If you’re anywhere near as excited as I am for the World Cup you will be counting down the days for the kick-off, the same as me. The World Cup is an amazing exhibition of global football stars and it is a competition like no other. Through this blog I will explain the players that should take to the world stage, teams that shouldn’t quite be ruled out before a ball is kicked and potential winners of the competition.
Firstly, I will talk about the players that should be watched very carefully this World Cup. The first man I am going to talk about is Ciro Immobile of Torino. Ciro Immobile, who was Seria A’s top goal-scorer last season, is surely going to beat Mario Balotelli to the striker role in Italy’s team; if they are planning on playing the formidable one up front.
He outscored players such as Balotelli, Milito and Tevez so why shouldn’t he have priority for Italy? I saw him on a couple of occasions in Seria A last season and he reminded me of a Robin Van Persie type centre-forward, he really is a man that should be watched with eagerness by all.
Furthermore, another man who should be watched in the upcoming World Cup is Georgino Wijnaldum. Wijnaldum, who only has three caps for Netherlands, isn’t likely to start their important games but has been called up to the squad and may be given a chance in a group stage match.
Wijnaldum is the PSV captain and needs to be taken seriously in selection for the starting xi for the Netherlands this year. He has had an injury plagued season so far but if he is given the chance to go and express himself by Van Gaal he should dazzle the World Cup.
Finally, the last main player on my watch list at this year’s World Cup is Paul Pogba. Paul Pogba, who already is known as a world beater, now needs to show what he can do on the world stage. I, like many others, would like to monitor him very closely because his talent is undoubted I just want to see if he can step up into that next level of International superstar. If he shows his indisputable talent at this World Cup, France could go a long way and he may have a couple of worldwide suitors for a major move.
Secondly, I am going to discuss the dark horse teams in this year’s World Cup. The first team I’m going to pick as a dark horse is Ivory Coast. This team is made out of great players from major European leagues and with the right management, under Sabri Lamouchi, they can really be a top side going into the World Cup.
They won’t win it, but with players like Yaya Toure, Didier Drogba, Wilfried Bony and Gervinho why can’t they get to a reasonable stage of the tournament? I think this team really has a chance to be the first Africans in a semi-final. Ghana lost on penalties in the quarter-final four years ago so why can’t Ivory Coast top them? This team also has a lot of youth talent coming through with likes of Akpa-Akpro, Doimande and Aurier all playing in best five European leagues. They were unbeaten through the qualifying rounds so they have form.
On the other hand, I think Belgium can have a very good World Cup too. Again, they aren’t going to win it this year. But, they have a very young squad of unbelievable talents such as; Eden Hazard, Adnan Juanzaj, Romelu Lukaku, Christian Benteke and Thibaut Cortouis why can’t they get to a serious part of the competition?
They also have experienced players at this World Cup with the likes of Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen and Alex Witsel occupying places in the Belgium squad. They will comfortably come first in their group, but the real problem will be the round of 16. Belgium, who have a reasonable group to contend with, will have to face the runners-up or winners of Germany, Ghana, Portugal and the USA. If they can win the group and face Portugal in the round of 16 they have every chance in the world to go on and make the semi-finals.
Moreover, I feel that another team that could be underestimated are Bosnia and Herzegovina. Even though, they are in a group with Argentina, the likely winners of the group, they can comfortably finish second with the team they have. In their ranks are the likes of Asmir Begovic, Edin Dzeko, Miralem Pjanic and more.
If they come through the group stages they will face the winners or runners-up of the group of France, Honduras, Switzerland and Ecuador. France aren’t the team they used to be and Bosnia are capable of beating all of those teams if they turn up on the day. I’m not claiming that Iran and Nigeria are going to be pushovers but with Bosnia’s team they are capable of beating those teams and that’s why they are one of my dark horses.
Lastly, there are a lot of teams I could pick between for my favourites to pick up the historic trophy but I have narrowed it down to three. The first of these teams is Brazil. At this present moment, Brazil have to be the favourites to win the trophy for the first time since 2002. They are at home, they are used to the climate and they have got some marvellous players.
The only problem is if either they or Spain slip up in one match in the group stage, which is likely as Brazil will play Croatia and Spain play the Netherlands, they will have to play each other in the round of 16. It will probably be the fiery, exciting and talented round of 16 match ever to happen in the World Cup but it is a possibility. The winners of this match, if it happens, will most likely go on to win the World Cup.
In addition, I have picked Spain as my second favourites for the competition. This Spain team, that has won the last three major tournaments that they have competed for, will be no easy ride for any team. For the past couple of years they have failed to have a world-class striker and still managed to compete and most importantly win almost every match they have played in and now they have a world-class striker in Diego Costa.
If Costa can reproduce the form that he has been in for the whole of this season Spain could really be onto something. It’s needless to explain how brilliant of a team they actually are because everyone knows it. Yes, they could face Brazil in the round of 16 as I’ve explained but they are a truly world-class team and should be able to beat every opposition they face on their day.
Eventually, my third favourites for this World Cup will have to be Argentina. This year Argentina look in very good shape going into the World Cup with the likes of Messi, who I don’t need to explain, Di Maria, Aguero, Gaitan etc. and should be one of the favourites to win their first World Cup in 28 years.
Argentina, who are a nation from South America, should really fancy their chances because of the omen of no European team ever winning a World Cup in the South American region. With the talent they will have on show at the World Cup, they can go far. Also, I have mentioned their group earlier on and if they win their group, like they should, they will face the runners-up of France, Honduras, Switzerland and Ecuador and they should be beating the runners-up of that group because of their brilliant squad.
Any team with the world’s greatest player should stand a chance of winning the World Cup but they have an even bigger chance with superstars all around him.
In conclusion, this World Cup should be the greatest ever with the talent on show, dark horses and the obvious excitement surrounding who is going to win this year’s World Cup. I’m hoping for an exciting exhibition of the greatest players on the planet and I’m sure you are too.
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