Four tears ago at the beginning of the of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa I made a very popular blog post titled “Predicting the winner of the 2010 World Cup“. In it I shared my thoughts on the tournament and highlighted five teams I thought stood a good chance of lifting the trophy or playing very well. Predictably Spain won the title beating the Netherlands in the final.
The 2014 World Cup starts today in Brazil and with it we welcome 32 teams again all vying for the title and the right to be called world champions of football. Below are how the groups were drawn and my thoughts on my five favourite teams taking part in the tournament. Feel free to leave a comment or tweet me @Jamaipanese your thoughts throughout the tournament.
My number one team that I have been a fan of since a child is back at the World Cup. The team has changed somewhat since the disappointment of 2010 but sadly their problem remains. They have a midfield and an attack that can score goals for fun but a back-line that will crumble under any sustained pressure. I continue to cheer for Argentina and the likes of Messi, Aguero, Di Maria, Lavezzi, Higuai and Mascherano believing that victory is very much possible.
I will be cheering for all the African teams at the world cup. Usually its s tossup between Ghana and the Ivory Coast for my all-out favourite African team but this year the Ivory Coast is in the lead and not only because I a HUGE fan of Didier Drogba. Overall I believe the team is strong, experienced and capable to at least reach the quarter finals. Anything below that would be seen as a disappointment.
The Blue Samurai were the first team other than the host to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. Some would argue that they are the best team in Asia. With the current team made of the same core of players that made Japan the 2011 Asia Cup Champions the team is expected to perform well in Brazil and display the fighting spirit they are famed for. As a fan of Japan I’ll be emotionally invested in the team and will be leading the cheers while watching their matches.
Very few teams at the 2014 world cup can boast the plethora of footballing superstars that Belgium can. A team crafted since they were teenagers are now giants in their own right and have the pedigree to beat any team they face in Brazil. Whether they can perform on the big stage with the eyes of the world on them remains to be seen but Belgium can really set Brazil on fire if they perform to their potential.
The Brazilian team is the most supported international football in Jamaica by far. The 2014 World Cup is being held in Brazil and Brazil has traditionally been a power house in world football although they have not done well in recent years. Playing the sport which is like a national pass-time in front of your own fanatic supporters at home can be a huge motivator but can also cause unbelievable psychological pressure. How will the team respond?