The summer is here and in full swing. There are tons of events going on. E3 just happened, not to mention the plethora of conventions, festivals of all kinds, and summer sports. Speaking of, the time has come for the world’s largest sporting event, the World Cup. The ‘beautiful game’, as it’s known around the world, happens once every four years. Hosted in a different country every time-this year Russia is hosting. The thirty-two best nations from all over the world truly make this a spectacle to behold. This is the sport that brings different lifestyles and cultures together for the glory and love of the game.
So, now that we’re hyped for this tournament let’s look at who is likely to do well in this competition. You can watch the World Cup starting June 14 on Fox Sports.
First, know your groups:
Remember the top two teams from each group advance to the knockout stages. Let’s look at who is likely to move on from Group play.
My choices: Uruguay(winner) and Egypt
Uruguay has proven attackers who are more than capable to score goals which is what every team needs. With Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez in healthy shape there are plenty goals to be had.
Egypt will surprise us. With their golden boy, Mohamed Salah, at the helm of the Pharos they can do something amazing.
My Choices: Spain(winner) and Portugal
Spain has had great teams before. Since winning the World Cup in 2010 Spain has been one of the top teams in the world. Although they made a disappointing exit in 2014 not making it past the group stage they seem to be at the top of their game. With new stars rising through the ranks and the experienced players like Gerard Pique, Cesar Azpilicueta, and Andres Iniesta Spain will be one of the favorites for winning it all.
Portugal is another favorite. With world-class star Christiano Ronaldo, hopes are high for the Portuguese to go far.
My choices: France(winner) and Denmark
France has, by far, one of the most talented squads this year. Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, and Antoine Griezman as well as Benjamin Mendy and Ousmane Dembele all play key roles for this squad and unless they fall apart, the Frenchmen have good odds to win not only the group but also do well in the knockout stages.
Denmark has promising youngsters such as Kasper Schmeichel and Andreas Christensen but as a whole Denmark looks like they can make a decent run if they play to their strengths.
My choices: Argentina(winner) and Croatia
Argentina. Expected to at least reach the semifinals if not win the competition. This is also expected to be Lionel Messi’s last world cup. That’s quite a bit of pressure but Argentina has all the talent they need in order to make victory a reality this time around.
Croatia will be a sleeper team in my opinion. Talented players at top clubs such as Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic lead this team and may show everyone that they can be a threatening squad.
My choices: Brazil(winner) and Switzerland
Brazil is one of the top four teams favored to win it all. The five-time winners have it all. The Brazilians are flooded with talent and experience. It’ll be hard for any team to win against this soccer giant. But one this is for sure, the flare they play with will always be fun to watch.
Switzerland will be interesting to see in this tournament. It’s hard to say they are better than Costa Rica in their group but the Swiss look to have more promise with a more complete team.
My choices: Germany(winner) and Mexico
Germany are the reigning world champions and have not slowed down one bit with their ferociousness. Their strength and unity compliment their well-rounded skill sets on all sides of the ball. Germany will be the target for everyone this year as they have a good chance to retain their title.
Mexico is a talented squad. No question about that. But in previous tournaments they have not done as well as expected. This year should be their year to make it further than recent campaigns with the talent surging in their squad.
My choices: Belgium(winner) and England
Belgium probably has the most potential of any team in the tournament. This is Belgium’s ‘Golden Generation’ of players. Young, talented, hungry to prove themselves this will be Belgium’s best chance to make that statement. Led by Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne this will be the team to see.
England hasn’t won this tournament since 1966. They have had great teams since then but have come up short. This year is looking a little different though. England has a lot of young, talented players rising up and they have made their statements and look to do so on the world stage and lead England to glory once again.
My choices: Colombia(winner) and Poland
Colombia is a solid squad. Probably the strongest of the Group H teams but can they make the same waves they did in 2014? They will have tough tests on the way to the knockout rounds.
Poland has never really been a team to make outstanding statements. But they are in this tournament for a reason. They proved they can compete with the rest of the world. Led by Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski Poland has a chance. A slim chance. But that’s what all sleeper teams have.
All of these teams have a chance to do well. It’s why they are here. To prove themselves to the rest of the world. The magic will be in the air this Thursday!
The World Cup Thursday June 14 on FS1.