The anticipation hasn’t stopped rising for this summer’s World Cup in Brazil – it’s only 12 days away! Although the previous tournament (in 2010) failed to live up to its hype, this summer’s edition will surely be filled with flair and excitement. The 2013 Confederations Cup (hosted in Brazil) has already given us a glimpse of what to expect this summer. Last summer, the hosts absolutely dismantled current World Cup holders Spain to claim the trophy, but 2014 will be different.
Teams to watch
While everyone expects solid performances from the usual suspects – Brazil, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Argentina – I’m expecting the likes of Belgium, Colombia, Chile & France to cause some upsets along the way. At a tournament of this stature, where’s the entertainment without a few surprising results?
Players to watch
Making a list of players to watch isn’t always easy. Nonetheless, I’m sticking with some big names that I imagine will make a massive impact at the World Cup this year.
Neymar (Brazil): When he’s in the mood, he’s an absolute nightmare for opposing defenders. There’ll be huge expectations placed upon his shoulders – and judging by his exploits at the confed cup last June, I’m thoroughly convinced he’ll deliver.
Luis Suarez (Uruguay): Coming off the back of a stellar club campaign, Suarez will be looking to take that rich vein of form to Brazil. A recent knee operation means he’s fighting to be fit in time for Uruguay’s opening game. Although he might not be 100% for the opener, I’m sure he’ll still prove decisive in the other group games.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) & Lionel Messi (Argentina): Impossible to leave out these two. Ronaldo capped an impressive 2013/14 season with a well-deserved Ballon D’or trophy & the UEFA Champions League, while Messi, who’s had some injury spells, has a lot to prove at this summer’s tournament.
While they’ve been incredibly consistent for their clubs over the years, they haven’t really translated the same level of consistency to their national teams. Ronaldo and Messi have only 3 world cup goals between them – paltry return for players of their pedigree. Both players have a lot to prove, but expect that stat to become extinct in Brazil.
Brazil 2014 can’t come soon enough. Viva futbol!
photo credit: emarquetti via photopin cc