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
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
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
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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