Football

World Cup 2014: Potential champions

Could Spain win their fourth major competition in a row? (©GettyImages)
Could Spain win their fourth major competition in a row? (©GettyImages).

There are a number of teams who stand a chance of winning the World Cup but obviously only one team can take home the title of World Champions. 

Next year the famed tournament will be hosted in Brazil with the Samba Kings looking to add to their five World Cup wins. 

Considering the advantage of competing on home soil, Brazil have to be considered favourites but who are the other teams likely to challenge them? 

Germany

With star youngsters such as Mario Gotze and defenders Mats Hummels and Holger Badstuber they will always be a threat. They also have experience in their ranks with players such as Bastian Scweinsteiger and captain Philipp Lahm. Head coach Joachim Low led Germany to a third place finish in South Africa showing that they have the potential to go all the way in Brazil. 

If they are to achieve the holy grail they will need extreme poacher Mario Gomez to be firing on all cylinders. Attacking midfielder Thomas Muller, won the Golden Boot in 2010, so he could be the man to fire them to victory in Brazil. As they are eight points clear in their qualifying group, it is safe to say that they are as good as qualified for the finals and they will provide a massive threat for the crown.

Brazil 

As they have already qualified via being the hosts, they can test out youngsters in their friendlies. There is huge expectation for Brazil to win the World Cup on home soil. With the attacking flair of Neymar and Hulk they will be up there or thereabouts come the end of the tournament. 

There will be huge responsibility on Luis Felipe Scolari as he is an experienced manager and he won the World Cup with them in 2002. With a star-studded line up a solid centre-back pairing is pivotal, which is why Paris-Saint Germain's Thiago Silva and Chelsea's David Luiz are key players to the Brazilian side. 

They will need to take their chances, which is why strikers, Fred, Hulk, Neymar and Internacional striker Leandro Daimaio are key to the Brazilian set up. 

With experience in midfield with players such as Ronaldinho and Real Madrid's playmaker Kaka, they will always dominate possession. I believe that Brazil have enough to become the world champions once again.

Italy 

Italy won the World Cup in 2006, and there is no reason that they can’t do so in Brazil come 2014. With their 3-5-2 formation teams may find it hard to work them out and break them down. With the unpredictability of Mario Ballotelli, they will need to get him scoring goals otherwise they have no chance. 

On his day he can be one of the best strikers in Europe, which he showed glimpses of with his time at Manchester City. Andrea Pirlo will be the key to them playing well in Brazil, his ability to dictate games and control the tempo is key. He single handidly lead Italy to the final of Euro 2012 and some people feel he was robbed of player of the tournament. All in all I believe that Italy will progress to the semi-finals. Can Italy provide a shock in Brazil?

Spain 

There is not much to say about Spain that you don't already know. Their simple passing game is a joy to behold and has led them to two European Championship victories and a World Cup. They dominated in Poland and Ukraine in the European Championships in 2012. With solid centre backs, Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos, there is no weak links at the back for Spain. With Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and Xabi Alonso dominating games in midfield it’s hard to see them losing any games. They have invested in youth recently with players such as, Pedro, Thiago Alcantara and Man United's shot-stopper David De Gea. Can Spain retain their World Cup crown?


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