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.
Argentina – There’s not much to say about this bunch, other than Argentina is insanely talented. They ended their qualifying run with a 14 match win streak. The issue is whether they can finally play up to that level of talent on the biggest stage, their star player really struggled in the 2010 tournament. Lionel Messi has won four Ballon d’Ors, shattered multiple scoring records, while regularly terrorizing opposing defenses on the club level. Everyone is waiting for that same production, just on this level, when he’s wearing his nation’s colors. Obviously it’s not all on his shoulders, but the rest of the team has come to play in the past. Everyone is wondering how much damage Argentina can score if arguably the greatest player in the world would join them.
Bosnia & Herzegovina – This is their very first World Cup appearance, but they are far from a “feel good” story. This is not one of those cases where a team ekes out a win and earns their very first trip by the skin of their teeth. Bosnia & Herzegovina displayed dominance during their qualifying run, scoring 30 goals while surrendering just six. It also isn’t a case of “home grown” players playing locally for decent club teams, most of the players on this roster belong to some of the very best clubs in Europe. They could certainly be a dark horse pick to get out of this group, they have a very solid team. From the back line up to the strikers, this team is fully capable of making it out of this group.
Iran – Their last tournament appearance resulted in an early exit, Iran was sent home at the end of the Group Stage. Their qualifying run seemed to be going very well for the first few rounds, the road became increasingly bumpy as the went on. Three matches decided their fate, the first two against Qatar and Lebanon, the third against the host country. Iran downed Korea Republic 1-0 to punch their ticket to this year’s tournament. Keep your eye on Reza Ghoochannejhad, “Gucci” is has been on a tear when wearing his country’s colors. In nine appearances, he’s scored 11 goals, he might want to keep that streak alive if Iran wishes to advance to the Elimination Stage.
Nigeria – It must be nice, the Nigerians weren’t remotely threatened during their qualifying run. As a nation, they have reached the second round of this tournament twice (1994, 1998). Since, they’ve been dreadfully disappointing in tournament play. The most recent failure being in 2010, they failed to get out of the group stage. New coach Stephen Keshi has wasted no time making it know that this is his ship, he’s even gotten John Obi Mikel to buy in, always a good thing when a team’s best player is locked in to the coach’s message. They have a deep, veteran team that would like to atone for past failures and get out of the group stage and back into the second round where they belong.