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Spain vs Netherlands: nothing like the 2010 final

Spain vs Netherlands: nothing like the 2010 final, Spain vs Holland
Flying Persie ; image credit www.sfgate.com/Bernat Armangue

Everyone has already started talking, Manchester United have found themselves a real manager after Sir Alex Ferguson.

Coaches can find their methods rendered obsolete very quickly in football. Many greats even never see it coming. Various Champions League and domestic league titles that have long littered Louis van Gaal’s coaching CV already stood as testament to his abilities.

Yes of course, we are talking about the Spain vs Netherlands match of world cup 2014, Brazil.

Yesterday it just looked like he had organized and motivated his Netherlands side worked to perfection. And they eviscerated World Cup holders Spain 5-1 in Salvador last Friday. Probably it was a sweet revenge, four years after losing the final in Johannesburg 2010.

Spain vs Netherlands: As it happened

Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben were the two architects of the match structure. But you can easily see Van Gaal’s fingerprints over the match results. Again, probably the manager’s innovative 5-2-1-2 wingback system worked too well for the team. He can also thank Van Persie’s marvelous header for the turn over.

Alongside some mistakes, it appeared to be the best defense in the competition so far. Though Wesley Sneijder was a brilliant foil to Robben and Van Persie, everything else was enough to compensate the situation.

Van Persie told NOS,

“The match has gone exactly as the coaching staff predicted. We went on, and on, and on”

Via sky sports.

Now let’s see the Spaniards for the Spain vs Netherlands match. Only six of the players on the Dutch squad were also around in 2010. Whereas 17 of Vicente Del Bosque‘s contingent were at 2010 World Cup. But there seemed to be a certain staleness about their play. Although, Diego Costa won the penalty, which put them ahead at the very first hour.

There was intricate passing as always. But we can note the lack of real incision in the final third. Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique were often in different postcodes at the back sometimes.

Yes, 5-1 may have flattered the Dutch performance. As David Silva had a great chance to effectively kill the game off at 1-0 at some hour. But it was not that much. On the next game, they are going to face Chile. This is probably another team with same attacking traits and potentials to pose problems for the opponents.

Dutch fans can be relaxed now. Only a victory over Australia will almost certainly send them on to the knockout stages for sure. But as they have just beaten the last Champions, they may now be setting sights a bit higher than that.

Bad day, Diego!!

Diego Costa won a penalty for the team at the first hour. Yes, won is the word. Pretty much an operative word. This put his team ahead. But the end was not a happy one. He had to suffer a painful evening before being substituted for Torres. It wouldn’t be a problem if they were winning. And if, this is not the end of such embarrassment, Diego Costa must be trying to forget the tournament before going to Chelsea. So definitely it can be counted a genuine bad day for the Atletico star.

Final Result: Spain vs Netherlands

Spain 1 – 5 Netherlands

(Alonso; Van Persie (2), Robben (2), De Vrij)
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Spain vs Chile: Defending Champions are the first to be eliminated!

Spain vs Chile: Defending Champions are the first to be eliminated!, defending champions, world cup 2014, Brazil 2014, group events
Spain vs Chile ; image credit o.canada.com/ David Ramos

Is there actually any explanation? The Spain manager, Vicente del Bosque couldn’t have one! Truly the defending champions are the first team to get back home from the tournament, after the unbelievable match, Spain vs Chile.

Probably now we can conclude that the era is ended, unexpectedly ended with a sigh. Two European Championships and one World Cup, good time it was. But it’s over, at least it appears like the very end.

After Brazil steamrollered Spain 3-0 in the Confederations Cup, Del Bosque had to face situations like this. There were quite the same puzzles around. But the last 12 months suggested that he had found some of the answers. You can off-course say that, especially when Spain won eight of their next ten fixtures in preparation for their return to the leadership. Though there was a thrilling 2-2 draw with the same opponent in September was one of only two setbacks for the defending Champions.

After the Confederations Cup final Del Bosque admitted that Brazil were better than them. At that time he also congratulated them for the victory. He said,

“They had more energy than us and they channeled that into every move they made”

And the history just repeated itself on Wednesday as Chile swarmed Spain’s midfield and pressed with rabid persistence. Defending Champions were overwhelmed. Also there was a matter to be noticed, their former conductor Xavi Hernandez was completely left unused on the side bench.

Year ago, it appeared like the Spain team probably need to search for a new striker. Del Bosque had to react that Fernando Torres’ time had undeniably passed. Again a few months later Fernando Llorente failed to take his chance against South Africa. Though he proved himself with his impressive season for Juventus. Yes and obvious, these were not the answers for Del Bosque at that time. Alvaro Negredo couldn’t also let himself to be chosen for World Cup 2014.

May be the plan was to answer the problem exposed by Brazil, by a Brazilian. Spain rushed through Diego Costa’s international transfer and then rushed the striker back to fitness following a hamstring injury. Spain hoped, Costa will provide a similarly brusque finish, like the way Fred’s two goals tore Spain apart in June 2013.

When Costa trudged off after 64 minutes at Maracana, we could easily understand that the plan didn’t actually work. The Atletico Madrid forward has failed to manage a single shot on target for the defending champions. And now the man he is expected to replace at Chelsea this summer. But Roman Abramovich may now have to think twice about another expensive striking gamble.

We know, Costa is more effective than his performance last day. But Chile simply didn’t allow him the space to be at his devastating best. Along with all their individual skills, Jorge Sampaoli’s side can now be considered genuine contenders for the trophy this time. Spain previously employed their quick and transitional tiki-taka to slice open opponents. But may be Chile were comfortably aware of the game plan and the way to hurt the defending champions back.

Sampaoli at the press briefing said,

“I’ll never forget today’s match and I feel very proud of my boys. They believe in one idea and that’s why we’re so dangerous”

He is also expecting to determine this Chile team as the best ever for them.

The Spaniard are now left to ponder their return to the pedestal. This time the future of the exaggerated tiki-taka is well well predictable. Hope for the youth ranks and the players who just missed out on the World Cup squad, will come back stronger at France 2016. There are probable chances to have changes in every prospective aspects, even for the managerial post for Del Bosque himself. As he admitted,

“It’s true that when such things happen during the World Cup there are consequences, we will have to take a decision for what is best for Spanish football and that applies to myself as well”

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Germany vs Ghana: Battle between Jerome Boateng and Kevin-Prince Boateng, Match preview

Germany vs Ghana: Battle between Jerome Boateng and Kevin-Prince Boateng, Match preview , world cup group stage, 2014 Brazil world cup
Germany vs Ghana ; image credit fr.fotopedia.com

The group stage matches are now onto the second lot. As FIFA World Cup 2014, first round of group stage matches are already completed. Quite expected and surprise events have taken place within just these few games.
For a group G match, now we are looking at the Germany vs Ghana match. Tonight Germany will face Ghana in their second group stage match. They will have to put in one hell of a performance like their last match against Portugal.

Plan for Germany in Germany vs Ghana match:

After the last glorious match, Joachim Low here faces the unenviable task of another glamorous win.

Die Mannschaft cause a destruction for the team Portugal with Thomas Mueller’s hat-trick. Mario Goetze was another greater weapon for the team. Mesut Ozil also found some space for himself, which turned the line to the victory with comfortable difficulties.

May be Germany will be planning for another 4-3-3 formation this night. This formation sends the featured four centre-backs. With players like Philipp Lahm in midfield and no Bastian Schweinsteiger, we still can hope for a few changes. And there is another question, who is the selection today as replacement.

Truly it is difficult to predict the great Low. But he must be finding some fine plans of winning this particular match as to make sure the second round.

Plan for Ghana in Germany vs Ghana match:

Last match, Ghana went for a 4-2-3-1 formation and that was turgid. Many can say it as uninspiring and full of flaws for the team.

They started their opener against the USA’s 4-4-2. Still failed to use their spare man in midfield to good use. Another reson for their failure can be considered as the poor decision making.

Kwesi Appiah tried after the U.S. left flank. But this allowed the game to bypass their best player Kwadwo Asamoah as left back.

Asamoah Gyan is probably not anymore sharp like the 2010. He is not that ready like the runner off the ball like the previous World Cup event.

Battle between two brothers: Jerome Boateng and Kevin-Prince Boateng

Yes off course, this is not a tactical clash. Probably this can be taken as a battle between two brothers at a World Cup. But definitely it’s nothing to be excited about.

Prince seriously injured Michael Ballack in the FA Cup final four years ago. He also ruled the midfield general out of the World Cup 2010. And that’s the main cause he becomes the no. 1 common enemy for the German team.

As a matter of fact, this man will now represent Ghana and come up against his own brother Jerome for the first time tonight.

Germany vs Ghana: Pressure vs Counter

In the world cup 2010 qualifiers, Ghana excelled on the counterattacks. While Jurgen Klinsmann took that prospect away from the Black Stars. Now this will be ever-present against Germany too.

Jordan Ayew, Gyan and Christian Atsu can all devastate at pace. Die Mannschaft is here guaranteed to take at least 65 percent possession of the ball. Now there Appiah can prepare his side for a more direct outline.

No, we don’t think Ghana will ever be able to break down Low’s side that much easily. Actually they don’t need to do so. But obviously Germany will try to dominate the black stars as to become the 4 times World Cup Winners.

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Italy vs Costa Rica: surprise gift for the unexpected team

Italy vs Costa Rica: surprise gift for the unexpected team, world cup 2014
Italy vs Costa Rica ; image credit espn.go.com

The opening performance by the Italians was impressive. Especially for the group D, which is considered as the group of death in this World Cup 2014, Brazil. Many, must have expected Italy to make an easier effort for the next round. Costa Rica was truly an easier opponent comparing the other two.

But this is not the first time. The Azzurri have a history of making such difficulties for themselves. With the lesser opponent they just missed the chance to manage their place for the last 16. Nothing but the poor performance, they offered, is liable for the defeat in Italy vs Costa Rica match.

Primarily we couldn’t just determine what to expect from the Cesare Prandelli’s team. As they have recently vanquished the English, less than a week ago. A number of decisions from the Italy coach only exaggerated that feeling. His tinkering with the starting XI made sense. But certainly his choices seemed erroneous with the Friday’s match moving on.

There is no opportunity to argue with the goalkeeper change. Even after the Salvatore Sirigu’s excellent display against England in Manaus. The stopper enjoyed a solid outing. May be he also would acknowledge that the return of Gigi Buffon was inevitable. As soon as the Juventus man is recovered from his ankle injury, he is meant to be with the starting eleven for Italy vs Costa Rica match.

Italy vs Costa Rica: As it happened

 Their captain was where the real issues lay. The initial decision to drop Gabriel Paletta again seemed a wise move. He just struggled too much for the opening match. Parma defender looked woeful. English attacking players were constantly getting the better of him, though failed for his unsteady showing.

So the withdrawal made serious implications across the Italy back line. With Matteo Darmian swapping flanks to left-back, Giorgio Chiellini shifted back into the centre. And Ignazio Abate was drafted in on the right. But the Milan full-back was offered a torrid time in Italy vs Costa Rica match. He was constantly out of position and just allowed Junior Dias far too much space, which led the only goal of this match.

world cup 2014, group stage, Italy vs Costa Rica
the only goal ; image credit o.canada.com/Jamie McDonald

Andrea Barzagli retained his position within the back five. Their defensive mix-ups were really no surprise. But Joel Campbell was unlucky not to add to that Bryan Ruiz opener. The Azzurri woes at one end of the field were only compounded further forward. And swapping Marco Verratti for Thiago Motta robbed Italy of some much needed creativity for that particular match.

Against England on Saturday night, the 21-year-old midfielder was constantly probing the defence. He completed 97 percent of his passes right. He also assisted for Claudio Marchisio’s opening goal. Another time he managed a clever corner routine involving Andrea Pirlo making room for his raking shot from distance, outside the d box.

This time, there were far fewer opportunities against a well-organized team. Prandelli made three attacking changes and sought an equalizer. But no effects. He introduced, Antonio Cassano, Lorenzo Insigne and Alessio Cerci. Still failed to provide a cutting edge in Italy vs Costa Rica match. His tri managed to provide only one shot on target.

Mario Balotelli can be considered as an increasingly isolated and frustrated figure. The Milan striker managed just 24 touches over the 90 minutes game. For all his 12 pass attempts, he never really came close to his match-winning heroics like the one against England. And at the second half he got the deserved yellow card, as had loosen his temperament.

Just one shot on target!! This kind of performance by the striker was indicative of the uncertainty and unfamiliarity for the team. May be Prandelli’s changes were not that much helping the side, rather hindered the spirit. Now this will bring down a great payment for the Azzurri as to progress to the next round. They will be needing at least one point against Uruguay to last for the final 16. But honestly speaking, it will definitely be a difficult prospect if Luiz Suarez performs as he did in his own victory against England yesterday.

Italy vs Costa Rica: surprise gift for the unexpected team, Costa Rica 2nd round, last 16 for Costa Rica, defeated Italy
Costa Rica wins against Italy ; image credit www.aol.com

And yet, for a very few occasions, even the returning Buffon looked shaky. Though, after the full time he can be proclaimed as the iconic one who summed up the situation a little better.

The Italy skipper told to Sky Italia,

“You get back on your feet by looking on the bright side”

And he believes that Azzurri must be just doing that now.

So, to qualify to the next round is on their hand. Prandelli must get things right on Tuesday against Uruguay. Team Italy (4 times World Cup winner ) needs more creativity, at least more than the Italy vs Costa Rica match. And again, changes should also needs to be well planned as not to harm the team combination but to fuel the victory. A great match awaits I believe!!

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Portugal vs US: Reasons for US optimism, match preview

Portugal vs US: Reasons for US optimism, match preview, USMNT
Portugal vs US ; image credit u90soccer.com

As always, it’s really easy to put too much pressure on any US football team during international competitions. This particular team at this particular time in the history of the sport in this country is pretty different. Especially with this particular coach at the helm of the entire program. Practically they are having as much pressure as any U.S. soccer team ever had in history.

After the World Cup draw, many thought the team had been placed in the Group of Death. As two of the top five teams were with them. And Ghana was the United States’ personal World Cup executioner in each of the last two.

But after the first nine days, things are a little bit changed. Life and death in a World Cup are proving to be different from reality. Fans can now just start proving their own group as the group of death. For England and Spain, they are all the same.

There have been much more surprises around the tournament so far. Many of which could have the United States feeling rather optimistic about its own chances to create.

No matter what the group is, even death is often diagnosed wrong at the World Cup.

Getting three points from a match against Ghana, will make the USMNT confident before the Portugal vs US match. They outplayed their opponents for 80 of the 90 minutes. So why worry about the death, rather they can easily enjoy the rest games.

The US team should be hopeful for the upcoming games. They will be assured the knockout stage with only a win from the Portugal vs US match on Sunday.

Portugal vs US match preview:

United States team must be thinking of their loss of Jozy Altidore. On the other hand Portugal team is not so happy either. They are also losing Pepe to a horrible suspension after head butting Germany’s Thomas Mueller. Fabio Coentrao and Hugo Almeida are out of the tournament because of injury. Even Cristiano can be a matter of disappointment for the Portugal team.

From the Portugal team perspectives, they will be needing two of their last games win. As they can easily figure out that it would be tough to get out of the goal difference disadvantage, already created. So they will be desperate to bring three points from the Portugal vs US match.

US fans must be hoping for something more too. Just look at Chile, Costa Rica and even Mexico. Expectations can change during a tournament. No one ever had expected US team to take down Portugal or Germany. But now, it’s time for at least to provide the challenge.
May be don’t lose, would be the perfect thinking over the top ranked teams for USMNT. Just maintaining this strategy twice, they are guaranteed the next round of the tournament.

Despite the heat and humidity in Manaus, they have to hope multiple non-contact injuries won’t hit. As a one more match to come up.

This week, speaking with the media Bradley said via US Soccer,

“We talked five minutes after the Ghana game ended about being excited and proud of the way we started off but also realizing that one game doesn’t mean anything”

He knew very well, that night was not the sharpest of him. But he emphasized on keeping importance of following up on those three points with a positive result against Portugal. They need to follow up the first game with a good result. They are focused for the game three needing a result or looking at the other game.

If there is a call for optimism heading into the match against Portugal, surely it starts with Bradley. USMNT must make this player understand that he needs to play better. There is no telling, how much better the USMNT will be, when Bradley plays his best. What do you think? Will it be enough for the Portugal team? Probably the Portugal vs US match will reply in a more optimistic way.

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Switzerland vs France: Didier Deschamps shaping the France World Cup Team

Switzerland vs France: Didier Deschamps shaping the France World Cup Team, France vitory, qualifying 2nd round,world cup 2014
Benzema’s another attack ; image credit o.canada.com/Elsa

Former French teammate Eric Cantona once described him as the water carrier. After lifting the trophy at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Didier Deschamps is now coaching his country at this summer’s Brazil World Cup.

The 45-year old has always been Solid and reliable for the Les Blues’. He has been the most trusted players and one of the most important members of those two tournament-winning sides for France. Now, he has been charged with the task of restoring France to greatness. For the last eleven years he has been coaching at club level.

The French have been anything but unspectacular in South America so far. On their last match against Switzerland, they got the unbelievable 5-2 victory. The Friday match is a clear is a clear indication that Deschamps is finally starting to stamp his mark on this french youngsters.

 The team is going to be modeled in their coach’s own image. Also the benefits are starting to become apparent for them.

Switzerland vs France: As it happened

After the 2-0 defeat in Ukraine in the first leg of their World Cup qualifying, it appeared as if the challenge of coaching his country was becoming too much for the former captain. But certainly he has responded well to adversity.

Didier Deschamps has changed his team in terms of both personnel and formation. He tried to find out the boys he could trust better. That’s the way like a 103 times capped former player.

He has already been awarded for his bold decisions. The 3-0 win at Stade de France secured France’s berth in Brazil.

On the Friday match, France tried routing Switzerland 5-2, at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador.

By only half time, France stormed to a 3-0 lead in a magnificent attacking performance. If Karim Benzema had not missed a penalty, there were possibilities for more. On the 17th minute, Olivier Giroud opened the scoring. Blaise Matuidi doubled Les Bleus’ lead only a minute later. In the 40th minute, Mathieu Valbuena then finished off a blistering counter to make it 3-0 at the break.

After the half time, Pogba unlocked Switzerland’s defense with a brilliant pass into the box toward Benzema. And Benzema finished this time to make it 4-0.

Still, they were not done yet. Just after two minutes, at 71st instant, Sissoko made it five at the other end. Watching deeply, you can easily figure out that Benzema was the catalyst again. He unlocked the Swiss defense. he helped the Switzerland vs France match end with +3 gd victory.

With time running down, the Switzerland side attempted to make an improbable comeback. Dzemaili and Xhaka added their two goals at the very last moments of the game.

Switzerland vs France: Aftermath

Les Bleus also benefited from an early injury. Von Bergen left the match in the ninth minute after having his face bloodied by Giroud’s boot. He was replaced by Philippe Senderos. France quickly gave Switzerland’s makeshift defense look ordinary.

 France went on top of the group E. They have six points already and undoubtedly qualifying for the next round.

On the other hand, Switzerland must regroup before facing Honduras on Wednesday. Goal difference can be the ultimate problem for them to qualify.

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Argentina vs Iran: finally Lionel Messi becomes the ultimate hope for Argentina

Argentina vs Iran: finally Lionel Messi becomes the ultimate hope for Argentina, against Iran, world cup 2014, Brazil
Lionel Messi ; image credit www.telegraph.co.uk

Probably most of the people, especially Argentine fans all around the World, became a slight confused watching the Argentina vs Iran match, Saturday night. Unbelievably people saw Argentina’s desperately tight clash with Iran moved into injury time deadlocked with the score line 0-0. Suddenly the screen showed Lionel Messi slowly advancing on the implacable red defense. And once again, finally he had to be the ultimate hope for Argentina and frustrate his opponents.

The Iran supporters were already exploding in screams of delight. But at the end of the day they had to admit the inevitable, brilliant curling shot eluded Alireza Haghighi’s desperate dive. This was Lio’s second goal in 2014 FIFA World Cup, Brazil.

For once again, Lionel Messi’s individual brilliance had pulled Argentina out of their footballing anguish. A lot more thousands of supporters decked in the Albiceleste and refused to leave the spot. It seemed like, they just don’t want to miss a little moment from Mineirao stadium.

Mostly Argentina vs Iran match was quite a mediocre one for Alejandro Sabella‘s men. But the conclusion was more like a dream, especially after the starkly disappointing 90 minutes (without injury time).

It was clearly an ecstasy strike from the captain. The coach told the reporters from TYC sports,

“Having Messi, anything is possible”

But he also had to admit that the team performance did not really make him happy, as being desperate for glory from the Brazil world Cup.

Argentina vs Iran: As it happened

Mostly, Argentina’s starting tactics depend on two key factors. Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Segio Aguero and Angel Di Maria combine to fire a 4-3-3 setup that leans heavily on the counter attack. And the other one is to let the opponent to push forward, which leaves their holes exploited for the Argentines.

May be the resolute coach was not prepared enough for the upset. From the very beginning of the game, Iran set out to defend with up to eight or nine men in and around the box. They always picked their illustrious rival to come and get the win.

For a moment, it appeared like Argentina did not desire the victory. Each of their steps started to become labored and clumsy approaches. Although, Higuain looked the most likely to damage. But he must be unhappy seeing a one-on-one saved in the first half. And for most of the time Messi was starved of space. Which was enough for the Argentines to break down themselves.

Meanwhile, Aguero and Di Maria will have every reason to be disappointed with their performance in Argentina vs Iran match. None of their touches were creative or inventive to break open the opponent solid defense. Probably all of their possible passes went astray and the crosses flew over the heads all the time.

After a few more minutes in the Second half, Messi intervened with another majestic goal. But no result. Then it came for a situation, when Iran almost was taking on a victory, if not saved by Sergio Romero. Yes, of course, this kind of save can easily prove his critics wrong.

Think for moment!! Such a defeat could have precipitated a real crisis for the pre-World Cup favorites.

Now, two goals in two opening matches. Perhaps, Lio is trying to prove that he will not wilt under the pressure of a nation this time. But it is unfair to expect the spark in every games from one player, even from the Barcelona genius (Lionel Messi). They have to be cautious, as results cannot always revolve around the magic left foot of their captain. So it’s high time to find for plan B.

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Cristiano Ronaldo is ready to start against United States

Cristiano Ronaldo is ready to start against United States, Portugal hope, World Cup 2014, ready against US
Cristiano Ronaldo ; image credit pt.wikipedia.org

The United States football team is pretty much hopeful against Portugal. Especially after the Germany vs Portugal match. Pepe saw red card before the half time because of head butting Thomas Muller. And after that Muller just went on to a hat-trick. Germany won the match 4-0.

But one thing USMNT must be worried about. Portugal’s star player, Cristiano Ronaldo was not at his best that day. He is not even fit right now. But may be ready for the game. Portugal is hoping for the Real Madrid star to Start against US.

The World NO. 1 player of the year, Cristiano Ronaldo scored 31 goals in 31 La Liga games for Real Madrid this season. During the final weeks of this season he was attacked with a knee injury. And finally he carried it out to the World Cup 2014, Brazil.

Cristiano Ronaldo is ready against US:

Most obviously, this kind of injury is hampering the player’s performance. He is struggling against it and before that he is quite ineffective for the team, which in turn making the whole eleven weak.

Plenty of news (mostly rumors) are swirling about regarding the superstar’s present condition. Team Portugal is even denying to reports on him. Some say, Ronaldo’s doctor advised him to drop out of the World Cup. He needs more time to recover. Otherwise it can harm his total career. even if everybody feels, Cristiano Ronaldo is ready.

Still the team has yet to release anything official on Ronaldo’s status. They are hopeful for the good second start. Though Cristiano Ronaldo himself is confident about the game. Some say, he is inspired even with risking his future career for the World Cup event. As he mustn’t be wanting to watch the dream World Cup sitting. His teammates are also hopeful. Probably Cristiano Ronaldo is ready truly.

Miguel Veloso, one of his teammate tries to sum things up optimistic,

“I’m not a doctor but, from what I see, Ronaldo is fine. He is training, he is jumping and he is shooting. There is not much else to say”

Coach Jurgen Klinsmann remains wary of Ronaldo’s threat. He can only hope, nothing more. As they need to survive this match to continue the journey for the lucrative Cup.

The USMNT coach said,

“Now they will come into Manaus pretty angry and I don’t know how Ronaldo is going to perform when he is angry”

He expects from his team, they will show their opponent that how good they are.

These words sounds more like they are preparing for a fully fit Ronaldo. That means Klinsmann is unlikely to show signs of complacency. Fans of USMNT would be happy learning this. They are in fact with advantage, as they will be through to the knockout stage just winning this particular match. Especially after Germany had a draw against Ghana Saturday night. Cristiano Ronaldo is ready to overcome the disadvantages.

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Brazil Vs Colombia: Neymar Jr. is out of the world cup with the broken back

neymar injury, brazil vs colombia, neymar
The moment of agony: image via: www.independent.co.uk

The newspapers on 5th July said it all. On Friday night, The host Brazil may have reached the semi-final beating Columbia, but the full cost of their quarter-final victory was being counted. Neymar Jr, the 22 year old super star of this world tournament, the player has kept the weight of Brazilian expectation with calm and some extraordinary good grace, is out of the world cup with a fractured vertebra.

It put thousands of football fans in mourning while watching a newsstand to see image after image of Neymar in agony, being stretchered off the pitch. As Neymar departed down the tunnel, a hush of agony fell over the Fortaleza Stadium as well as over the fan parks across Brazil. The news on O Tempo said that Brazil won the game but lost his star. The Lance demanded in their front page,

“ Play for him”.

“The World Cup was Neymar’s dream and for years he has been thinking about it”,

Neymar’s friend and agent Wagner Ribeiro said.

Neymar was flown to Galeao air base, Rio de Janeiro after the match. Then he was taken by ambulance to Grange Comay Hospital in Teresopolis, the Brazil training base. Outside the hospital, hundreds of fans gathered holding the banners saying “ Forca Neymar”. The phrase also trended on Twitter by Brazil’s 1970 World Cup winning Captain Carlos Alberto Torres. Now, all Brazil is with Neymar with a hope of his recovery and return to the pitch soon.

brazil football, neymar foul, neymar injury
Neymar on strecher—-image via: www.usnews.com

There was a burst of anger among the fans alongside the sadness and the realization of what this might mean to Brazil in winning the world cup on home soil. The headline of Extra said it all,

“ COVARDIA-cowardice.”

The match possessed 54 fouls in total, more than in any other game at this World Cup. However, 31 of them were committed by Brazil. Rotating the offender to avoid cards, tactical fouling, have been the pattern of Brazil’s play throughout this World Cup. The hosts committed 28 of total 51 fouls in their last match against Chile, the second most fouls match of this tournament.

If there was anger in Brazil, there was even more fury in Colombia too. The newspaper Hoy, Diario del Magdalena was in doubt who was to blame for their defeat. It screamed on the front page accusing the Spanish referee.

The incident of the injury didn’t seem noteworthy in the context of a robust game. Zuniga leapt for a high ball while Neymar didn’t. In that, he failed with the Colombian Defender Zuniga making clean contact with the ball. The Spanish referee Carlos Carballo decided the challenge as clean. The defender’s knee caught Neymar in the back in this incident. It is difficult to say whether there was a deliberate attempt to injure or whether he was simply trying retaining the balance.

For Zuniga it was a normal action. He said,

”I never intended to cause harm the player, although we have to play tough on the field.”

The former Brazilian striker and the World Cup top scorer Ronaldo mentioned the action ‘very violent’. The phenomenon sent his condolences to Neymar saying the whole country is proud of him. The team is now determined to win the world Cup and dedicate to him.

However, winning the hexa with Neymar in the Hospital and Thiago Silva in the bench will be harder than anytime for this Brazil team.

Lets see .

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Germany’s World Cup history against Argentina

Argentina booked their place in the final of the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil, by defeating the Netherlands in the penalty shootout after 120 scoreless minutes on Wednesday. In Sunday’s historic clash Argentina’s will face the Giant Germany, who hammered the host Brazil in 7-1 victory.

Argentina vs Germany, THE HISTORY:

Argentina and Germany both have an extensive history in the World Cups. They have met 20 times in the past, but among them most notable are 1986 and 1990 World Cup finals meeting. Both of the finals are remembered as epic clashes in the World cup history.

The head-to-head:

With head-to-head nine wins and five draws, Argentina dominate the list, while Germany have won only six times. Despite of this there is an even goals balance (28 scored, 28 conceded) between these two giants.

The scenario is entirely different considering only competitive matches. In 2005 confederation cup the two sides drew scoring the result 2-2. The World Cup arena, they have fought six times. In that Germany won three times and twice they made the match draw. The Germans are commanding a record 11-5 goal difference with Argentina in the World Cup. In 1986 World Cup final, Argentina achieved their only World Cup win over Germany.

1986 World Cup Final:

In the final on 23th minutes Argentina was ahead with the goal from Jose Luis Brown. Jorge Valdano made the score 2-0 on 56 minutes. Then the ferocious Germany equalized the score when Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Rudi Voller netted 2 goals within seven minutes. On 81th minutes the score was 2-2.

argentina's world cup win, argentina vs germany,1986 world cup final
jorge burruchaga scoring the winning goal—–image via: futbol.about.com

It was a showdown between the Argentine Diego Maradona and the German Lother Matthaus. It was an epic battle for them while Matthaus seemed to have Maradona’s number throughout the match. With six minutes left on the watch, Jorge Burruchaga found Maradona’s assist to find the net and made the history for Argentina.

1990 World Cup Final:

Four years after the historic win in Maxico City, Argentina and West Germany met again in the World Cup final in Rome.

Argentine struggled throughout the tournament to reach the final. The luck was with them as they beat Yugoslavia in the quarterfinal and Italy in the semi on penalties. They entered the final with four players suspended.

It was a close game from the beginning. Then the drama started when the sub Pedro Monzon was sent off for Argentina on 65 minutes.

Then on 85 minutes the German striker Rudi Voller adjucted to have drawn a foul by Roberto Sensini in the penalty box. Andreas Brehme stepped to shot a penalty kick and he netted the ball from the bottom-left corner. It decided the fate of the final. The drama didn’t end there. Shortly thereafter, argentina’s Gustavo Dezotti got himself sent off the ground.

germany vs argentina, 1990 world cup final
Andreas Brehme’s penalty—–image via: randomnonsenseaboutthings.blogspot.com

The last meeting, 2010 World Cup, quarterfinal:

Germany and Argentina met again in the 2010 World Cup quarterfinal, with the coach Maradona and magician Lionel Messi. Young German Muller’s goal was only the beginning of a rout by the Germans, who were 4-0 winners on the day after Klose scored a brace and Arne Friedrich slotted the only goal of his international career. The great Maradona was later dismissed from his position.

Nevertheless, it was 1990 finals when the either team won the world cup. So it will be a great motivation for both team. Hopefully the final will be hugely entertaining for the football world.

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Mario Gotze: The World Cup Hero

In the World Cup final Mario Gotze took down Andre Schurrle’s pass on his chest and there was nonchalance in the manner with which he controlled and swept past the excellent Sergio Romero, from an unpromising angle. There was no sense of the potentially pivotal nature of the moment which could win Germany the World Cup.

mario gotze, mario gotze world cup goal, germany vs argentina
Mario Gotze’s score ——image via: www.sportsnet.ca

The 22-year-old’s sweet strike the first by a substitute not only to decide a World cup final but it remained the point when he finally silenced any dissent as regards to just how special he is. Unlike Lionel Messi, Mario Gotze is truly a player apart from most in the match.

In late 2009 as a 17-year-old boy, he made his first team debut for Borussia Dortmund. Sunday night’s contribution in Rio de Janeiro would be a career defining moment for him and he he already created a clutch of them while he was still a teenager at the club who nurtured him from boyhood.

Mario Gotze is remembered for his role in the February 2011 win at the Allianz Arena. It was Dortmund’s first away at Bayern Munich in 20 years. In BVB’s 3-1 win over Bayern, Gotze created two of them.

In Dortmund’s re-ascent to the summit of the German game, Mario Gotze is the name that glitters. Mario Gotze was growing his individual importance when some five weeks later his astonishing solo goal got Dortmund back on track in a home game against Hannover.

It was a notable aspect of his playing from very tender age that he has had the confidence in himself to take responsibility in the most testing and stressful situations. His inner belief allowed him to take the plunge and make the decision to join Bayern Munich in April 2013. In his first season in Bayern, he scored 10 goals and setting up eight more in 20 Bundesliga starts.

mario gotze, gotze in beyern
Mario Gotze in Bayern—–image via: www.theguardian.com

When the Coach Joachim Low brought in Miroslav Klose for the quarter-final against France, some claimed that Mario Gotze was the victim of this choice. Gotze’s reaction to his World Cup exclusion, showed his calm and sense of perspective. So did Mario Gotze’s actions after the final whistle at the Maracana.

Even in the moment of celebrating victory, he spared a thought for his good friend and former Dortmund teammate Marco Reus by parading a team shirt emblazoned with Reus’ name. Marco Reus missed out the german World Cup squad after suffering a serious ankle injury in a pre-tournament final against Armenia.

mario gotze, marco reus
Mario Gotze and Marco Reus, the best friends——-image via: www.bundesliga.com

There may be a strange and some controversial thought that Gotze might never have had the chance to make the impact if Reus hadn’t been injured. Even though they could work together in a devastating manner as they did at the Signal Iduna Park, it’s not hard to imagine that in Low’s decision there was hardly any room for only one of the pair in his squad.

Mario Gotze has indeed the instinct and talent to take centre stage when the time is right. So no wonder, Mario Gotze, the golden boy will reign German football until next World cup…

mario gotze, the world cup hero
Mario Gotze, the World Cup hero—–image via: www.thetimes.co.uk
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FIFA World Cup 2014 final: Germany vs Argentina; as it happened

Perhaps the football world has found the unchanged favorites. And the nation has just ripped Brazil’s dreams to shreds in the semifinals and also won its fourth World Cup after a tense 1-0 victory over Argentina in the FIFA World Cup 2014 final.

Mario Gotze’s strike ensured Germany’s 24-year thirst for the glory, at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium.

FIFA World Cup 2014 final: Germany vs Argentina; as it happened, winner 2014, World Cup 2014
World Cup 2014 Champions ; image credit www.dailymail.co.uk

For the Brazilians, FIFA World Cup 2014 final could have been calamitous. There was only one thing worse than their national team’s losing. And that thing is, their neighbor country Argentina to win the trophy. Surely that hung heavy over the fans at Maracana on Sunday.

There was actually no coronation for Lionel Messi and no party for Brazil’s greatest ever rivals, Argentina. Instead it was Germany, which celebrated its fourth World Cup title.

Many have said, no European side would or could ever win the World Cup on South America. But now we have to believe that there is always one team to refuse such proclamations.

Even words like ‘organized’, ‘machine’, ‘ruthless’, ‘efficient’ etc. would not be enough appropriate to describe this German side. The world have to admit the wonderful talent which passes through the veins of each and every player of this 2014 World Cup German squad. Germany has long threatened to rule the world football.

It came close in a tournament held in its own country. But they had to undergo the painful defeat by Italy at the semifinal stage in FIFA World Cup 2006.

In 2008, Germany was beaten in the final of the European Championships by Spain before the same opposition ended its World Cup dream in South Africa 2010.

The Germans have made it to the knockout stage in 16 consecutive World Cups. Still it’s their first trophy since 1990. And for the first time, they are the only European team to prevail in a World Cup in the Americas.

The German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said,

“We’re going to celebrate for at least five weeks now”

We can easily understand, how much did Brazilian fans want to see Argentina lose? After Götze scored in the 113th minute, plenty of fans in Brazil’s yellow jerseys in the stadium, erupted. Though this very team just eliminated Brazil from the tournament in the semifinals. But any team other than Argentina winning the trophy would please the home fans.

Obviously the winning team has been the team of the FIFA World Cup 2014.

Their opening game against Portugal, just indicated their urge for victory this time. And their mesmerizing 7-1 victory against Brazil in the semifinals probably ensured their final glory. they fit most for the FIFA World Cup 2014 final.

FIFA World Cup 2014 final: Germany vs Argentina; as it happened, Germany vs Argentina, Brazil World Cup 2014
Ozil trying for the breakthrough ; image credit commons.wikimedia.org

They have secured this win through guts and fights. Also a moment of magic was needed from one of its brightest new stars to overcome the most difficult hurdle for Germany. The Bayern Munich star Gotze provided the game’s defining moment. He took Schurrle’s pass on his chest and displayed the exquisite technique to volley the ball past Sergio Romero.

Finally, Argentina couldn’t find an equalizer for the 1990 World Cup 1-0 loose against West Germany.

Meanwhile, the Argentine fans and players have hung their heads. Lionel Messi is often praised as the best player in the world. And often being compared with Diego Maradona. But Messi has failed to gain universal acclaim in Argentina, where Diego Maradona at least delivered a World Cup title in 1986.

The golden ball has been given to him, but this honor of the most valuable player in the tournament is little comfort for the magical Messi. He just missed the opportunity to cement his legacy. Whatever he has already earned or will earn in future, but this could be his biggest achievement for lifetime!

Messi said,

“All I wanted was to raise the Cup. Right now, nothing else is important”

Probably, it was left to another wonderful talent and his left foot to steal the headlines from Messi with the decisive goal. And yes, off course Brazil can smile once again. Surely there is not enough beer in the entire country to distract from the prospect of an Argentine party on the Copacabana.

FIFA World Cup 2014 final: as it happened

Having scored seven in its previous game against Brazil, Germany began to wake from its slumber and only a fine save from Romero prevented Kroos’ fierce drive. It was surely supposed to nest at the corner.

Kroos’ corner dissected the Argentine defense. Benedikt Howedes also had flown through the air before sending a thunderous header against the post.

Just before a minute of the first half remaining, dramatic circumstances forced Romero to thank the woodwork as it seemed like Argentina is getting out of jail.

Germany constantly tried to regroup the South American side. They were eager to use the flanks to exploit a lack of pace in their opponent defense line.

Finally Argentina created the move, which was was thought to be the crucial breakthrough. From the right flank Ezequiel Lavezzi found some space and delivered the perfect cross for Higuain to fire from close range.

Everything was ok and perfect along with the celebration. But it did go again against the Argentines. As the flag of the assistant referee was held aloft after the forward was correctly adjudged to be offside.

Javier Mascherano grabbed his head in disbelief after seeing Higuaín’s first miss. And said,

“The pain will be for life because this was our opportunity”

Tired limbs and minds began to show down the pace of the contest. Both sets of players continuously failed to create any kind of chance for their own good.

Meanwhile Javier Mascherano was quite fortunate to escape a second yellow card. And Schweinsteiger was left with a blood pouring from his face after a clash with Sergio Aguero.

Even the extra time was slower. So, Penalties seemed inevitable.

Then, Germany finally seized its moment seven minutes before the end of the game. André Schürrle powered down the left side of the field and floated a tantalizing ball toward the six-yard box. Substitute, Götze showed good speed to arrive under the ball and chest it down. Lashed the ball past Romero and into the net. His teammates on the field and also on the side bench poured onto the field in delight.

FIFA World Cup 2014 final: Germany vs Argentina; as it happened, World Cup final, Brazil, 2014
just before the score ; image credit commons.wikimedia.org

Surely it was like dream becoming true.

Götze said,

“It is absolutely sensational, a dream became reality”

Also Argentina had a few last-ditch rushes up field. But they were unable to penetrate Neuer’s penalty area. The team was left with a final opportunity when Messi lined up a free kick from about 20 yards.

But there was no magic as Messi’s shot flew over the net. And so it was over. FIFA World Cup 2014 final found its result. Messi kicked the dirt up in the stands. The German fans as well as the Brazilians shouted out with glee. And Frustration was the only thing left for the Argentines.

Like they said, even with the miraculous Messi, Argentina was unable to take the game to penalties.

Such a thrilling finish could fit with a tournament that ended up being more about the games than pessimists had predicted earlier. But the organizers worry completely proved wrong. It didn’t happen like the last year’s Confederations Cup, which was marred by violent protests. Even after Brazil’s national team was embarrassed in the semifinal, also lost the third place game, forecasts of widespread tumult were never realized.

The Argentine president couldn’t be in Brazil. She had to decline an invitation from President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil for illness and a desire to celebrate her grandson’s first birthday. Chancellor Angela Markel of Germany and Russian president Vladimir Putin did make the trans-Atlantic trip. As Russia will host the upcoming FIFA World Cup in 2018. So. We have to wait another four years for another mesmerizing party, a total football party.

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World Cup Qualifying Teams 2014: who is there AND WHO WILL HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE NEXT

 

World Cup Qualifying Teams 2014
World Cup Qualifying Teams 2014

World Cup Qualifying Teams 2014

After all the play-offs been completed, each of available 32 hot seats at the Fifa 2014 World Cup in Brazil is filled now.

World cup 2014 will be staged in Brazil ( 12 host cities ) from

June 13 to July 13.

Now we can take closer look for the qualified teams from different continents.

Teams those can be considered lucky this time:

QUALIFIERS:

Africa:

| Algeria| Cameroon|Ghana| Ivory Coast| Nigeria|

Asia:

| Australia| Iran| Japan| South Korea|

 Europe:

| Belgium| Bosnia-Hercegovina| Croatia| England| France| Germany| Greece| Italy| Netherlands| Portugal |Russia| Switzerland| Spain|

North & Central America and Caribbean:

| Costa Rica| Honduras| United States| Mexico|

South America:

| Argentina| Brazil (hosts)| Colombia| Ecuador| Chile| Uruguay|

There are still some others who will have to wait only few four years to be considered lucky.

MISSED OUT:

Africa:

 *Angola* *Benin* *Botswana* *Burkina Faso* *Cape Verde* *Central African Republic** Congo* *Congo DR* *Egypt* *Equatorial Guinea* *Ethiopia* *Gabon* *Gambia* *Guinea* *Kenya* *Lesotho* *Liberia* *Libya* *Malawi* *Mali* *Morocco* *Mozambique* *Namibia* *Niger* *Rwanda* *Senegal* *Sierra Leone* *South Africa* *Sudan* *Tanzania* *Togo* *Tunisia* *Uganda* *Zambia* *Zimbabwe*

Asia:

*Iraq* *Lebanon* *Oman* *Qatar* *Uzbekistan*

Europe:

*Albania* *Andorra* *Armenia* *Austria* *Azerbaijan* *Belarus* *Bulgaria* *Cyprus* *Czech Republic* *Denmark* *Estonia* *Faroe Islands* *Finland* *Georgia* *Hungary* *Iceland* *Israel* *Kazakhstan* *Latvia* *Liechtenstein* *Lithuania* *Luxembourg* *Macedonia* *Malta* *Moldova* *Montenegro* *Norway* *Northern Ireland* *Poland* *Republic of Ireland* *Romania* *San Marino* *Scotland* *Serbia* *Slovakia* *Slovenia* *Sweden* *Turkey* *Ukraine* *Wales*

North & Central America and Caribbean:

*Jamaica* *Panama (from final group stage)*

South America:

*Bolivia* *Paraguay* *Peru* *Venezuela*

Now we can talk about the successful ones for winning dream for their motherlands.

Top scorers, sometimes as we can call them.

Africa: Asamoah Gyan (Ghana), Mohamed Aboutrika, Mohamed Salah (both Egypt) – six goals

Asia: Shinji Okazaki (Japan) – eight goals

Europe: Robin van Persie (Netherlands) – 11 goals

North & Central America and Caribbean: Deon McCauley (Belize) – 11 goals

South America: Luis Suarez (Uruguay) – 11 goals

Now considering for Africa Ghana can be taken as the top scorers with 18 goals in six group matches and managed 15 points, more than any other countries in their region. Though they had to suffer a loss(1-0) against Zambia. But at the end of the day it was never a problem for them anymore.

Probably Japan has qualified with the highest points tally from the group stages. So Iran can draw out the special mentioning from Asia. This team managed to top their group despite scoring 8 goals in 8 matches.

Belgium, England, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland these are the only seven teams those qualified without losing any game. But Germans and Dutch were exceptional two who made the record of : played 10, won nine, drawn one. Amazingly both received 28 points of possible 30..

 The United States made the maximum points from the qualifying group. Jurgen Klinsmann’s men lost to Jamaica, Costa Rica and Honduras along the journey to the final round.

If Brazil was not the host probably there were some others who would have needed a three way tussle between them. The three eventual group winners Argentina, Colombia and Chile. Every one of them finished with nine wins from 16 matches. But a remarkable 19 goals from Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain made the difference for Argentina,.

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Mario Balotelli: “England can’t win the World Cup”

Mario Balotelli, the Italian striker has already written off England’s chances of winning the World Cup 2014 in Brazil.

balotelli, Italy world cup
Mario Balotelli—-image via: en.wikipedia.org

In the opening game of the tournament Italy face England on June 14 in Manaus, Brazil. Mario Balotelli, the one of the most controversials has already begun to fan the flames ahead of the match by questioning the big-tournament mentality of England’s footballers.

Balotelli said,

” I don’t look at England as a team that can win the World Cup. They have some good players, but they are no real rivals for Italy.”

balotelli goal, italy national team
Balotelli vs England—-image via: en.wikipedia.org

The former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli will be aiming to damage England’s chances to march through a perilous group consisting Uruguay and Costa Rica. Mario Balotelli was notoriously famous for his erratic off-field antics during three years in England. In 2010, he joined Manchester city from Inter Milan for £24 million. Balotolli proved himself in the City scoring 30 goals in 49 appearances and helping them win the Barclays premier League, FA Cup and Community shield.

On 29 January 2013, Balotelli moved to AC Milan signing a four-and-a-half year deal which is worth of €20 million.

Mario Balotelli made his first appearance for Italy on 10 August 2010 in a friendly match against Ivory Coast. One year later, Balotelli found the net making his first international goal. So far he scored 12 goals in 29 caps for Italy. Certainly Balotelli’s holding the power –torch of attack for Italy in this World Cup.

Mario Balotelli was on the Italian expectation to Euro 2012 and played a leading role in the tournament. Right from the opening group stage he contributed to the Italy’s qualification for the final stages with a magnificent overhead shot against Ireland in the last minute.

balotelli, balotelli goal celebration
Balotelli’s goal celebration vs Germany in Euro 2012—–image via: soomaalidamaanta.com

When Italy met England in the quarter finals, Mario scored the first of the penalties after 120 minutes that decided the match.

In the semi final against Germany Mario Balotelli scored two fantastic goals and his extraordinary performance placed him in the hearts of all Italian fans.

The 23-year-old striker is confident that Italy will kick off their World Cup campaign with a victory over England.

‘In the opening game we have to respect England because it is important to get off to a good start,’

he said.

‘They have maybe two or three players who can hurt us, but we feel well prepared for the tournament and expect to start off with a win.’

The two teams, Italy and England met each other in the World Cup five times. With 3 wins Italy will be the favourite one, while England has 1 win and 1 match remained a draw.

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FIFA WORLD CUP 2014 GROUP OF DEATH : FROM DEADLY TO DEADLIEST

FIFA WORLD CUP 2014 GROUP OF DEATH

A group of death in a multi-stage tournament is a group which is unusually competitive as the number of tough competitors in the group is greater than the number of qualifying places available for the next phase of the tournament. The unofficial term was first used for groups in the FIFA World Cup tournaments. It is now also used in other association football tournaments and other sports.

FIFA WORLD CUP 2014 GROUP OF DEATH : FROM DEADLY TO DEADLIEST

 

In what’s being billed as the strongest and deepest World Cup ever, 12 nations in particular could lay claim to their group being the despised “Group of Death”.

 

GROUP OF DEATH: Group B (Netherlands, Chile, Australia,Spain)

Combined FIFA ranking: 84.

Chile’s the wild card here. They’re a nation that’s rarely kept off the scoresheet and add a certain scare factor for even clubs as talented as Spain and the Netherlands. The Dutch went easily qualifying while Spain’s only qualification hiccups were draws versus Finland and France. On the other hand Australia has to be feeling a great deal of hard luck.

 

GROUP OF DEADLY DEATH: Group D (Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy)

Combined FIFA ranking: 57

Group D will find Luis Suarez going against the nation who hosts his domestic team. The Uruguay which is also known as La Celeste boast World Cup titles from long ago (1930, 1950) and South American teams certainly have an advantage on European competition. They may have just peeped into the Tournament but Uruguay came within penalty kicks of a Confederations Cup win over the Italians last summer. Both England and Uruguay have twice played in the World Cup and each side winning while Uruguay purchased a 4-2 goals advantage.However that was a long time ago.

Costa Rica is UNCAF’s best nation and boasts victories over both the United States and Mexico in qualifying.

2014-FIFA-World-Cup

GROUP OF DEADLIEST DEATHLY DEATH: Group G (United States, Germany, Ghana,Portugal)

Combined FIFA ranking: 45

Group G is shaping up to be one of the toughest in the World Cup after Germany, Ghana, the United States and Portugal were all put together. It was always going to be a difficult one in terms of travel, with the remaining team in the group having the longest travel of any team in the World cup — that went to the U.S. — and it was made even tougher by a heaped group. Ghana, the U.S. and Portugal are all arguably the best teams from their pots and Germany is one of the favorites.

 

Behind the high level of competitiveness, Group G is also going to attract a lot of attention because it features Cristiano Ronaldo. This Portuguese superstar almost single-handedly led his team to the World Cup with dominant performances against Ibrahimovic’s Sweden in the UEFA playoffs.

To become successful in Brazil, CR7 is going to need some help undoubtedly. The side certainly didn’t get it from the draw, so it will be up to the performance of Hugo Almeida, Nani and Joao Moutinho to maintain their form so opponents can’t focus simply on slowing down Ronaldo.

The American squad is led by manager JurgenKlinsmann, led both the German national team and Bayern Munich. He is going to understand what the Mannschaft want to do and at least give the U.S. side a bit of determination.

Klinsmann talked about his team’s fortunes after the draw ended, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com):

“Obviously it’s one of the most toughest groups in the whole draw, having Portugal with Cristiano Ronaldo and then Ghana, who has a history with the United States. It couldn’t get any more difficult or any bigger. It’s a real challenge. And we’ll take it. We’ll take it on, and hopefully we’re going to surprise some people there.”

Ghana may be one of the best teams in Africa, but they haven’t been at their best for a long time. The aging of Michael Essien, as well as injuries and lack of form by some of their stars have left them susceptible.

The starting match of the group will see Germany play Portugal on June 6 in Salvador and it should be a pleasure. Even if Portugal don’t win, and they are long shots to do so, watching Ronaldo go up against a team as good as Germany will be a treat. At that moment, he is undoubtedly the best player in the world  andOzil, Kroos, Muller, Gotze and Reus on the other hand will be as good as it gets.