Arguably the biggest show piece in football is upon us again, the world cup. Samina mina eh eh, waka waka eh eh samina mina sankelewa its time for Brazil? Probably the most watched football tournament and perhaps a tournament that turns up some surprises. Call me Eurocentric but few things beat the quality of football in the European Champions League mostly because I believe the players in that tournament play together day in day out in their leagues. The world cup is a cut and paste of players which in its own way is why we have the surprises we get in the world cup because aside from preparation and skill, team chemistry is key in winning. Anyway, enough of that, Yay! Brazil.
I would have loved to go for the world cup or at least be in the country during the world cup. Might sow my royal oats and have one or two Neymars while I m out there. But alas destiny had other plans for me. I will watch it from the television and save my visit to Brazil for after the world cup.
I m going to say this right off the bat; my team for this world cup (read that as who I think/want to win) is Brazil. For some reason I want to see Neymar shine, I want him to carry Brazil on his back a la Maradona, I want him to score some spectacular goals and be the man of the tournament. I am tired of Spain although I know that they are definitely one of the favorites with their amazing team chemistry and tiki taka. Other favorites are obviously Argentina and perhaps Germany. Nigeria for the win? Eh…We might need to do some fasting and prayer on that.
In terms of how I see it playing out, Group A will have Brazil and I m not really sure here but I will pick Croatia because I believe the strength of Modric and Mandzukic might shine through, Mexico and Cameroon could spring a surprise but I m not keeping my fingers crossed. Group B, Spain and Netherlands should make it out of this group with Chile being the potential upsets or kingmakers. Group C is tougher than it looks but I will go for Cote D’Ivoire (qualifying first in this group, yes I smoked beans) and Colombia or Japan (Japan looks likely to me). Group D is Uruguay and England/Italy. Italy have a habit of being tournament players and tend to show up. As a Liverpool fan, I do hope to see Gerard, Sterling and Sturridge do well in this world cup so I will tilt towards England to get away here.
Group E will have Ecuador come out of the group and a split between France and Switzerland. Group F will have Argentina and Bosnia/Nigeria. Nigeria has not impressed me in the pre-world cup friendlies and seem to have a team that lacks that team chemistry. Teams like spain have a Barca/Real Madrid core that has seen them dominate world football. Nigeria is a cut and paste of a lot of average players with some of the stars warming the bench at their clubs. I think players like Victor Moses, Osaze and our Keeper Enyeama could hold the key to qualification or even winning a match. Group G, I will go for Germany and Ghana. I don’t know why but I think Portugal will trip up, I love Ronaldo but I don’t think he is 100 percent. It is the group of death so anything can happen. The last group will see Belgium and Russia or Algeria qualify.
I am going to skip the round of 16 and say the quarter finals will have Brazil, England, Spain, Uruguay, Argentina, Ghana, Nigeria (Sentiment addition), Germany. The final will be Brazil v Argentina with Brazil coming out on top and it culminating in a carnival. Top goal scorer will be between Neymar, Messi, Suarez, Dzeko, Lukaku.
There you have it folk. THese are my picks for the World Cup. What are yours?