The 2014 World Cup is just days away, that being the case it’s only right that we (MMOS) take a look at the impending action. We’re going to go through each group, providing some information on each and every team.
Brazil – One of the most successful countries in World Cup History, home of some of the most dynamic playmakers and goal scorers the world has ever seen. While they have won this illustrious tournament a record five times, recent times haven’t been so kind. Brazil has struggled on the big stage recently, this team will be missing some well known names. This is not one of the “loaded” Brazilian teams seen in past World Cups, this team is much younger and not yet as consistent as those past teams. This is not to say that this team isn’t talented, there are definitely weapons outside of Neymar. Not only will they have to grow up fast, but there is an insane amount of pressure on this team to right the wrong of the 1950 team, win the tournament at home in Brazil.
Croatia – They definitely made the trip to Brazil interesting, their qualifying run was full of nothing but drama. At the end of it all, with a new coach to boot, they are ready to compete and try and make it to the elimination round. Former National Team player, Niko Kovac is the man in charge (he previously coached their U-21 team). Croatia is a talented team, many of their players are regulars in the Premier League. One of the strengths of this Croatian team may be their stable of scorers, which is a great issue to have. They haven’t made it out of the Group Stage since 2006, this year’s team plans to go on a 90’s type run, if not better (Croatia finished 3rd in 1998).
Mexico – Talent is not an issue, which made their journey to the tournament extremely confusing. Mexico barely qualified, just two years ago they were the team on top of the mountain in the 2012 Olympic games. Coach Miguel Herrera made the jump from the Mexican League to the National Team Coach. While the country has many players playing in top leagues around the world, Herrera stuck with players closer to home when he took over. That decision played a large part as to why the qualified. Mexico has a great mix of talented players in their primes (Javier Hernandez, Giovani dos Santos) along with young players (Oribe Peralta, Carlos Pena) who have shown they are capable of playing on this stage. It’s a great problem to have, they would love a chance to get back at Argentina. The Argentinians are solely responsible for sending Mexico home in the last two tournaments, they’ll have to get out of the group stage first.
Cameroon – Similar to Croatia, the 90’s were a great time for this nation regarding this tournament. Since that run, they have either failed to make the tournament or got bounced in the Group Stages. The first name that jumps out to anyone when mentioning Cameroon is forward Samuel Eto’o, he should enjoy this year’s tournament as he has plenty of help behind him. The midfield is loaded with talent in Alex Song, Jean Makoun and Stephanie Mbia. With Brazil and Mexico being unpredictable this year, Cameroon has to like it’s chances to get out of the group stage.