Originally Posted by j.arledge
how often does FIFA come around, i remember it coming on late at night one year a while ago. it was in south korea .(..) I have to say that the south american countires are all fairly tallented, Brazil for sure . should be cool to watch .
The World Cup comes every four years, last time was S.Korea/Japan joint hosts, 1998 was France. Brazil won 1994 and 2002. Most of the games will be during the day for US audiences.
Since it's in Germany, European countries will have an advantage, the strongest teams of those being the Netherlands, Italy and possibly France, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Portugal. But Brazil remains the best bet for the title. Argentina has a decent chance, just behind the best Euros.
I consider England, Germany and the Ukraine outsiders, one trick wonders if you will (Rooney, Ballack, Sevchenko respectively) Spain have still to prove they can play with the big boys in a major tournament. With Rooney out England really only has Gerrard and Lampard left, theri coach is clueless, the back four is hopeless, the forwards toothless, posing no real threat for a decent defense.
I really hope the Netherlands will do as well as 1998, we really should've won that one (like 1978 or 1974
) so will this time be our year? Our qualifying record speaks for itself, the #3 world ranking is no fluke either (in fact we've beaten the #2 twice during qualifying), the only problem that I see is that there are so many talented countries participating, even the group phase (Serbia&Montenegro, Ivory Coast, Argentina) will be quite a challenge.
After that depending on getting 1st or 2nd spot you can get anybody, in our case possibly Mexico/Portugal, then Sweden/England/Germany and a semifinal against Brazil.
Having said that the last two times we played Yougoslavia we beat them, same with Argentina in 1998. The fact that it is being held in Germany could be an advantage (remember WC1974 and EC198
We've got one of the world's best goalies (v.d.Sar) one of the wordl's best strikers (v. Nistelrooij) flanked by Kuijt and Robben, the midfield is very creative (v.d. Vaart) as well as experienced (v.Bommel, Cocu) The coach is a true legend, Marco van Basten, but relatively inexperienced in the job.
The only questionmark remains in defence, they were solid in qualifying, but some of those guys are a bit out of shape the last months; a pretty good mix of speed agility and strength, comfortable on the ball and very well balanced (we've got more lefties in the last line than in the entire English squad
'thing is most of them don't have a huge reputation yet, which could be a downside with respect to the refereeing, we all now that the big names get the refs' calls in their advantage.
Either way, it will be a great world cup, on par with France, and way better than WC2002.