Now I know the World Cup finals are over 12 months away, but it's never too early to get excited at the extravaganza that will surely unfold in Brazil 2014. 

There is an obvious buzz around the Spanish team, the holders of both European and World titles after four years of dominance. 

Brazil, on home soil, accompanied by arguably one of the world's best strikers in Neymar, are clearly a threat. Argentina's attacking options are beyond a managerial headache, boasting a collective of the best strikers in the world with the added bonus of the game's greatest player in Lionel Messi. 

Germany, always an ever-present force of organisation and determination, add some of Europe's greatest midfielders and they won't be far off the pace. 

England? Well, I wouldn't want to lay down a curse this early, but quietly with new manager Roy Hodgson introducing some of the Premier League's best youngsters and beating Brazil at Wembley this year, they're doing ok.

However, all these teams aside, there is one side that have a real outside chance coming into the finals in 2014. Belgium.

Now Belgium haven't qualified for a competition since the World Cup in Japan 2002, so we haven't seen them in a competitive setting for over 10 years, but they have some of the best players in the world at their disposal.

Eden Hazard, Axel Witsel, Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen, Thomas Vermaelen, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Mirallas, Moussa Dembele. Just a few players that could take Belgium a long way in Brazil 2014. 

This is Belgium's 'Golden Generation,' although not yet to be cursed by such a title, and it's evident that this nation has never boasted a better arsenal of players.

We've seen big teams buckle under the pressure of the big stage. A man once said: "The English invented it, the Brazilians perfected it." But, Brazil have struggled to maintain their fire as torch bearers for the modern game, not picking up a winners medal since 2002. 

The Spanish invasion is well under way now, but they too struggled and stuttered on the big stage until 2010, and you have to go back to 1986 for Argentina's last winner's medal. All possibly burdened by the weight of expectation and/or tabloid build up. Well, that shouldn't be a problem for Belgium. 

Still a long way to go I know, but sitting on top of their group in the qualifiers they should be quietly confident of a finals entry and more in the summer next year.

What teams do you think could have a fairytale run in Brazil 2014? Is there only one winner? Please leave your comments below.


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Topics:
#Internationals
#World Cup
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