage."

Heraf says they need to have three components to achieve that - the best tactics, be one of the fittest teams and have a strong culture.

But it's the culture that's been questioned - especially when their tactic goes against all Kiwi sporting instincts.

Andreas Heraf says injuries and an eye to the future drove his ultra-defensive strategy against Japan. Source: 1 NEWS

"We will show that style to win," he said.

"That’s what we're working for so I’m not working to not to lose - I’m working to win."

While the Austrian believes he has the backing of his team Former Ferns skipper Katie Duncan is urging him to resign.

Others, such as former All White Declan Edge, question how he even got here.

Overnight, former captain Abby Erceg made it clear why she no longer wanted to play under Heraf, saying playing not to lose is never an option.

She described the Austian's approach as "cowering in a corner".

Edge agreed, saying the game here is being ruined by overseas coaches coming who have little long-term investment in developing a Kiwi style.

"Let’s die from our own poison. Let the Kiwis decide how we want to play."

But for now, it's Heraf's vision that will guide the Ferns to the World Cup.

"The whole picture, the whole puzzle when we go to the World Cup will be finished and then we know how to win."

He's got exactly a year to make sure those pieces fit and make history with a first win at a senior World Cup.

Andreas Heraf believes he has the backing of his team but former players and critics aren’t so sure. Source: 1 NEWS