Football fever is almost here, with just three months to go before we hit the first stage matches of World Cup 2018. We’ll take a look at some of the main teams to watch out for, from a local perspective of course. In no particular order, we present to you Singapore’s top 10 favourite teams in this World Cup.
It seems that every mother’s son in Singapore LOVES talking about the English Premier League. Therefore, we definitely have to keep our eyes and hearts on England, despite their rather poor performance in the World Cup all this time. With the removal of Rooney, England is going into this competition with a much younger team. Let’s see if 20 year old Marcus Rashford can carry them this time and end England’s run as being the butt of “The English team can’t beat anybody” jokes.
Who doesn’t love La Roja? Xavi retiring dealt a big blow to the team, but star players David Silva and Isco are still there. Spain’s going to have to rely on a more mobile game plan now, so it should be interesting to watch how they adapt to the big stage in the coming World Cup.
The defending champions, and the winning team that Andy’s dad betted on. The Germans have always been a juggernaut on the football field, with ruthless efficiency and seemingly unending stamina. Much of the team is still intact, and manager Joachim Low is still here to stay. We can say that their chances of winning are actually pretty good. In the entire history of the World Cup, only Italy has won twice in a row before, so let’s see if Germany can create a new record this time round.
Let’s face the facts: South Korea is in a pretty bad place and some would say that they got lucky in their qualifying rounds. Their odds are not great as they have a relatively inexperienced manager and a lack of talented players. Even their own countrymen don’t really have much faith in the current team. With that said, Singaporeans LOVE their Asian teams, so we’re all hoping that South Korea will pull a miracle and at least win a few rounds. Speaking of Asian teams…
Manager Vahid Halilhodzic has turned Japan’s traditional approach of playing for possession upside down and instead advocates for a more aggressive strategy based on counterplay. It’s a big gamble, as it meant dropping star players Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa because they just didn’t fit in this strategy. Let’s see if it pays off for our East Asian friends.
With the immense star power of Lionel Messi, Argentina is a team that you should not and cannot miss. Sadly, this will probably be the last time Messi is competing on the big stage, along with whole bunch of senior players on the team. Argentina has always boasted a powerful offense, so their games will never be boring to spectate. A great team to watch even if you know nothing about football!
France is in a very good place this time round, with a star-studded cast of big names like Pogba, Varane, and Lloris. Their manager Didier Deschamps has a stellar track record as well. Their only weakness is their famed lack of unity and tendency for infighting. Let’s see if Deschamps can keep his players in order and win this World Cup.
They have Cristiano Ronaldo, possibly the single most famous active football player right now. Even my parents know who he is. You really don’t need another reason to add Portugal to your watch list.
It’s really difficult to think of a World Cup without Brazil being a strong contender. Brazil is almost synonymous with the World Cup itself, and their stellar track record backs this up. Despite a rather embarassing 1-7 loss to Germany in the last World Cup, Brazil looks well-positioned to win it this time round (as usual). If that isn’t good enough of a reason, then just watch them for Neymar.
Belgium has never had a great track record, only making it as far as the quarterfinals in recent years. This time round, they were unbeaten and scored 43 goals in the qualifying rounds, making them one of the highest ranking teams. Roberto Martinez is going to take this star-studded team and do something great with it. Let’s see if Belgium is going to make history this year!