FIFA World Cup 2018: Football’s most prestigious event has time and again proved that playing for your country and winning the tournament is the only thing that matters. 1930’s Uruguay to 2014’s Germany, 19 edition of World Cup has always had something intriguing in store. It will be interesting to see who bags the glory this time.
A team oozing superstars and abundance of individual talents, France can only kick themselves for not winning the Euro 2016 tournament in front of their home crowd. However, Deschamps men will be desperate to win this tournament as this might be their strongest ever World Cup squad. Tactically speaking, they have one of the best reserve benches where they can turn the course of the tie whenever they want to. With Griezmann, Mbappe, Pogba, Koscielny, Matuidi, and other massively talented players donning the French jersey, it will take something extraordinary to knock France out of this tournament.
Die Mannschaft have all the talent, grit, and clinical approach required to win the World Cup two times in a row and five times overall. A technical master class, Joachim Loew has an even better side at his disposal right now. From defense to attack, they have world class players battling for a place in starting eleven. The Germans will be ruthless and direct in their approach. Ozil, Draxler, Reus, Toni Kroos, and Neuer will play a key role if they are to hold on to their crown. Germany’s performance in the latest European Championship had been a tad disappointing. Their defensive frailties will be further exposed with Lahm already gone and Boateng well past his prime.
It is hard to believe that Brazil was thumped 7-1 by reigning champions Germany in front of their home support. It is also unbelievable how well Brazil has improvised and are looking to take revenge for their heart-shattering defeat by lifting their sixth World Cup. Tite has been a revelation and with such a skillful squad to work with, he has yielded some of the best Brazil showings in the last decade. Neymar is already a superstar and he oozes fire every time he dons the Brazilian jersey. With Coutinho, Marcelo, Gabriel Jesus, and other skilled players ready to tear the defenses apart, this Brazilian team can snatch the bragging rights.
From skilled individuals to robust players, this Belgian squad has not done justice to their name. Roberto Martinez’s Belgium can rip apart any defense and has the capability of holding on to narrow leads. It is their inability to cope with pressure which has caused them back to back setbacks. With Hazard, De Bruyne, Moussa Dembele, and Dres Mertens at his disposal Martinez can turn Belgium into a formidable force.
As surprising as it sounds, Portugal has all the chances of winning the Cup this time. Once, a one man dependent team has now produced Europe’s finest talents. Bernardo Silva, Andre Silva, Joao Mario, William Carvalho, and their showstopper Cristiano Ronaldo can lead Portugal to glory. Pepe and Jose Fonte in defense will look to put in a string of brilliant performances. With Euro 2016’s success still popping in their veins, Portugal fans can expect their team repeats the same feat yet again.
It will be an intriguing battle and not forget the harsh climate of Russia will play a big part this time. The aforementioned teams will look to make most of their chances and there is a good chance that all of them could make it to the Quarterfinal stage at least. The countdown has begun and the World waits.