International football doesn’t normally excite me. But my football initiation was through the 1994 World Cup and this tournament has a special spot in my heart. I am looking forward to South Africa 2010, even at the risk of irritating Arsene 😛
The draw was held last Friday and I believe most of you will have seen that by now. If not, the following image provides details of the groups and here you can see how the knockout rounds are structured.
My favorite teams are Spain and Argentina. Not favorites to win the world cup, but as teams that I like watching. Spain though, are favorites to win as well but I doubt Argentina will win anything with Maradona in charge.
England, I must admit, is one of the teams I dislike. Mainly because of players like Rooney, Ferdinand, et al. Moreover, they have a tendency to hire really defensive managers like Eriksson and Capello.
The first thought in my mind was to look for the group of death. In this case, group G stands out. Even D is a little tough as all the teams are quite good. It’s unfortunate that the best African teams have found themselves in difficult groups. I really want to see how they perform in the later stages of the tournament.
The first round looks quite easy for teams like Argentina, France, England, Spain and Italy. Germany and Brazil will have some work to do right from the first round. Even the Dutch will have some tricky encounters.
The second round is not likely to be easy for anyone, but Argentina and France, if they top their groups, might have less worries than the rest. France have been really lucky and the footballing gods haven’t taken the controversy into consideration. England, Spain and Italy might have the toughest games in the second round.
If everything goes by the form book, the quarter finals could look like Spain-Italy, Brazil-Netherlands, England-France and Germany-Argentina. Of course, there will be some upsets and any team that can take the place of one of these giants will certainly be a dark horse. I think Ghana, Ivory Coast, Denmark, Serbia and United States can be the surprise teams.
I am really hoping Spain can go all the way this year. They are certainly the best team in terms of the beauty of the game. Even Argentina, Brazil and the Netherlands can’t beat the quality of their football at the moment. It will also be a great result for El Capitan.
Who do you see winning the world cup?