The most awaited tournament in the world FIFA World Cup is right around the corner and every football fan must have opted for the countries they are going to support this time. Also, there are a few loyal fans like me who support the same team in every tournament with the same passion and enthusiasm. I have been supporting Germany since World Cup 2002 (the year when I started to watch football). In the leadership of Oliver Kahn, we ended the tournament as the runner-ups that year.
Every World Cup has been special in some way. Whether it was the Hand of God in 1986 world cup or the 2006 Head Butt incident. But you always enjoy the tournament and what better if you are following a team of your choice. It just adds on to your involvement & interest in the happenings. Here is a list of teams to keep an eye on this time.
the team that has been favorite of many since Diego Maradona played for it. The old folks like the team and are supporting it in every championship. Their lineup this year is good and can be expected to perform like they did in 2014 where they ended second. With the experience of Javier Mascherano & skills of Ángel Di María in the midfield would be a great support for attackers like Gonzalo Higuaín, Paulo Dybala & none other than Lionel Messi. Though Messi hasn’t been that spectacular for the country like he is in the league but the fans would definitely want him to do wonders this time.
everyone knows about the Belgian waffles but less is known about the abilities of their national football team. The team has names which would definitely make you consider it as a favorite this year. One of the top goalkeepers in the world at the moment Thibaut Courtois with defensive experiences of Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen and Vincent Kompany will be a tough wall to break for the opponents. Players like Axel Witsel, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne in the midfield backs up their attacking players like Christian Benteke and Romelu Lukaku.
even if you know nothing about football but you are definitely aware of the history of Brazil in the game just because of players like Pelé, Zico, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Kaká and nowadays Neymar (player with the highest paid transfer fee ever). He has got the pure Brazilian football skills & goal scoring techniques which you would definitely enjoy. He has got support from world class midfielders namely Philippe Coutinho, Willian, Paulinho, and Casemiro. Also, their defense which includes Thiago Silva, Marcelo, and Danilo when in form can be attacking the other teams. So if you are a fresher to this interest you can start by supporting this team like all the others have done you won’t regret. After all, it is the side with most world cup wins.
the most stylish country in the world has got the names of some of the most entertaining football players in their national squad such as Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud and Ousmane Dembélé who can play the most attacking football. Their defensive responsibilities are on Samuel Umtiti and Raphaël Varane. This is definitely a side which a team wouldn’t want face as an opponent. They can give you the best goals of the tournament which will definitely leave you awestruck. And why not players Zizou and Thierry Henry were the members of their world cup winning squad in 1998.
the champions of 2014 and a strong contender in every tournament. Just as the German engineering is famous in the world their football techniques can’t be ignored on the field. One can certainly say that they play like a team on the field with the will to be victorious in every game. Starting from the Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer with Mats Hummels & Jérôme Boateng in the defense would play an important role at the back. They have the strongest & one of the most experienced midfield lineup with players such as Thomas Müller, Marco Reus, Mesut Özil and Toni Kroos who can play attacking & midfield defensive roles as per the situation of the game.
other than the La Tomatina & home of football club giants in the world the national side of Spain has also gained the reputation of the champions in last 2 decades. they were the champions of 2010 edition where they played like masters of the game. They have got great footballing names on their sides such as David de Gea, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba, Andrés Iniesta and Diego Costa. Their game-play can easily penetrate through their opponent’s defense line up and their capability of owning the ball possession in the game makes it difficult for other teams to play against them. So if they play as per their standards this is a sure shot favorite to end the tournament at the top.
the one man army team you could say. The team doesn’t have big names other than Cristiano Ronaldo who is the best football player in the world. His leadership qualities led the team to be victorious in Euro Cup 2016. Some would say that they were lucky but I would say that fortune favors the brave and that’s what happened there. Although it would be tough for Portuguese to do the same in the World Cup you never know what can Cristiano pull off. He was the reason behind Real Madrid’s comeback & his efforts has won 4 Champions League tournament in the last 5 years. He is considered the best of all because of these reasons only.
No wonders if an underdog team performs well and outnumber any of the above mentioned “could be champions” which would increase the competition heat.
As always I would be supporting Germany. You can choose your favorites too, either from these or any other as well but one thing is for sure we are going to have a great competition as always. Looking forward to a fair tournament with great goals to be remembered for a long period of time.