World Cup 2014 Preview

Every four years the world’s attention comes together for the most popular sport – soccer.  More precisely our attention falls on the World Cup.  In 2014 the home of the Samba Kings, Brazil, will host the month long soccer tournament.  Despite the waves of protests that have been going on within that country I’m sure that the tournament will turn out to be one that we remember for a long time.

Thirty-two of soccer’s strongest national squads will be there defending their country’s soccer pride.  Starting with the opening game on June 12 that sees host Brazil face off against Croatia the tournament starts off with round robin matches that sees the numbers reduced to 16 teams and then the tournament continues with lose and you’re out games until only two are left standing on Sunday, July 13.

Like most World Cups there are a few favourites going in like the defending champs Spain, host Brazil, the always strong Germany, and the Messi-led Argentina.  The next tier of teams include soccer power houses like England, Italy,  Netherlands, Greece, and Portugal along with up and comers Switzerland, Columbia, and Uruguay.  Next up come strong sides like France, Chile, Belgium, and Russia.  The underdogs include Mexico, USA, Ecuador, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovenia, Costa Rica, Algeria, and Cote D’Ivoire.  Those just along for the ride are Korea, Japan, Cameroon, Australia, Nigeria, Iran, Ghana, and Honduras.

Each team has stars that are worth a watch.  The USA has midfielder Michael Bradley and keeper Tim Howard, Argentina has forward Lionel Messi and forward Sergio Aguero, Belgium has defender Vincent Kompany and midfielder Eden Hazard, Bosnia-Herzegovina has forward Edin Dzeko, Brazil has forward Neymar and defender Dani Alves, Cameroon has forward Samuel Etoo, Côte D’Ivoire has forward Didier Drogba and midfielder Yaya Toure, Croatia has midfielder Luka Modric, Ecuador has midfielder Edison Mendez, England has forward Wayne Rooney and midfielder Steven Gerrard, France has keeper Hugo Lloris and midfielder Yohan Cabaye, Germany has midfielder Mesut Oezil and forward Miroslav Klose, Ghana has midfielder Michael Essien and midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah, Greece has midfielder Georgios Karagounis, Italy has keeper Gianluigi Buffon and forward Mario Balotelli, Japan has forward Shinji Kagawa, Korea has forward Chuyoung Park, Mexico has forward Javier Hernandez and forward Giovani Dos Santos, Netherlands has forward Robin Van Persie and forward Arjen Robben, Nigeria has midfielder John Obi Mikel, Portugal has forward Cristiano Ronaldo and forward Nani, Uruguay has forward Luis Suarez and forward Diego Forlan, Australia has forward Tim Cahill, and Spain has keeper Iker Casillas and defender Sergio Ramos.  These plus some newer players will come into the spotlight like Belgium’s Adnan Januzaj, England’s Raheem Sterling, Germany’s Andre Schuerrle, France’s Moussa Sissoko, and Spain’s Jordi Alba.

Once the very first whistle is blown the drama, passion, skill and intensity will commence.

Additional Information:

-Dates:  June 12-July 13, 2014

-Website:  www.fifa.com

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