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FIFA 2014: Teams to Watch Out For

Packed with talent and power, they will be a force to reckon

Published: Jun 9, 2014 06:48:18 AM IST
Updated: Jun 3, 2014 03:00:36 PM IST
FIFA 2014: Teams to Watch Out For
Image: Getty Images

Some of the smaller nations at the World Cup have grafters and workmen, but Belgium is blessed with pure talent and imposing physique in equal measure. Fleet-footed youngsters like Thibaut Courtois, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard are complemented by powerful, experienced leaders in Vincent Kompany, Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen. It’s actually no surprise that a team with stars from Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Napoli and Atletico Madrid topped their qualifying group and are ranked above World Cup stalwarts France and the Netherlands.

FIFA 2014: Teams to Watch Out For
England go into the World Cup under relatively little pressure and this could be a blessing; after their disastrous outing in South Africa, many feel it can’t get any worse. If Roy Hodgson unshackles his quick, skillful talents—Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling, Ross Barkley, Adam Lallana, Leighton Baines and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain— we could see England give their tough group a really good go. It will be interesting to see how star forward Wayne Rooney is used, considering his underperformance in big tournaments.

FIFA 2014: Teams to Watch Out For
Ivory Coast
One of the unfortunate things about the 2010 World Cup, held in South Africa, was the disappointing show of African teams. The Ivory Coast got a tough group draw, including both Brazil and Portugal. A much more even group in 2014 will give the physically dominant Ivorian team a better chance to impose themselves. Manchester City’s linchpin Yaya Toure, Swansea’s revelation Wilfried Bony and talismanic captain Didier Drogba will lead a powerful yet deft attacking unit.

FIFA 2014: Teams to Watch Out For
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Serbia and Croatia may have flown the flag for a talent-packed Balkan region in recent times, but with established European stars like Edin Dzeko, Vedad Ibisevic, Miralem Pjanic and Asmir Begovic, expect Bosnia & Herzegovina to push for qualification to the knock-out stages. Though they were able to top an easy qualifying group, they have a potent attack that group-mates and favourites Argentina cannot underestimate.

Images : Getty Images

(This story appears in the 13 June, 2014 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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  • Vijay Maskara

    do not want to comment who will win, but keep alive excitement.

    on Jun 10, 2014
  • Blingcy Jeff

    I think belguim we go a bit far

    on Jun 10, 2014