WC 2014 Column


Day 16 – A Rest, a Prediction and a 4-year Glimpse

By Gabriel Cazotto

    And today, we got some desired last of a frenetically World Cup. With 2.8 goals per game this seems to be the most amazing World Cup since 1970. But, and a GREAT but, the knockout round is the one that define the tournaments.

    That’s why, for me, even with low goals per ratio, 2006 managed to be the most amazing World Cup I’ve seen, especially due the KO rounds, games like Argentina x Mexico, Portugal x Netherlands, Germany x Sweden, France x Spain, France x Brazil, Italy x France, Portugal x England managed to be some of the most amazing games in the competition history. I hope this repeat with a more beautiful football in 2014.

Now, let me allow doing some analysis and predictions of the Round of 16.

Day 1 – Feelings of Copa America

    At the beginning of the afternoon, Brazil and Chile opens a Copa America day. As I told before, this is not the same Chile of 1998 that relied solely in Salas and Zamorano duo, neither the Loco style of Bielsa. This Chile is incredible dangerous, and will be the most difficulty team that Brazil will face until now. Can a Mineirazo happen? I doubt, I stay with Brazil passing on overtime.

    At night in a sacred stadium for Uruguay and without Suarez, Colombia seems completely favorite, especially with the amazing football that they are playing in James, Cuadrado and Jackson. But the defensive duo of Giménez and Godin 9for me, as told before, the best in the tournament) can hold the Cafeteros. But La Celeste. Oh my god is La Celeste; I predict a Uruguayan victory with Cavani deciding the game.

Day 2 – The Clockwork Orange

    The Dutches open the second day of knockouts playing with Mexico. Unfortunately I can’t seem La Tri erasing the second round ghosts, and once more, will fall, now for the Dutch. Van Gaal will continue to criticize their critics but we will continue to get the Netherlands far. Netherlands pass.

    By the afternoon an unpretensious game, that nobody put a cento n it. But can be outstanding, with both with nothing more to lose Costa Rica and Greece can make a hell of a game, with the Centro-Americans prompting the game, while the Piratiko on counter-attack. Here, the ferocious phalanx of the Greeks might overcome Costa Rica, with there most favorite score 1-0, in a header.

Day 3 – A Glorious day for Africa

    For the first time in history Africa has 2 teams in the second round, and both play in the same day, with both dreaming to make a quarterfinal match. Algeria will also might get their revenge from Germany in 1982. On both games, I see the Europeans cruising by, this Nigerian team is far of from the 1994 and 1998 in style and technique, this Algerian, on contrary is the best since 1982, but Germany is still Germany. France and Germany to advance.

Day 4 – Surprise, Surprise, Surprise.

    On the first match in São Paulo, Argentina will get the Swiss. Will Hitzfeld maintain his trap or opt for the famous Bolt? If Argentina doesn’t take care on their left sides they can be surprised. But with Messi playing the way he is, it is undoubtedly that la Alviceleste will fail in the first hurdle. I predict Argentina in the easiest game of the Round of 16.

    Later, the great surprise, in my opinion, the Belgians, Darling of everyone, but who aren’t playing at their best level, against the USA, a very hard well tactically squad commanded by Klinsmann. I can clearly see, the USA beating Belgium on counter-attack and reaching the quarterfinals once again since 2002. My opinion, the USA passes.

And now: A glimpse for 2018.

    With some great team already eliminated how could they recover their status in 2018 in Russia? I will do this for 12 teams (The top 10 of all-time (the 8 champions plus Netherlands and Portugal), AGAIN, JUST my opinion, plus Russia the hosts, and the better qualified team other than this 10 in the World Cup.)

For the first day – The Iberian Neighbors.

    Spain will probably give out a bit of the tiki-taka style, especially because there will be no more Xavi. Even if Del Bosque maintain his position, as it appears to be at least to 2016, the Spaniards might get a little of the tiki-taka in the midfield, with no proper DM, but with Thiago and Koke defending for Iniesta. The Old Furia style might return with the vertical game of the Young wingers Isco and Deuloufeu and the strength of Diego Costa, now without the burden of playing in Brazilian fields against Brazilian crowds.

    Portugal will reborn. In a new generation, the Putos Maravilha (The wonderful kids), that Portugal is prompting majestically in the Uefa U-19 and U-21 Championship might join Ronaldo, in perhaps his last World Cup. Can he be like Zidane was for France in 2006 at 34? Perhaps more centralized and without his famous potential Sprint, Ronaldo can be the striker that Portugal Always wanted, allowing the jewels Bruma and Carlos Mané as wingers. The midfield will have too much style, William, who has been a beast in this World Cup, even eliminated, with a more mature Moutinho and a third cog, who can be Adrien if, and only if, one of the greatest prospects of Portugal fail to appear, Manchester City’s midfielder Ronny Lopes, one of the best youngster in the planet. Let all keep an eye in Portugal in Russia.



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