The most anticipated and watched sporting event – FIFA Football WC is just round the corner commencing from 12th June 2014 and to be held in the football crazy land of the samba boys, Brazil.
In all 32 teams (including the host) will participate in the football extravaganza. Brazil 2014 WC is going to be the costliest ever with an estimated cost of around $ 14 billion surpassing the $ 6 billion of Germany 2006 WC.
So, 8 groups of 4 teams each, will play the group stages. Top 2 teams from each group will qualify for the round of last 16. Winner of these rounds will enter the quarter finals followed by semi-finals and then the coveted finals on 13th July 2014.
Out of the 8 groups, Group D and Group G look the toughest.
England: One of the most followed and watched football team (and the most hyped?) in the world with a galaxy of superstars who have made their name in leagues around the world. They have won the WC once. Names such Rooney, Gerrard, Lampard are the old warhorses of England but would also be carrying with them some painful memories of WC exits especially penalty shoot – outs.
Italy: The Azzurri team is the second most successful football team ever having won the WC 4 times is also one of the most defensively strong team
Uruguay: 2 times champions are a dangerous side on their own day and also have the in-form Luis Suarez with them.
Costa Rica: A dangerous side and the 3rd most successful side in the CONCACAF cup.
Germany: 3 time world champions, have qualified for 17 / 19 world cups. They have some of the best talents in their team. Last WC in South Africa threw up names such as Mesut Ozil & Thomas Mueller for Germany. They would be leading from the front this time round.
Portugal: A talented bunch led by Cristiano Ronaldo.
United States of America: Although not won a single WC yet, they are still a dangerous side with players who have experience in playing for various leagues world wide
Ghana: They are one of the most successful African teams and have a good set of players
We will have a look at some exciting young talent that will be at display during the WC and some that missed the bus.
- Thibaut Courtois: Chelsea/Belgium
19 year old goalkeeper standing at 6’6” is currently on loan to Atletico Madrid from Chelsea. He has been one of the main reasons for their success. He is youngest keeper ever to represent Belgium and one player to look out for.
- Wilfried Zaha: Manchester United/England.
This young winger is one of the rising stars of international football. He was overlooked by Moyes and was sent on loan to Cardiff City where he proved his worth. He misses out
3. Raphael Varane: Real Madrid/France
He is currently one of the best centre-back in world football who can also play as holding midfielder and one to watch out for.
- Lucas Moura: PSG/Brazil
PSG paid a whopping Euro 45 million for this young midfielder who has not let them down. He is a creative midfielder who can also fit in at the no.10 role
- Stephan El Shaarawy: AC Milan/Italy
This young striker has blossomed at AC Milan this year after the departure of Ibrahimovic. He is expected to give Italy the cutting edge and form a deadly partnership with Mario Balotelli.
- Andre Schurrle: Chelsea/Germany
Schurrle can play both as winger and as a forward. He is another talent that has emerged from the German football factory and has given Chelsea a lot of important goals in this season.
- James Rodriguez: Monaco/Colombia
Monaco paid Euro 37 million for this wonder kid and has been a revelation for them. He is one to look out for this WC.
- Thiago Alcantara: Barcelona/Spain
He is considered to be of same class of Xavi and Iniesta and a perfect replacement for them. He is a very skilled player and people are waiting to watch him in action.
- Marco Verratti: PSG/Italy
This young defensive midfielder is highly rated player and many clubs around the globe are interested in signing him.
10. Marco Rues: Borussia Dortmund/Germany
This creative midfielder is highly rated player and one to look out for.
11. Eliaquim Mangala: Porto/France
Mangala is the most sort after centre-back in football circuit currently. He is a rock solid player at the back of France and gives them the stability they require.