I love the World Cup. It’s one of the only sporting events in existence that deserves the word “epic.” It’s an unrivaled global festival, a showcase of atheltic talent that is diverse and exciting. I cannot imagine a true sports fan who can resist the pull of the World Cup.
I’m awful at predictions in general and sports predictions in particular. But simply to say I did, I’ll throw out my general view of the WC field.
Spain and Brazil are, for me, the teams to beat. Spain is enjoying a spectacular season of success with its international soccer. They won in South Africa four years ago, and they could make history by doing it again in Brazil. Their squad is deep and experienced. Their strikers might be the weak part of the squad; Fernando Torres had an off year with Chelsea and might not be playing at a high confidence level. The Spanish midfield, however, is amazing. Arsenal free kick specialist Santi Cazorla could play a key role for Spain in the tournament.
Brazil is young, fast, and hungry. Neymar is already a superstar and could be one of the Cup’s most important players. Brazil has a talented midfield, including three of Chelsea’s players. Like Spain, Brazil is deep and can utilize very talented substitutes at all points on the pitch. Playing in your home country, for your home country is always a special opportunity.
The two teams I am supporting, USA and England, will have to struggle to get out of their respective groups. The US, under Jurgen Klinsmann, is in a rebuilding phase and isn’t ready to ascend. England needs a youth movement; they are still relying on Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and other veterans whose most explosive days are behind them. Maybe they can provide an exciting moment or two.
Enjoy the Cup!