The world’s biggest tournament comes to Africa in 9 days!!! Although my broke ass won’t be in South Africa for the World Cup, I am glad to be around football loving people and to be in Nigeria where around every corner there is a bar or viewing centre where you can catch every single game of the world cup and get a refreshing drink, whatever your preference #thenigeriandream. The 2006 World Cup I kind of missed the full experience partly because I was pissed Nigeria didn’t make it. This time we are back with vengeance.
One of the amazing things about my fellow countrymen is their ability to have faith despite the seeming reality starring them in the face. Many of us know that the Nigerian team is not the best it could be and has perhaps outlived its glory days of the ’94 world cup and the following 96’ Olympics. Basically in the 90s, our football team was a force to be reckoned with. We were disrespectful with it and could beat Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Spain and anyone who dared step to us. Back to my point, many of us are expecting our newly appointed (million dollar oil money paid) technical adviser/coach/manager Lars Lagerback to turn the current plain tasting water of Nigerian football to the sweet tasting wine of victory at the world cup and hence there are incessant prayer sessions for the team and so on and so forth. I like some of my compatriots deep inside know that we might not deserve to go far in the tournament but hope for the team to walk on the sea of galilee like the Christian messiah and reach the knockout stages and with some act of God on the feet of our strikers score goals they didn’t score during the regular football season to possibly put the world cup in our hands.
Enough my patriotism, In anticipation of the world cup I m going to make my predictions on a game to game basis and summarize how I think the world cup will go. I ll go group by group and say who I think would qualify and maybe why.
For Group A, I see France underperforming as usual. They might draw or lose the opener to South Africa hence turning the group wide open. I tip South Africa and Uruguay to go through.
Here I m gonna go with Argentina and of course Nigeria. Korea will provide quite a fight in this group and will struggle with Nigeria for the second place.
England and USA for this group. Algeria will struggle for the second spot. England have so much expectation that they will have to pass through the group stage, The USA possesses a fast team with lots of endurance on the field. I also beef Algeria cos I wish Egypt went to the world cup.
I m gonna shut up on this group. I was tipping Ghana to go far but with no Essien (at 100% fit) might be a hard one. Germany definitely, Serbia and Ghana fight for second place and Austrailia might spring a surprise against either Ghana or Serbia.
Another tough group in my opinion but I think Japan will lag behind the pack in this group. Cameroun and Netherlands will go through. Denmark will struggle with either team for the second place.
Italy and Paraguay are most likely here with Slovakia a team to watch out for to spring surprises
Cristiano Ronaldo might cry in this group after getting knocked out. I tip Brazil (of course) and Cote D’Ivoire to go through. After hating on Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo, I m going to admit that a possible permutation will see Portugal and Cote D’Ivoire (I know you think I m crazy for thinking Brazil will get knocked out) or Portugal and Brazil (Obvious permutation to non african supporters). Korea will play king maker in this group, if they can draw or beat any of these countries they will halt their progress
Spain and Switzerland/Chile will proceed in this group. I think Switzerland given by their showing in youth tournaments might spring a surprise on us.
For the rest of the tournament, I think I ll just make my predictions after the group stages. As for who I think will win the world cup, Brazil, England, Spain (Go Torres!), Nigeria, Cameroun, Cote D’Ivoire (if they pass the first stage). I don’t see Argentina winning call me a hater but come on Maradona isnt that good of a coach and the team might suffer from a too many cooks spoil the soup syndronme with the plethora of striking options.
The Track for today comes from a group of artists including Banky W and M.I., two of my favorite Nigerian artistes and shoutout to Bez, was my senior at high school. M.I. Just got nominated for a BET award (I hate on BET but thats a good look). Enjoy maga no need pay in the spirit of a better Nigeria and better Africa.