FIFA World Cup 2014 teams and groups

by on January 31, 2014
in FIFA World Cup

hand-waving-flag-pack-football-world-cup-2014-60-x-90-cmGroup A will feature: Brazil, Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon

Team Brazil

Star player: Neymar

Having enjoyed success is last summer’s Confederations Cup, Brazil will be hoping to extend their World Cup record to 6 on home turf. If 2002 World Cup winning coach Scolari, and Barcelona striker Neymar shine, then the South American national could witness the largest of samba festivals.

Team Croatia

Star player: Mario Mandzukic

Very different from the ‘98’ squad in terms of class, but they do possess enough quality and furry to go far. With the likes of Real Madrid’s Luka Modric, Bayern Munich’s Mandzukic and Niko Kranjcar Croatia will be the team to beat.

Team Mexico

Star player: Javier Hernandez

They may have qualified through play-offs, but after a 9-3 cannibalizing of New Zealand, they can’t be written off. A concoction of veterans and emerging stars all centered on the likes of Manchester United’s Hernandez, Mexico will be a tough gamble for Brazil.

Team Cameroon

Star player: Samuel Eto’o

Although seemingly distant from emulating the 90’s squad that featured the likes of Patrick Mboma, Cameroon still remains a highly competitive entity on the African continent. Although Eto’o’s glory days are long gone, he still remains the squad’s spearhead.

Group B will feature: Spain, the Netherlands, Chile and Australia

Team Spain

Star player: Andres Iniesta

Having enjoyed a great deal of success in their history, critics would post the notion that the Spaniards have declined over the years in their level of ferocity. However their talent should not be taken lightly or for granted because of quality players such as Jesus Navas, Roberto Soldado, Michu and Alvaro Negredo will be in full gear alongside Iniesta, Alonso, Xavi and David Silva.

Netherlands  

Star player: Robin Van Persie

A start-studded Dutch team that has always fallen short should not be under-estimated. With fresh memories of their loss to Spain in the 2010 world cup, they will be looking to salvage nothing short of silverware.

Chile

Star player: Alexis Sanchez

Although little is known about the Chilean squad, they possess an excellent mixture of seasoned older players and young emerging stars. Barcelona’s Alexa Sanchez will be the man to watch.

Australia

Star player: Robbie Kruse

Having suffered an unfair dismissal to Italy in the 2006 world cup, Australia return to the scene with an ageing squad that qualified by a mere margin. Qualifying for the next round is just about what they can hope to achieve.

Group C will feature: Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan

Team Colombia

Star player: Radamel Falcao

Easy qualification should play to their advantage. Falcao, their main man, a natural goal scorer partnered to fellow Monaco team player James Rodriguez should showcase their best World Cup appearance.

Team Greece

Star player: Georgios Samaras

Finding goals has been a problem for the Greek side, and pressure will be on Samaras and Dimitris Salpingidis to lead by example.

Team Ivory Coast

Star player: Yaya Toure

An African nation that possesses a wealth of talent, with the likes of Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure and Salomon Kalou. Ivory Coast has been unfortunate to fall in the group of death in both their appearances. This may just be their era.

Team Japan

Star player: Keisuke Honda

Qualified in emphatic style, Japan has been crafted into a formidable squad. However their loss in the Confederations Cup leaves a lot to say about their credentials.

Group D will feature; Uruguay, Costa Rica, England and Italy

Team Uruguay

Star player: Edinson Cavani

Who can forget the spectacle witnessed at the 2010 World Cup against Ghana when Suarez was sent off for handling, and Gyan missing from the spot? Forget that, this South American squad is back on the showcase with the likes of Cayani and Luis Suarez in full form.

Team Costa Rica

Star player: Bryan Ruiz

Having made the most of Mexico’s scuffles to join the US as trendsetters in the last CONCACAF, any form of progression other than the group stages may just prove a lot to handle for these guys.

Team England

Star player: Wayne Rooney

A prolific team that is yet to make it so far in major tournaments. They qualified easily among the top scorers, but will Steven Gerrard’s boys prove their critics wrong. An over-rated team still yet to live up to its expectations.

Team Italy

Star player: Mario Balotelli

Having reached the last 2012 Euro final, the Italians will be looking for nothing short of equaling Brazil’s tally of five World Cups, and nothing more bitterly sweet than on Brazilian turf.

Group E will feature; Switzerland, France, Ecuador and Honduras.  

Team Switzerland

Star player: Xherdan Shaqiri

Led by Bayern Munich’s Shaqiri, this fairly young team is poised to prance their stuff at the highest level. They arguably got the easiest route in qualifying for the spectacle.

Team Ecuador

Star player: Antonio Valencia

Having lost to Chile in their qualifiers and secured automatic qualification on goal difference, they do possess recent success thanks to the likes of Valencia, Felipe Caicedo and Cristian Noboa.

Team France

Star player: Frank Ribery

Skittled into qualification from a 2-0 comeback against Ukraine. In Ribery, France holds their most valuable possession. The likes of Mathieu Valbuena and Yohan Cabaye will offer an exceptional blend in midfield.

Team Honduras

Star player: Wilson Palacios

Since South Africa 2010, Honduras have undergone a great deal of transformation, and assimilated everything just in time for the world football showcase. They sealed their spot in the tournament through a 2-2 draw against Jamaica.

Group F will feature; Argentina, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria.   

Team Argentina

Star player: Lionel Messi

Barcelona’s magician Messi will turn 27 over the course of the tournament, and the possibility of him adding more international achievements to his-already glittering success at club football is high. Argentina has plenty attacking options for coach Sabella to play with, but their defense may falter against classic forwards.

Team Bosnia & Herzegovina

Star player: Edin Dezeko

A nation that emerged from the Yugoslavia break-up in the 90s is heading into untamed territory. Their hopes will fall on experienced Manchester City forward Dzeko and on midfielders such as Emir Spahic, Miralem Pjanic and top class goal keeper Asmire Begovic.

Team Iran

Star player: Javad Nekounam

Qualified in style above South Korea, while the team includes Nekounam, a player with European derivation, it’s hard to see them going past the group stages.

Team Nigeria

Star player: Victor Moses

Although at a tender age of 22, Moses has quickly made a name for himself to becoming a vital player. Veteran and experienced goal keeper Vincent Enyeama will offer stability at the back, and Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel will command the center field.

Group G will feature; Germany, Portugal, Ghana and USA.

Team Germany

Star player: Mesut Özil

This is probably Europe’s best chance of taking the Silverware away from South American contenders. A blend of talented players crafted into top-level football, it may just be the time for Mesut Özil, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Muller to take the final step at the highest level.

Team Portugal

Star player: Cristiano Ronaldo

In Ronaldo alone, Portugal possess a player who can single handed take apart any defense, and their reliance on the Real Madrid man is unquestionable. Even if the world’s best defenders manage to isolate him, there still are a good number of team mates who can get the job done.

Team Ghana

Star player: Asamoah Gyan

By now he may have put the 2010 World Cup disaster behind him, and looking to make amends once again. Gyan has provided most goals in Ghana’s road to qualifying, and despite Michael Essien’s never ending injuries he still remains a crucial player for the side. The likes of Sulley Muntari, Andre Ayew and Kevin Prince Boateng will also provide a considerable amount of experience.

Team United States

Star player: Clint Dempsey

Having qualified comparatively easily, Coach Klinsmann will be looking to make his mark with the team at the highest level. A realistic target for the United States will be reaching the quarter final stage.

Group H will feature; Belgium, Algeria, Russia and South Korea

Belgium

Star player: Edin Hazard

Since their last appearance at the World Cup over a decade ago, Belgium comes into the scene with highly vibrant young players capable of going the distance in Brazil. Their hopes will be on Hazard, but an array of other players will also get the job done.

Algeria

Star player: Madjid Bougherra

Narrowly qualifying against Burkina Faso, a team that’s never appeared in any World Cup, Algeria is bound to struggle from the onset come Brazil. A poor showdown at the African Nations Cup also won’t aid in their woes.

Russia

Star player: Alexander Kokorin

Russia would want to forget their string of failures in World Cup tournaments, but Brazil may offer an element of hope for the 2018 hosts. Not having participated in  three of the past four World Cup tournaments, and not having gone past the group stages since 1986, qualifying in group F ahead of the likes of Portugal does suggest that things may just be about to change for the Soviets. Full of potential Kokorin backed by several experienced players such as striker Alexander Kerzhakov and goal keeper Igor Akinfeev should be an interesting comeback for the Russians.

Team South Korea

Star player; Son Heung-min

The Koreans will hope that their 2002 captain Hong will offer some form of inspiration to the current spring, but they are likely to go as far as the last 16.

 

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