As the world sits and waits for the fast approaching summer, there are many things that we ought to get right before Russia 2018. World cup destinations are never without controversies, so it is of no surprise that the upcoming event was marred with rumours and attacks from terrorist groups. Irrespective of such, the players are getting ready, the fans have been ready and the stage has somewhat already been set. So what are the things that we may need to take into consideration for this year’s world cup games?
Preparing for World Cup 2018
We have to brace ourselves for the fact that many big nations are out of the games. This could have been a possibility for fewer viewers, but knowing the magnitude of such an event, I’m positive the Italians, the Americans and the Dutch will find other teams to watch and support. Chile and Ghana also surprisingly are out, so the Black Stars supporters will have to cheer on another African nation. Mohamed Salah has lifted Egypt on his back and secured their spot in this year’s world cup. The Liverpool striker has 29 goals since joining the club and is still on an excellent streak. He is known as the man to get the job done whether by scoring goals or assisting. Be ready to see Salah and Egypt this summer.
Nike has revealed an effervescent kit for the Nigerians. So with a jersey like that, the players are being expected to play up a spark. The England team has been buzzing as to which athletes will be picked and how they will line up. With the games couple months away, I would say they are very anxious.
The first match is set for June 14, with the hosts playing against Saudi Arabia. That should be rather enthralling. However, it is the following day that is going to raise some heads and eyebrows. Portugal will play Spain. All eyes will be glued to television screens across the globe to see this extraordinary match up. Spain should have a very in-depth squad, seeing how the Spanish nationals are performing for their clubs. Cristiano Ronaldo will be action against his club captain, the dynamic Sergio Ramos. Friendships will have to be put on pause, as country duties take precedence over club teammates and rivalries, isn’t that right Ramos and Pique?
France has an awesome set of players to choose from this world cup. Their young players have been playing up to par. So the following day we might get to see the likes of Mbappe, Matuidi, Mendy, Laporte, Dembele, Martial or even Paul Pogba. I’m excited to see the guys who will make this French team. Benzema maybe?
Lionel Messi will have yet another chance to prove himself on the world’s stage as his team lines up against Iceland. The last world cup we saw him retire for couple seconds due to embarrassment, but he was back again after a good night’s rest. Will this year be any different or will he deliver for his many fans around the world?
The Germans are set to face Mexico. This too, ought to be an entertaining spectacle. Can the Mexicans stage an upset or will Germany dominate as expected? We will have to wait until the 17th of June to get our answers. As we ponder on their possible lineups, anybody willing to put their money on the red, green and white country flag?
Ordem y Progresso!
What’s a world cup without the Brazilians? Tite has been quiet thus far, however, vocal we know him to be. Could this mean he is choosing to say less because he knows the magnitude of his squad? Brazil will not want to repeat their 2014 world cup demise, so they will be coming with vengeance. Dani Alves wants to win this world cup before he retires. This is possibly his last one. With the team that they have, the boys should be willing to provide him with such a gift. A fit and healthy Neymar will always cause problems for opponents. The likelihood of seeing Gabriel Jesus, Marcelo, Casemiro and the newly clad Barcelona midfielder Philipe Coutinho is very high. As usual, the fans will be waiting to see Thiago Silva and Marquinhos gracing the backline. Many will be left out, but those who will be chosen can get the job done.
El Matador and Uruguay
Uruguay is not to be left out as Cavani will want to lead his country to a possible victory. Suarez also has been finding the back of the net in basically all games for Barcelona this season, therefore, he is also to be expected to perform if called upon. The same goes for Croatia with the likes of Modric, Mandzukic, Kovacic and Rakitic. James, Falcao and Cuadrado will want to give the Colombians a goal-fest and excite them with fast flowing football and beautiful skills.
“Say no to racism” is a banner that football fans have been quite familiar with over the years. As we prepare for the games, we can only hope that this phrase will be respected and looked upon with reverence. No player should be the centre of discrimination because of his race. Football is what unites us. As such, we need to respect the men who will be marching out onto those fields in the summer to uplift our respective countries for us.
Russia 2018, we are ready!
Image used: Embed from Getty Images