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Team Portugal in World Cup Football

by on June 24, 2010
in FIFA, Football teams

Cristiano Ronaldo

The Portuguese National team made its debut appearance at the 1966 World Cup… over thirty years after the tournament first began. They stormed into the World Cup scene and managed to take third place that same year. Sadly, that has been Team Portugal’s best showing to date. Still, this year’s tournament will make only their fifth attempt to reach the finals of World Cup play. Perhaps they are just working their way up the ranks slowly?

Selecção das Quinas (the team’s nickname) qualified for the 1966 Cup and, as mentioned before, shook up the World Cup with a stunning debut performance. That 1966 Squad boasted a talented roster, but one player in particular stood out from the rest. Eusebio da Silva Ferreira, known as either the Black Pearl or, sometimes as the Black Panther, is in the country’s history books as one of Team Portugal’s best scorers. In that World Cup series alone, he scored more goals than any other player, a total of nine. That’s not too bad for a first time team who had to settle for a third place prize.

Since that debut, the Portuguese team has been a simmering pot, coming close to boiling over and yet not quite. Maybe this year things in South Africa will go their way and we’ll get to see them hit a really hot streak all the way to the finals. Still, with one win and one draw so far in this year’s Tournament, it’s going to take a big rally to push them through past some of the great teams in this year’s World Cup competition.

The men of Luis Felipe Scolari produced some unbelievable results till 2008 when they went to the finals of 2004 Euro Cup and topped the chart of 2006 world cup qualifiers with the good goal difference of +30 on the charts. Even though, they lost the 2004 Euro cup final to the unfenced Greece, they do not let themselves down in the process to 2006 qualifier. The 2006 was a dream run for them as they went through the group stage and defeat the England side in quarter finals which actually they also did in 2004 Euro cup. The charismatic leadership of Luis Figo saw them through to the semi-finals of 2006 world cup and where they lost to determined France.

They had a good run in 2010 world cup qualifier and booked their world cup berth swiftly. The immediate future of Portugal football team looks bright. The huge experience of Maniche, Costinha and Deco in accordance with polished exuberance of Ricardo Quaresma, Nani and world’s costliest player Cristiano Ronaldo shows the best transition period for the Portugese team. The new faces like Bruno Gama and Ariza Makukula are providing outstanding performances. Portugal did not reach the semi finals of 2010 and 2014 football world cups, but Cristiano Ronaldo nevertheless was still among the best players in both football world cups. 

Team Spain in World Cup Football

by on June 24, 2010
in FIFA, Football teams

David Villa

Spain football team made their first appearance in 1934 and have shown up intermittently since then. They turned in their best World Cup performance to date in 1950 when they went home in fourth place after managing wins over powerhouse teams such as the USA, Chile and England to take a spot in the semi-finals. Over the years, the team has encountered a road-bock on their road to a Cup win… the semi-finals.

During Spain’s first World Cup in 1934, the team did manage to make it to the quarterfinals only to be ousted by Italy. In 1954 they missed qualifying thanks to lady luck, since it was coin toss after a tied game with Turkey that kept them out of contention for the Cup that year.

When Spain hosted their first World Cup Tournament, in 1982, many had hoped to see fortune smile upon the home team. They were disappointed. Spain managed only one victory in front of the home crowd, squeaking into the second round before elimination.

1986 was kinder and they managed to work their way into the quarterfinals before elimination. In 1990 the lost in overtime in a second round match with Yugoslavia. Then, once more in 1994, they again faced elimination in a match in the quarterfinals. In 1998, they didn’t fare nearly as well and never made it out of the first round, but four years later they made it to the 2002 quarterfinals again.

All of this see-sawing from finals to quarterfinals to early elimination, and even a coin toss that prevented their making the tournament, Team Spain has yet to taste the sweetness of World Cup victory. With a talented team, they had their hopes set on “high” as they entered this year’s FIFA World Cup in South Africa. With one win and one loss so far in this year’s tournament, they are holding their own in their group. Still, they have a lot of obstacles between them and their first tournament win.

Spain National football team went ahead to win the football World Cup 2010. In 2014, the team was not able to defend its world cup title.

Spain football team is still among best ranked teams in the world while also holding the UEFA European Championship 2008 trophy and 2012 edition. Their consistent play and outstanding performance has thrilled the football world. Here is a little bit about them: Read more..

Paraguay – The Guaranies

by on June 17, 2010
in Football teams

Paraguay

They are part of the old Guard. The Paraguay National Football Team was one of the original thirteen teams to compete in the very first World Cup Tournament way back in 1930. The “Guaraníes” managed one win and one loss in that first Cup series, but it was not enough to send the through to the semifinals. In subsequent appearances, both in 1950 and 1958, the Paraguay team failed to make it past qualifying. To this date, their best World Cup performances were turned in during the 1986, 1998 and 2002 Cup tournaments.

In 1986, Paraguay’s coach, Cayetano Re was sent off during their first round match against Belgium for, it seems strange to say, standing too close to the field. He was the first coach ever to have suffered the indignation of being sent off during the World Cup finals.

Then, in 1998, the Paraguay’s squad featured a talented young goalkeeper named Jose Luis Chilavert. This young man’s play caused fans and opponents to take notice. While their unbeaten run was finally stopped by a second round defeat to the team that would go on to win the tournament, France, it still left them feeling good about the progress they were making.

The second round, however, proved to be their obstacle once more in the 2002 World Cup, and they faced elimination at that level once more. The question is, can they make it to and then, perhaps, past that second round in this year’s World Cup in South Africa?

After 12 years of absence from the big football event, they came back to 1998 France world cup with the inspiration of their show-stopper Jose Luis Chilavert. After more than 10 years, Paraguayan football team has become the recognized face in the top football teams. Paraguay has always enjoyed their success in South America with their solid defense and fast front runners. Even though, they showed some good progress during the 1998 and 2002 appearances, the guide of 2006, Anibal Ruiz was unable to guide them out of group B where they had a tough fight from Sweden, England. Due to this reason, Paraguayan decided to replace him with Gerardo Martino, an Argentinean tactician.

The Paraguay National Team had to be encouraged that, in their opening game against the defending Champs, Italy, they managed to finish up with a draw. Their coach, Gerardo Martino, was quick to point out that keeping Italy from scoring a win was almost as good as a win over a lesser team and proved that their squad had great potential. After all, they beat both Argentina and Brazil in qualifying. Under Martino’s guiding hand, the team from Paraguay may bear watching. Paraguay failed to make it to the final four in both 2010 and 2014 football world cups. 

Netherlands – The World Cup’s Bridesmaids

by on June 17, 2010
in Football teams

Netherlands Football

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride is a term often used to describe the person who nearly wins the race, but never quite gets across the finish line. When it comes to World Cup competition, the Netherlands National Football Team knows a lot about being a bridesmaid.

In 1974, Holland Football Team came as close to the cup as you can get without winning. They fell to their host country’s team, Germany, in a 2-1 match and left with that “wait ‘til next time” attitude you’d expect of competitive players. The match was marred by a rather strange penalty call on Holland squad member, Johan Neeskens. In the first minute of the final, he was sent to the penalty area by the referee, Jack Taylor, because up until that point, no German player had touched the ball, but it had been passed by Dutch players 15 times.

Only four years later, in 1978, they fell once more to their host country, this time Argentina. During that tournament, in a phase-two match against Italy, Ernie Brandts of Holland earned the distinction of being the only player to score a goal and to own a goal in the same match, and the team did win to advance to the finals. Still, while it took extra time for the Argentine team to beat them, in the end a 3-1 score created a strange sense of déjà vu for the squad from the Netherlands.

Sadly, since those two near wins in the 1970s, the nearest Team Holland has come to playing in a World Cup Final was in 1998 when they lost a semi-final match to Brazil in a shoot-out.

The Dutch team is going to walk the FIFA World Cup 2010 surface with third ranking. Much is expected from them as they hold mastery in precision passing. Let’s have a look at what they have for us in this event: Read more..

Greece – Second World Cup Appearance Starting Off Badly

by on June 17, 2010
in Football teams

Greece Football

The Greek National Football Team first qualified for the World Cup in 1990. In that debut tournament, they were unable to move past the first round and were eliminated. The Greeks have not participated in another Word Cup since that first tournament, or at last that was until this year’s 2010 FIFA World Cup Tournament in South Africa.

In 2010 Football World cup football, the Greek squad has already suffered one loss, a 2-0 opening round fall to South Korea. After the game, the Greek National Team’s coach, Otto Rehhagel, protested that his team is determined to turn things around. A win over Nigeria would be the first step in that monumental change of direction, and perhaps their only hope of moving up from Group B. Of course, it was Rehhagel that led the Greek Squad to glory in the European Championships six years ago. If he’s convinced he can turn it around, perhaps he can. The Greek’s coach freely admits his squad lacks players with superstar status, but thinks the squad functions well as a unit and, if weather conditions improve, as predicted, believes they can play a better defensive game and be a bit more aggressive with their offense, too. It’s going to take both to make it happen. He was quoted as saying “we just need to play better football.” From what we’ve seen so far, he could not have summed it up more accurately.

Greece football team is the one that made the people to open the book of Football history again after they beat Portugal in finals of Euro cup 2004 in their own home. The team that was outranked before the tournament came into the flash suddenly with their disciplinary performance in the tournament. The big names like Czech Republic, France and eventually Portugal faltered to identify the strength of the team and they all succumbed to these minnows of the tournament. The confidence of 2004 Euro cup helped them to gain their place in the 2006 Germany world cup but they exited the tournament in the early stages. During their journey, expert German Otto Rehhagel guided the side.

The Greece football team could not stand to the expectations of the fans in 2008 Euro cup as they faltered in the group stage and went back home. Their journey of 2010 qualifying round was pretty swift as they were easily able to beat other teams and booked their berth in the earlier stages of the qualifying round and ended up as the second top in the team table after Swiss team. All the Greek eyes are on the Otto Rehhagel for his guidance to the team in the world cup and teams hop is lying on the KYRGIAKOS and GEKAS and a lonely goal scorer in the Euro Cup 2008 finals, Angelos CHARISTEAS.

Still, you can’t count the Greek National Team out entirely. They have enjoyed some international success with Rehhagel at the helm, in spite of his age. After all, at 71, he is the oldest coach at the tournament. Still, with age and experience comes wisdom. We’ll have to see if he and his solid team are wise enough to move up to the next round.

Update: Greece was unable to deliver any memorable performance in 2010 and 2014 world cup football.

Germany – 1974 A World Cup To Remember

by on June 16, 2010
in FIFA, Football teams

Germany Football

Every national team that participates regularly in the World Cup very likely has a tournament or a match they would just as soon forget, and those that are lucky have one that they like to brag about whenever the opportunity arises. While they had plenty of less than memorable moments, that elusive shining moment, for Germany, came in 1974 and was made all the sweeter for the games having been played on their own native soil.

Many considered the 1974 World Cup as a sure win for Team Holland. After all, they were the odds on favorites as the tournament opened and they sailed through the opening rounds easily, fortified with players like Johan Cryuff numbered amongst their ranks. Most football fans never doubted that they would go all the way to the final game. Those fans were quite right. Holland did make it to the much-coveted final match of that Cup series. Then they came face to face with a home-crowd favorite, Team Germany, on that field in Munich, and the Holland’s dream turned into a nightmare.

How did it happen? After all, Holland had advanced through the first round without much opposition. During the second, the Dutch squad breezed past Brazil and Argentina. West Germany, meanwhile, was busily dashing the hopes of Poland, Sweden and Yugoslavia.

Then, it came down to one game, and two teams that were surprisingly, very evenly matched.

Even as their fans cheered them on, Germany was quickly down by one before they could even touch the ball. For a few brief moments it seemed that Holland would fulfill the predictions of so many. The Dutch squad, however, could not seem to hold on to the lead, and eventually, the Germans swept past them to win the match and the Cup by a final score of two to one.

The German’s like to remember the 1974 World Cup. I would strongly suspect the Dutch might prefer to forget it. As I said before, every team has its moments.

Germany is considered to be the best team in their performance consistency over the years. Currently, Germany ranks the 5th in FIFA rankings. A quick glimpse into their profile follows: Read more..

England – 1966 World Cup Mud-Bowl Champs!

by on June 16, 2010
in FIFA, Football teams

Engalnd 2966 WC Read more..

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