Top 5 Nations That Think They Will Win The 2014 World Cup
5 Nations That Think They Will Win The 2014 World Cup
The greatest sporting spectacle in the world is a mere four months away, and host nation Brazil has been working overtime in order to prepare itself for the 2014 World Cup. With the Brazilian people voicing their discontent of the vast gap in wealth, combined with fears over fan safety and stadiums being ready in time, Brazil is in a race against time.
Although uncertainty is rife in South America's biggest country, one thing is certain: the rest of the world is giddy with anticipation. Starting on June 12 in Sao Paolo, the world-famous Brazilian National Team will open the tournament against Luka Modric and Croatia, a game that the "Samba Boys" will be expected to win in style.
The popularity of the World Cup is legendary, so much so that an estimated 715.1 million people watched the final match between Italy and France when Germany hosted the tournament back in 2006. Broadcast to 204 countries on 245 different channels, the World Cup is without equal in the sporting world and provides some of the best entertainment around.
To nations like the aforementioned Italy and Brazil, the World Cup has become a source of national pride, and the two share nine of the famous golden globe trophies between them, with Italy triumphing four times compared to Brazil's five. The beauty of the World Cup, though, is that the majority of the nations that qualify have no expectations of actually winning.
For countries like Australia or Iran, and even the United States, the chance to compete outweighs any expectations of actually lifting the trophy. Chances are, most nations that participate will probably never win a World Cup in their history, but here are the top five that think they will in 2014.
The Italian National Team has won the renowned tournament four times in its history, and only them and Brazil hold the honor of winning back-to-back trophies in the history of the World Cup, winning their first and second in 1934 and 1938.
Triumphs in 1982 and 2006 followed before an embarrassing group stage exit in South Africa in 2010 left many thinking the Azzurri needed a serious face-lift. Coach Cesare Prandelli has done just that during his four-year reign, and with striker Mario Balotelli and maestro Andrea Pirlo expected to lead the attack, the Italians should be considered favorites despite being drawn into a tough group with England, Uruguay and Costa Rica.
Spain has been a dominant force in international competition ever since they won the 2008 Euro Cup in Austria-Switzerland. The Furia Roja have drawn mainly on a talented contingent of Barcelona and Real Madrid stars, and went on to win the 2010 World Cup and 2012 Euro Cup.
These accolades speak for themselves, and the Spaniards are looking to be the first team ever to win four straight tournaments. Expect the current world no. 1 to make a deep run in Brazil.
Die Mannschaft are historically one of the most competitive teams ever, and brought three World Cup trophies back to Germany in 1954, 1974 and 1994. The current crop of Germans is youthful, but is led by world-class players like Mesut Ozil and captain Philipp Lahm.
Striker Miroslav Klose's 14 World Cup goals means he is tied for second with former German legend Gerd Muller in the list of top World Cup goalscorers, and the 35-year-old is only two goals away from topping the list. The Germans have finished in third place during the last two World Cups, but are definite favorites to win it all this year.
Brazil's sworn rivals to the south will be surely be the most supported team outside of the host nation and have arguably the best weapon of all: Lionel Messi. The three-time World Player of the Year has finally found his form for Argentina, and it couldn't have come at a better time.
But Messi isn't the only phenomenal player that Argentina has at their disposal. With the likes of Sergio Aguero, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Gonzalo Higuain,, La Albiceleste have a stronger case than most to win their third World Cup on enemy soil.
The hopes of millions of soccer-crazed Brazilians fall on the shoulders of head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari and his flashy, hard-hitting troops. So no pressure, right? Add that to the fact that they are the host nation and boast talents like Neymar and Thiago Silva, and the Brazilians' expectations are through the roof.
Failure is not an option for the Selecao, and winning the tournament may be the only way to calm the growing anger that is gripping the Brazilian public. Whether Brazil will thrive off of the pressure or not remains to be seen, but don't bet against them winning their sixth title at a rocking Maracana Stadium.