YGM WORLDCUP BUILDUP-32 TEAMS, 1 CUP, ONE MOTIVE
Its about that time so here we go…Here are your Russia 2018 World cup teams ready to do battle from TODAY. Several Heavyweights like ITALY & HOLLAND even the USA failed to make it this time around but the show must go on..So who are you rooting for?
RUSSIA (Fifa Ranking 70)
The host Russia is the worst ranked nation in this tournament sitting at 70 in the FIFA rankings. It has one of the Oldest squads with an average of 29 and only 2 of its players are based outside the now almost mediocre Russian League. Fortunately for them they are in what can be termed as the weakest group at the world cup and won’t be expected to do much after qualifying for the 2nd round ( i.e if they make it out).
Worldcup winning potential: 20%
SAUDI ARABIA (Fifa Ranking 67)
Well at least they an say they are not the least ranked country at the Mundial. But what an Opening match we are set to see World number 67 vs World Number 70.. gulp. The Saudi’s are not Newbies to the Tournament who can forget Saheed Owairan’s Goal at the 1994 games? But in all their past nine world cup games they are still waiting for their first win. Can they get it in the opening match?
worldcup winning potential : 21%
EGYPT (Fifa Ranking 45)
There’s more to EGYPT than Mohammed Salah, The 26 year old Forward who scored 43 goals for Liverpool this season and instantly became a global hit. Salah hopes to recover in time to befit to play a part in his Nations quest for glory after being injured in the Champions league final vs Real Madrid. The entire team is defensively Solid and has a hard working Midfield. The supporting cast like Ramadan Sobis and Mohammed Elneny will be eager to show what they can do.
worldcup winning potential : 40%
URUGUAY(Fifa Ranking (14)
Uruguay always seem to find a way to court controversy at Worldcups no thanks to star Striker Luiz Suarez . In 2010 he made global Ignomy by Turning himself into a goal keeper and Blocking a goal bound header with his hand. In 2014 he did the bizarre biting the shoulder of Italian Defender Georgio Chielini . Long time manager Oscar Tabarez will lead his team out again. But will any new drama ensue
worldcup winning potential : 50%
PORTUGAL (Fifa Ranking 4)
Portugal has now emerged as a genuine candidate for World cup Glory following their most Unexpected Euro 2016 Win. They won that Tournament playing some of the most Uninspiring and unimaginative yet effective style of football ever. They were very Unpopular, the Host France was everyone’s favorite but Cristiano and co pulled it off somehow. Their Super star is approaching the wrong side of 30 and knows his career is nearing its end . How he will love to add the Worldcup to his list of titles, its the only one that eludes his illustrious trophy cabinet.
worldcup winning potential : 85%
Spain (Fifa Ranking 10)
2010 champions Spain still rely on old war horses Sergio Ramos and Gerald Pique from their Dominant years in football 2008 -2012 when they swept everything in their path. They have mixed some young blood and some other talented Veterans like David Silva of Manchester City in the team but who is their Top striker? You may say with the Array of attacking Talent in the team they may not need one. But every World cup winning team always had a top striker..That game with Portugal is not one to miss.
worldcup winning potential : 70%
MOROCCO (Fifa Ranking 41)
Morocco may be the most international team in the tournament consisting of mostly sons of Moroccans in Diaspora. Of the 23 men in the squad Eight hail from france, compared to six born within Moroccan Borders. 5 players from the Netherlands, 2 from Spain, 1 from Canada, 1 from Belgium and of course their charismatic Manager Herve Renard. They are a neat and Tidy playing team that are full of running and heart. But being in this Group with 2 European Giants may prove to big a task to qualify.
worldcup winning potential : 40%
IRAN (Fifa Ranking 37)
Carloz Queiroz, The Portuguese manager of Iran national team hasn’t always had the easiest task handling one of the World’s most Reclusive nations. In 2015, he briefly quit after Falling out with the Nations’ football federatiion only to be re-instated. This is their 2nd straight World cup and they don’t ever back down from a challenge. Not the most Skillful lot but very Functional.
worldcup winning potential : 44%
FRANCE (Fifa Ranking 7)
France are your Jekyll & Hyde team at every Worldcup, Capable of winning the damn thing or crashing out embarrassingly. Les Blues as they are famously known have probably their most Talented squad since thier dominant years of1998 -2002. The likes of Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba, and Keilan Mbappe. The french team are an Attacking Juggernaut. But they will still have Haunting memories of falling just short of winning the Euros in 2016. Where experts say the team selection for that game cost the Nation. Can Didier Deschamps a winner of the 1998 version of the Tournament get it right this time. Nous Verrons
worldcup winning potential : 89%
AUSTRALIA (Fifa Ranking 36)
The soceroos always play the same way. Physically strong, defensively Solid but with little Offensive threat, They always seem to make it to Worldcups so they have bags of experience. They have a lot of Admirers they have always had. They fear no one and it seems they always bow out of the competition narrowly. Can they get anything out of this group with France and Denmark? don’t bet against them.
worldcup winning potential : 44%
Peru (Fifa Ranking 11)
Peru boasts a large population, Decent pedigree of footballers and an iconic Jersey (White Top with a diagonal red stripe) They qualified by beating New Zealand in a Home and Away playoff in November. Their Star Striker is Paolo Guerrero who was supposed to be suspended for doping charges but has been cleared to play until after the competition. They are dark horses in this group and can spring a surprise or two
worldcup winning potential : 47%
Denmark (Fifa Ranking 12)
Danish Hopes at this Worldcup revolves around the performances of its Playmaking super star Christian Eriksen. One of the stars of the Premier League for Tottenham Hotspurs. Supremely talented and on his day can wreck Havoc on anyone. If the Defensive side of things are good look out for Demark up until the quarter finals. They had a goodrun in the Qualifiers and will fancy their Chances in this rather open group.
Argentina (Fifa Ranking 5)
Argentina with their Dimunitive Forward Lionel Messi are always a favorite but have failed to live up to the billing due to part Bad luck (2006 &2014), part bad coaching (2010) and other factors. With an array of world class talents in almost every department Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Arguero, plus of course the mercurial but now ageing Messi if the Argies don’t get it right this time Poor Messi will be retiring from the game without attaining godlike status in his homeland like Maradona who won the Tournament. Which would be a shame as his talent certainly deserves it.
worldcup winning potential : 90%
ICELAND (Fifa Ranking 22)
Now this tiny Nordic Nation has made some serious waves in World football in recent years and we are not just talking about their Awesome war hant and Thunderclap routine on match days. Iceland Shocked England in the 2016 European Championship in the Quarters and then went on to finish ahead of Croatia during the qualifying games to reach the world cup , Becoming the smallest nation to play in the Tournament. The only drawback they have is they have lost the element of surprise as teams know they are not to be toyed with. But from their Euro 2016 games they look a very Decent and well coached side that can really ruffle some feathers.
worldcup winning potential : 47%
CROATIA (FIFA RANKING 20)
CROATIA fields an experienced squad headlined by a handful of world class players. Unfortunately most of them happen to play in the same position. Playmakers Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mateo Kovacic, and Marcelo Brozovic would walk into most Midfeilds in Russia. But looking for a way to inorporate them all into one team is a headache for coach Zlatko Dalic. They on paper should be among the favorites to go through but that first game with Nigeria is crucial.
worldcup winning potential : 51%
NIGERIA (Fifa Ranking 48)
For years, Nigeria has thrilled football fans with their Colorful displays but on the pitch and in the stands as their Fans are simply amazing. Who can forget Jay Jay Okocha in France 98 or Rashidi Yekini’s goal at USA 94. Nigeria has always had a bunch of absurdly Talented attacking players but its the defence they always seem to lose the plot. But Now they have unearthed two Mixed race gems in Troost Ekong and Balogun who are two really good Centrebacks that are good at calming things at the back. It will be interesting to see how they fare,The super eagles will always find a way to thrill, but the fear is that this time around don’t boast of any real Creative talent in the Middle of the park to open up teams. Though some believe Arsenal Starlet Alex Iwobi can play the role. Nigeria has never adavanced beyond the round of 16, will this be the year?
worldcup winning potential : 42%
BRAZIL (Fifa ranking 2)
Last world cup was Hell for Brazil as hosts. That agonizing memory still lingers of being smashed 7-1 in the semi finals by Eventual winners Germany and that will not be wiped off soon. This was a country so eager to move past that loss that it sent stars like Neymar to win Olympic Gold in the soccer Event. A tournament Most big Countries don’t care about but Brazil had to care to heal its wounds. Neymar and co are back again this time around and even though its been four years, they know their country men will not accept any thing other than a World cup win. They have easily the most Talented squad of players and with the right kind of luck may well win it.
worldcup winning potential : 98%
SWITZERLAND (Fifa Ranking 6)
When you think of switserland in football terms you think Shaqiri. He has been the biggest star of the Swiz team for Years. He made the 2010 team to South Africa as an 18 year old, He netted a Hattrick in 2014 . And he’s still only 26 years old. The forward will again lead a team that has been respectable in recent years but never Quite Dangerous enough. Manager Vladimkir Petkovic will rely on Shaqiri and Newly minted Arsenal Defender Stephan Lichtsteiner to take on the best this Worldcup has to offer.
worldcup winning potential : 40%
COSTA RICA (Fifa Ranking 23)
Any small country that comes up as Giant Killers in any World Cup instantly become Fan Favorites. Costa Rica has every ingredient to be just that team. In 2014 Los Ticos reached the Quarter Finals after Winning a group with Uruguay, Italy and England. Wow! who would have thought that eh? and this small Central American country has the talent to surprise again its doubters. Joel Campbell has immense talent and can Hurt teams if give the space. Keylor Navas plays as the keeper of reigning European Champions Real Madrid so he can’t have big game nerves. Look out for their exciting brand of football that will no doubt bloody some high profile noses.
worldcup winning potential : 55%
SERBIA (Fifa Ranking 34)
Serbia are tricky customers, They have the talent certainly, you can’t have players like Dusan Tadic, Nemanja Matic of Manchester United and Alexander Mitrovic of Fulham and be considered light weight. But its their Inconsistency that plagues them. They failed to qualify in 2014, Finishing last in their Group in 2010. Their Manager was even sacked its manager during Qualifying and threatened the team with disbandment before Results began to pick up. With the crop of European talent they possess, They just need to find the right form and they will be a force to reckon with.
worlddup winning potential : 49%
GERMANY (FIFA RANKING 1)
The reigning champions Germany are definite Favorites yet again, how can they not be? It doesn’t matter if the team looks a bit different they are Germany. You may ask are they better than 4 yrs ago.. despite the fact some of the mainstays like Podolski and Mertesacker are gone. What you need to know are Germany have such a good succession plan in place that they can build 3 strong National teams that can get to the Semi finals of any worldcup easily. Thomas Muller who deButed in 2010 is still there, so is Mesut Ozil. Throw in New faces like Timo Werner a 22 years old who can come in and become an instant star Because the Talent factory in Germany is that efficient. They can afford to drop Leroy Sane of Mancity, a prodigious Talent and not bat an eyelid. They always have a strong Defence and are extremely Organised and confident in their Play. Don’ t even think about ruling them out. Don’t Forget they won the Confederations Cup with barely a 2nd string side.
worldcup winning potential : 99 %
MEXICO (FIFA RANKING 15)
Not so long ago in 2012, A young Mexican team won Gold at the Olympics. It was a moment of hope: That when those players fully develop Mexico would have quite a squad on Their Hands. Players from that same team are now approaching Veterans and the potentials have no been met. They have now become one of the Oldest teams going into this worldcup led by the irrepressible Javier Hernandez a.k.a Chicharito. Mexico dominated during Qualifying but finds itself in arguably the Tournament’s Toughest group, where you have got to say making it out to the Knock out stages will be a big task
worldcup winning potential : 42%
SWEDEN (Fifa Ranking 24)
No Zlatan Ibrahimovic in this Swedish side. The country choosing to move on from its All time leading goal scorer not because he cannot play anymore but because they need to allow space for the Young ones coming through. The team is founded on a strong defence. Which was stingy throughout Qualifying and took the team to its first Worldcup sine 2006. Backed by back to back shut outs against Italy in the playoffs. But much as the defense is good, they will need to score. And that is where their Problems lie. Can Emil Forsberg fill Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s shoes? Manager Janne Anderson certainly Hope so
worldup winning potential : 46%
SOUTH KOREA (Fifa Ranking 57)
There are Bright spots from South Korea’s Uninspiring Performance at Brazil 2014. Son Heung Min has evolved into an International Star. He is such a threat in attack which all watchers of the premier League will attest to. Son is 25 years old and will lead a crop of equally young exciting players who are just starting to hit their Prime to this world cup and will do well to advance beyond the group stage. They always play with Heart even though they are sometimes Naive. If Son can replicate a bit of his Clinical Tottenham form then Teams will have to look out,
worldup winning potential : 35%
BELGIUM (Fifa Ranking 3)
Pound for Pound the most Talented team at this worldcup. Almost Every Department has a worldclass player. Belgium Boasts some of the Finest players from Europe such as Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, Manchester United Striker Romelu Lukaku, Manchester City Playmaker Kevin De bryne, amongst others but they also look like they may be an underachieving generations if they don’t start winning things. They reached the quarterfinals in Brazil but lost to Fianlists Argentina, Then in Euro 2016 They where suckered by Wales in the Quarterfinals again . A match that most Analysts tipped them to win comfortably. There were rumors of Locker room flare ups and that is the only thing that can hamper this team. Roberto Martinez the manager is faced with a challenge Many have questioned his Tactical Acumen ,so does he allow the players the freedom to do their thing or try to enforce his style.
worldup winning potential : 70%
PANAMA (FIFA RANKING 55)
Not much is known about their playing ability, but the government in their country declared a national Holiday when Panama Qualified for the Worldcup. (At the expense of the US) and if that suggests a team who is just happy to be going to the worldcup that is probably not accurate. Panama faces Belgium in its opener, then England in its 2nd game, at which point they will likely be heading home. The man tasked with the job of leading Panama as far as he can go is coach Hernan Dario Gomez. Who has previously led Colombia and Ecuador to this Competition and becomes the 2nd man to coach 3 different countries at the Tournament. They will play like a team with nothing to lose as no one expects anything from them and that is what makes them tricky.
worldup winning potential : 34%
TUNISIA (Fifa Ranking 21)
Tunisia will be making its 5th World cup appearance in Russia but if that suggests a team of seasoned Tournament Operators, the reality is a little different. It has won just one single game at the WorldCUp and has not made it to the Tournament in 12 years. The Loss of Youssef Msakani to a knee Injury in April was a blow and seriously dampens their chance to progress out of the group but with an Opening game against England things could brighten up with a good performance.
worldup winning potential : 37%
ENGLAND ( Fifa Ranking 12)
Inventors of the game. A former World Cup winner and more recently the Punchline of international Football. England recorded its worst Worldcup performance ever in 2014 when it was eliminated inside 5 days. That shame lasted all but 2years until the Euros of 2016 where more humiliation was waiting with the elimination by Iceland. That was the lowest point English football had sunk to. Head Coach Gareth Southgate has left out many of the players involved in those calamities and opted for some promising young stars.e.g Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, England have not won a knock out game in international play since 2002 and a Quarterfinal place seems like the zenith.
worldcup winning potential : 60%
POLAND (FIFA RANKING 8)
If you like Scoring just tune into Poland. This team scores a lot of goals. It gives up plenty of them too, The man saddled with the responsibility to ensure the goals don’t dry up is Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandoski. At 29 year years old he remains a world class strikerfor Bayern Munich and has the ability to carry this team on his back. They have good goalkeepers in Szceszney and Lukas Fabianski so its down to the defence to get the team protected as they try to score and grab a win or two.
worlcdCup winning potential : 54%
(SENEGAL FIFA RANKING 27)
Senegal’s recent history will focus on that historic 2002 World up tournament where they truly impressed. But this is a side dreaming for more than that with a wealth of elite players that would even make some European Countries blush. Liverpool’s Sadio Mane is a dangerous forward that never stops running, He is a clinical Finisher and does not need too many chances to hit the back of the net. Kalidou Koulibaly was one of the best defenders in the Serie A playing for Napoli. They are Physically strong and Robust and are Favorites to advance
worldCup winning potential : 66%
COLOMBIA (FIFA RANKING 16)
They were the surprise team of the last Worldcup they contended with the best teams and were not disgraced. Who could forget the way they lit up the early stages with their Swashbuckling style and dance routines when they score? Jamez Rodriguez was the poster boy of the team , wonderfully gifted with a left foot that could do no wrong. He scored one of the goals of the tournament with his strike Versus Uruguay in the R16 game. They eventually bowed out to Brazil in the Quarters but were certainly not disgarced. This time around James is 4 years older and more experienced so don’t rule out another fine outing for Colombia
worldcup winning potential : 73%
Japan (fifa Ranking 61)
This Japan Squad will probably seem familiar. Midfielders Kesuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa, along with Leicester City’s Shinji Okazaki combine to make this one of the more experienced sides at the World Cup. The problem is that the team has an average age of 30 and are described back home as Old men on a last hurrah. But quality remains Quality Japan have experienced yet good players who can hold their own against anyone. Expect an upset or two from them
worldup winning potential : 29%