The 2018 World Cup will be kicking off next month and I have decided to sit and put down my two pence on what I think we can expect from the overall performance of each squad. I have been keeping track of every team in the competition already, but this article will focus on what we know about the majority of squads. The World Cup teams are definitely a motley bunch of people with their diverse and distinct play styles. Let’s flesh out the portrait of all those participants that are now eager to join the competitive fray and see what this is all about.
Russia has found a new manager in the face of Stanislav Cherchesov. Since his arrival, the reshuffling of the team has been quite evident with Viktor Vasin and Fedor Kudryashov joining the team along with Spartak Moscow’s Georgi Dzhikiya.
But with the addition of fresh faces, Mr Cherchesov has been somewhat intransigent in chucking out old players. Perhaps the most noteworthy mention of an expert member is Igor Denisov who has been reportedly at loggerheads with Cherchesov before the two met again in the national team.
Still, Russia sports an array of strong strikes, including the siblings Aleksei and Anton Miranchuk. Fyodor Smolov and Aleksandr Kokorin performed well during 2017 and they were instrumental to Russia’s successes.
Talking about World Cup teams, we cannot leave out Spain. La Roja is very much in a great shape even if recent tournament show-ups have not really confirmed their football prowess. Their current manager, Julen Lopetegui has been able to lead the team to a qualification in Russia. He successfully brought onboard the full roster of the team as well. David De Gea, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, and others, are just a few of the stars Spain will be fielding at the tournament.
France is particularly well-prepared for the event. In the words of their coach Didier Deschamps “We are not at the same level as Germany, Spain and Brazil – yet.” The self-realisation paired with the team’s experience is quite telling that we may expect a fierce game from the Blues.
The midfield stands tall with Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante playing that section of the field. France may be at their weakest when they lose the initiative, but the team has a specific way of building momentum.
Many will say that Argentina is no Brazil, and they will be right. However, the team has a roster of well-seasoned players who are prepared to take on challenges, such as they are. Lionel Messi is definitely looked up as the person who will turn any tide in favour of Argentina, and this is precisely where the team may be lacking. Most squads rely on a versatility of players whereas Argentina’s relatively focused on a handful of players. Messi’s also unlikely to play past the 2018 World Cup as he intends to formally call it quits from international football.
With their new manager at the helm, Brazil’s transformation since the last World Cup drubbing to Germany has been quite remarkable. Tite bearly has 20 games with the team, but they have been performing brilliantly on the field. Neymar, Casemiro, and Gabriel Jesus have all managed to work out a way and play together. In a team dominated by so much talent, it is understandable why players would want to stand out.
However, Tite’s been able to communicate the cohesive team spirit, which keeps Brazil ahead. The full-backs Dani Alves and Marcelo are not to be underestimated. And so are Renato Augusto and Paulinho, who some say are Tite’s favourites. Still, sources have revealed that Tite is still doubting his roster despite the positive results he has been getting.
Germany is one of the outright favourites to clinch victory in the upcoming 2018 World Cup. Teams have their ups and downs, but Germany has been steadily on the up. It qualified for the event by winning 10 out of 10 games. The national team’s last defeat was against France during the Euro 2016 semi-finals, but they have not lost ever since. It would be difficult to call the outcome of the World Cup, but Germany will be near the top.
Some of the teams’ notable players include Manuel Neuer, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Ilkay Gundogan, Marco Reus, among others. With strong midfield, Germany will do the thing it does best – exercise control without having to compromise its attack or defence.
The Other Teams
There is hardly a team that doesn’t deserve a mention. Croatia, Poland, Iran and England all promise to be strong opponents. Belgium is rumoured to be underdogs who will be able to make it to the very quarter-finals in the 2018 World Cup, too. What happens next is imminent. And we will be here to check it out.