world cup 2006

Football is so special to me that I even created a post category for it instead of using the regular ‘non-music related’ one. As of now, we’re 178 days, 21 hours and 38 minutes away from the World Cup 2006 kick-off. The groups for the first stage have been drawn: does it get more exciting than this? ‘Though so.

I have serious doubts regarding Brazil’s performance. I suspect everyone’s a wee bit too overconfident and that might very well mar our campaign. Group F shouldn’t be too difficult, although Australia’s aerial prowess could pose a threat to our defense; the knock-out stages, however, are set to be hellish. We shall wait and see. Someone should smack some sense into Parreira’s troubled mind and talk him off of calling up Robinho. Lyon’s Fred is a much more deadly striker. Likewise, Lyon’s Juninho Pernambucano just oughta be in the starting 11.

Still, if everyone puts in their best efforts, we could very well be crowned world champions once again, especially because there seems to be few teams capable of putting on a real challenge. Argentina is always up for it; other than that, England has a strong team, but Rooney will have to develop further if he is to be their wonderkid; Germany is playing at home, which gives them an extra edge, but, honestly, their squad lacks depth and talent; Holland missed out the last World cup but could present a top challenge now. I’m curious to see how Portugal will fare: Scolari is a top-notch manager and they have a handful of very capable players, especially Deco and Maniche.

The one team that I really expect to deliver the goods though is the Czech Republic. I’ll be keeping a close eye on them; their defeat to Greece in the semi-finals of the Euro 2004 was a sad & undeserved mishap. The czech are quick, skilful and have a superb player in Milan Baros. For three World Cups now teams that didn’t have much of a tradition reached the semi-finals (South Koreak in 2002; Croatia in 1998; Bulgary in 1994). I can see the czechs puling that off too.

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