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Writing The Future

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Nike has a new ad campaign for the world cup called "write the future." I'm sure you've already seen the commercial. And in some sense, every individual representing their country in six days is going to write the future with their performance, whether for good or bad. Many of the countries are currently playing their last friendly matches before the real event and so far, in my opinion, Germany and Netherlands are looking great. Spain is the favorite for this year, with an odds of 4/1. The next in odds is Brazil (5/1) Argentina (9/1) and then England (11/2) and Germany and France both at 12/1. France may look good on paper, but the reality is they have no cohesion as a team. Germany may look like the tired old squad that they are, but they have some sleepers among their youth (Mesut Ozil and Marko Marin), so I'm betting they'll go pretty far in the tournament. 

England has probably the best coach in all of the tournament, and a squad that is very deep. But they have some perennial problems (how to play Gerrard and Lampard on the same field, how to support Rooney, and how to win games when it counts), but I think Capello has a masterplan up his sleeve (4-2-3-1). 

Italy looked horrendous in their friendlies and probably won't make it out of their group. Both Argentina and Netherlands are great on paper, but have not shined on the world stage in a very long time. Plus, Maradona is laughable as a coach. 

And of course, my motherland, South Korea may have the most Europe based players in all of their national team history, but will still fail to get out of the group stage. They won't have a chance until they produce a through and through goal scorer molded in the image of Ronaldo, Van Nistelrooy and Rooney. Cloning scientists, did you get tha

So who do I think is going to win?

My choice this time is Brazil. And let me explain why. Brazil, even to those who are new to soccer, is known for their "jogo bonito" (beautiful play), which is characterized by crisp pinpoint passing, deft footwork, and some dazzling skills that knock opponents off their feet. They are the epitome of attacking flair, with scoring as the mantra of winning games. Yet, this year strangely there aren't any headliners or superstars in Brazil's lineup that people can mention, except perhaps Kaka. A team once known for the sum of individual brilliance is now transformed into a team of hard working role players who contribute to a defense-first style of play. It's boring and some think the counter attack is the worst trick in the playbook but it wins games. Just ask Mourinho. 

Luis Fabiano may not be the superstar like many of his compatriots before him, but he is still a threat to be reckoned with. He has speed and size to be a typical target man. But more importantly, Dunga, the current Brazil coach was a defensive player that helped bring the Jules Rimet back to his country in 1994. And even though this is his first world cup as a coach, he's brought defensive toughness and pass first mindset to the Brazil team, which is completely unheard of for the Seleçao. On top of that, Brazil boasts the best goalkeeper in the world in Julio Cesar. Coupled with enough firepower up front in Fabiano and Robinho, with some midfield wizardry provided by Kaka, Brazil looks like a winner. But in the end, I think it will come down to Julio Cesar having some incredible saves to keep Brazil in the race, and ultimately winning.

Some other prognostications for the World Cup:

Golden Ball: Julio Cesar

Golden Boot: Wayne Rooney

Best Young Player: Mesut Ozil

Most Entertaining Team: Netherlands

Now that I've made my predictions I'm ready for all of them to be untrue, as World Cup has a knack for producing upsets, questionable calls, and scandalous decisions. But that is part of the beautiful game. 

Finally, enjoy one of my favorite players of all time, capturing the World Cup for France in 1988 with two marvelous headers. Starting next week, I will attempt to blog throughout the tournament. See you then.

 

Posted via email from Long Way Round

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Written by shindz

June 4, 2010 at 2:49 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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