Manuel Veth –
This year’s World Cup promises to be a thrilling renewal of the world’s favourite football tournament. The first World Cup to be held in Eastern Europe, it features most of the world’s best players and there are a number of teams in with a real chance of lifting the golden trophy.
Top of the pile at the time of writing is Brazil. Many online sportsbooks make them the favourites to win the tournament and football punters who bet on Stakers.com will find that the Brazilians are strongly fancied to kick off with a win against Switzerland on June 17.
Of course, winning the World Cup takes a huge amount of skill, determination and a little luck and there are many challenges standing in Brazil’s way. Germany; the team that eliminated them from the tournament in humiliating fashion four years ago will be the most formidable obstacle, but a resurgent Spain, a supremely talented France, Lionel Messi’s Argentina and Cristiano Rolando’s Portugal will offer stern opposition. But though it will be tough, Brazil have a great chance of winning the tournament. Here are three key factors in their favour:
Abundance of talent
Brazil qualified for this year’s World Cup in some style and displayed a freewheeling, uninhibited style of football that had experts invoking the legendary Brazilian sides of Garrincha, Pele and Socrates. Brazil have always been able to draw from a formidable depth of football talent, but this year’s crop of stars looks rich even by their standards. Injury-permitting, Brazil’s squad could include Neymar, Gabriel Jesus, Philippe Coutinho, Willian and Roberto Firmino; a staggering array of attacking talent.
After the often cautious approach of his predecessor, Brazil’s manager Tite has produced a team that plays in that traditional Brazilian style. He has eschewed the compromises that have often hampered Brazilian teams and has found a way to integrate the biggest talents in a cohesive system that is both effective and attractive to watch. The formidable forward line is supported by marauding full-backs Marcelo and Dani Alves, while goalkeepers Alisson and Ederson are two of the world’s best custodians.
The record of South American teams in World Cups held on European soil is not good. In fact, the Brazilians of 1958 remain the only team from the Americas to win the tournament in Europe. But with so many of this current crop of players earning their money in Europe, the South Americans won’t be at a significant disadvantage.
The road to World Cup glory can be a rough one and if Brazil are to get to their destination, they will have to avoid complacency and remain patient when playing against teams determined to defend. However, the Brazilian squad is full of experienced players who know how to win on the big stage and if they all play to their potential, Brazil could win the World Cup for the sixth time.
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others works for the Bundesliga and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.