The day we have been waiting for is finally here. The 4-year wait is over. The countdown clocks have clicked down towards zero.
Although this World Cup seems cursed because of the number of injuries and absentees, it can be argued that all of these setbacks merely add to the overall intrigue. Without all the big names such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marco Reus, Franck Ribery, Samir Nasri, Radamel Falcao to name a few, opportunity will be given to newly-come players to shine and light the football feast on fire.
So, what I suggest is, though we will miss them, let’s not focus on who won’t be appearing at this World Cup and rather concentrate on those who will actually be in Brazil to make the show.
The official kick off is in a couple of hours now, with a very interesting clash between hosts Brazil and Croatia.
I won’t bore you with the dates and figures and I’ll keep it short. La Selecao, who has won the World Cup 5 times, is one of the favourite teams to win it this year. Scolari’s men are very confident after their Confederations Cup triumph last summer and are also expected to be the most fresh team in the competition as they qualified automatically.
Croatia. What can I say about Croatia? I’m not really convinced they’ll be able to win this first match against Brazil as some people have been saying all day. The last time Croatia really blew my mind was in 1998 when they finished third. I really didn’t see that coming. But since then, what happened? In 2002 and 2006 they didn’t progress out of the group stage and didn’t even qualify for 2010 in South Africa. What makes me doubt more is the absence of Mandzukic tonight due to a red card received against Iceland. However, The Blazers won both of their last two warm-up matches against Mali at home and Australia in Brazil. They will definitely rely on the duo Rakitic and Modric to extend their undefeated streak and try to qualify for the knock-out stages.
Well people, I wish you a wonderful football month.. Enjoy the opening fixture.. I’ll stop by from time to time after the group phases!
Oh and tonight? I predict a victory for Brazil, 3-1.