Soccer Fans (or Football Fans depending on your location) around the world are prepping for that special tournament to arrive June 2014, but here are five teams you should be watching when the World Cup starts.
First, here are some honorable mentions:
Uruguay - I really wanted to put this team on the list because of how much talent they have developed such as Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez, but they don’t beat out any of the five teams mentioned.
The other team I really wanted to put on the list is Portugal. They have arguably one of the two best footballers in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo, but the team is ultimately lacking a reliable second talent. Now with those out of the way, let’s move on…
I will start with the champs. They are still one of the deepest teams in the tournament and always have a keen eye on who to play and when depending on their form. Their leaders are still undoubtedly Andres Iniesta and Sergio Ramos but the question is can David Villa alone provide the goal scoring they need?
My guess is no, but we will see how their possession style of play will hold up this time around. And oh yeah, it helps when you have a top three keeper in Iker Casillas.
This team is a favourite of mine simply for the blend of youth and talent they have in the squad. Despite Franck Ribery, Patrice Evra, Eric Abidal and Bacary Sagna, the remaining men that are expected to play would be under 30-years-of-age.
Toss in some capable strikers in Karim Benzema and Olivier Giroud plus a great keeper in Hugo Lloris, and you have a recipe for a squad with serious potential. A young prospect to look out for is Clement Grenier.
Make sure you watch this up-and-coming midfielder as he possesses a well rounded skill-set and has tremendous upside and potential.
They usually say that nobody remembers the loser in final matches but trust me, I haven’t overlooked the fact that this team may cause havoc in this tournament.
The thing is this team is so young that fans and experts alike have missed the talent in the squad. Exhibit A - Adam Maher. While he may not be a household name yet, he is absolutely on the rise in the world ranks and may get some time to showcase his talents.
But don’t assume this is a team of just “green talent” or inexperience. Journeymen like Rafael Van der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder and key forwards Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben are still going to be extremely significant to their cause.
I’m going to say it right now; this is the deepest team in the competition. From Manuel Neuer to Thomas Muller to Marco Reus and Mesut Ozil, this squad makes any football fan drool at the thought of seeing all of these outstanding players in unison.
Unfortunately, that may be Germany’s one true fault as they seem unable to put it together when it comes to the knockout stages in tournaments. The list of their talent is near endless but it will take some tweaking and experimenting with this team in the group stage by Joachim Low. Injuries have hurt them in the case of Mario Gomez and Bastian Schweinsteiger but this team is still extremely deep and dangerous.
Of course, you can’t leave out the hosts. Brazil’s roster has been completely revamped with new talent such as world famous Neymar and solid players such as Hulk and Thiago Silva. The team is arguably a pretty deep squad but relatively unproven to a degree, despite winning the Confederations Cup they have not played through any major competition as a team. But it will most definitely be interesting to see this team play their hearts out at home with the obvious an advantage.
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