You know that odd sensation you got when Ronaldo curled that free-kick in last night? That rush of joy you felt when Diego Costa took on the whole Portuguese defence and scored? Well that is the FIFA World Cup for you, moments everywhere.
World Cup winner
If the past few tournaments in international football have shown us something, it’s that you should never back the favourites. Take a close look; 2014 World Cup- Germany, Euro 2016- Portugal, Copa America 2015 & 2016- Chile. See the trend? The dark horses and outside favourites (in Portugal’s case, the completely unexpected) usually end up lifting the trophy.
Besides the similarities between this year’s edition and 2014 are scarily similar:
- Neymar coming off a great season looking to cement a Ballon d’or place. ✔
- Brazil overwhelming favourites ✔
- Thiago Silva in the lineup ✔
Well this time, Neymar’s serious injury came just before the tournament. Maybe there is hope after all?…
Uruguay and *England*…(yes i’m not joking)
A quick glance at the 32 teams and you’ll spot two or three teams likely to cause an upset. Like Croatia, Belgium and Poland, right? Well throw ALL those teams away. The real dark horses here are Uruguay and England.
Oscar Tabarez brings back the smashmouth, aggressive style of Uruguay. They play dirty and know how to win. Except this time instead of old soldiers and tattooed convicts like Sebastien Abreu, Jorge Fucile and, Maxi & Alvaro Pereira. Now they have younger, more energetic tattooed convicts like Jose Giminez, Guillermo Varela, Matias Vecino and Lucas Torreira. Expect smash-and-grab 1-0 wins with flying tackles everywhere.
This time it’s different from England, no old washed up players to ruin the campaign (looking at you Wayne Rooney). This time, the team sheet offers a fresh breath. Talents like Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Delle Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are set to grab their chance on the big stage. Under Gareth Southgate (the Hertfordshire Guardiola), the team has a style of play, a working system and good players to boot. Both England and Uruguay will go far in Russia.
Miroslav Klose never existed, the greatest striker in Germany’s history is Timo Werner. I think he’s not even German, he plays like he’s prime Ronaldo. Quick feet, searing pace combined with lethal finishing make him the ‘not your average German player’ (sorry Leroy Sane). If you’re not convinced, he has more than 40 goals over the last two seasons for RB Liepzig. He also won the Golden Shoe when Germany won the Confederations cup last year.
Outsiders to escape the group stages
Nigeria and Tunisia
See the noise everybody is making about Egypt and Morocco? Ignore it. They’ll probably finish last in their groups. Nigeria have that swagger about them, they can beat anyone on their day including Iceland and Croatia. Plus they have Alex Iwobi.
Tunisia will be the most interesting side out of the two. You do not know how they will lineup; their coach literally said that in his press conference. They press like hell and even dispossessed Sergio Busquets in a friendly last month. Tunisia are the perfect Chile stand-ins for this tournament. *I also think they can beat one of England/Belgium*
Random picture of their fans:
Shock group stage exit
Belgium and Senegal. You heard it here first
Teams you will fall in love with
Look at this jersey, what is not to love.
They play beautiful attacking football and Herve Renard is a handsome man. Plus they have a million dribblers in their team.
Golden Ball winner
The last five winners of the Golden Ball did not win the World Cup (yes, that is a sign). The Samba king is one of the best players in the World, I tip him to have a great tournament. Especially when he can score goals like this:
Official video of Neymar’s goal vs Austria pic.twitter.com/Te7aNxmRKX
— Footballnus (@footballnus) June 10, 2018
Didn’t bash Germany, France, Spain or Argentina so one of them is probably going to win the world cup.