The 21st edition of the most popular sporting extravaganza is underway, and the footballing icons are gracing the stage in Russia. FIFA World Cup takes place once in every four years, and 32 teams from around the globe take part in it. The last edition of the game was won by Germany, a 1-0 victory over Argentina in extra time. With top contenders of different teams are competing for the trophy, it is difficult to predict a winner. However, some teams are inevitably better than others, and on that basis, we have prepared a list of contenders for the highest prize in football.
The reigning champion Germany looks incredibly strong both on paper and on the pitch. This time, they have upgraded their attack with Werner, Reus, and Gomes who may give a hard time to their opponents in the finals and retain the trophy. However, the downfall is that the team’s No.1 goalkeeper Neuer has made a comeback after a layoff of 8 months, and defensive pair of Boateng and Hummels struggled with injuries a few days before the tournament started.
Argentina is one of the strongest teams that is expected to go all the way to win the title. They were the finalist in the 2014 editions, and that’s why they are believed to lift the trophy this season. However, their recent 6-0 defeat at the hands of Spain indicates that the team needs to improve their performance if they desire to be crowned as the winners.
Although the French football team lost the final of Euro 2016 to Portugal, they still have enough potential to destroy their opponents in the World Cup finals. Antoine Griezmann will lead the team from the front alongside Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud, and Nabil Fekir. The defense stars like Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtiti can give strikers a nightmare.
Brazil has been the winners of the World Cup for five times, and it remains people as well as bookies favorite to win the World Cup this time too. The team members have great balance and quality, but might not be able to stand against Spain who has too many players that have won big titles in recent championships. However, world-class striker Neymar will shine as he always does and walks away with Player of the Tournament award. Brazil has the supremely experienced Marcelo and Thiago Silva in the defense who may pose threats to their opponents.
The star-studded Spanish football team lifted the FIFA World Cup in 2010. But they failed to qualify from the group stage in WC2014 after losing to Brazil in the Confederations Cup 2013 and were knocked out by Italy in Euro 2016 in the round of 16. However, they are expected to appear in the finals and win the game due to players like Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba who have years of experience in their positions.
Other teams like Belgium, England, and Portugal are strong as well, but they are more of dark horses and not true contenders. The chances of Australia winning the title are very low as they haven’t won any tournament till now. However, they finished second and third in FIFA Confederations Cup held in 1997 and 2001 respectively.
In order to win the World Cup, the teams need to finish in the top two in their four-team group, and then gain victory in four consecutive knockout games. Football is a pretty unpredictable game, and that’s why all these predictions might go wrong. So, who do you think will lift the coveted trophy on 15th July?
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