World Cup squad selected - Group A & B
Posted by: Sounders FC Public Relations
SoundersFC.com has selected their squad of 32 World Cup bloggers to represent the 32 nations in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Learn about each blogger with their winning entry to the question: Why will your country win?
Delicious skill, loads of experience, and an epic chance to unify France during its national identify crisis will undoubtedly propel Les Bleus to a second historic World Cup title. Although Maradona has recently overtaken Raymond Domenech as the laughing stock of world football, I, and all of my French friends truly believe that despite the fact that our astronomer and part-time coach has admitted to choosing his squad based on the stars, we French have the one most overlooked thing that is necessary to be crowned champions: luck. Love or hate Thierry Henry, few Frenchmen, despite all of our natural pessimistic inclinations, would be surprised to see his hands, clenched around the beautiful gold trophy, propel themselves high into the Parisien sky come mid-July, only to cap another beautiful tournament, and bring vengeance to a country still haunted by Zidane's fateful headbutt in Berlin.
El Tri, Mexico's squad, posses loads of young talent most of which played together and won the FIFA U-17 World Cup Final in 2005. This young and talented team is hungry for glory and relishes every opportunity to perform for Mexico. Their vigor and drive was best exemplified on Tuesday's friendly match against the Netherlands. Many of El Tri's squad was smaller in physical size compared to their opponents and at times the Netherlands' players towered over El Tri during set pieces but these Aztec warriors dominated their opponents as if they were giants. Decades from now we will look back and remember when the legendary Carlos Vela, Giovani Dos Santos, Jonny Magallon, and Javier “El Chicharito” Hernandez electrified the beautiful game of football during a victorious World Cup finale in Johannesburg. Their heroics and valor will be recorded in the history pages of the most beautiful game on Earth.
In 1995, only a few years after the fall of Apartheid, a united Republic of South Africa hosted its first international sporting event. Led by a guy with the last name of Pienaar, they became world champions. One year later, they hosted the African Cup of Nations, winning the soccer title for the first time. After qualifying for the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, South Africa faded into mediocrity -- barely cracking the top 100 of FIFA's world rankings going into this year. Hosting the largest international event ever held on the African continent, South Africa are once again led by a guy with the last name of Pienaar. No World Cup host nation has ever failed to get past the first round. With a new coach and an adoring nation behind them, Bafana Bafana looks to overcome the odds at the 2010 World Cup -- something they've accomplished before.
Why will Uruguay win the World Cup? Two words: Diego Forlan. Should this world class striker get hot he could single handedly, or footedly, get his team through the tournament using his golden boots. No doubt that Forlan would not mind pairing with his normal Athletico Madrid strike partner, Argentine Sergio Aguero. However, his national strike partner is no slouch either. The young Luis Suarez of Ajax has had larger European clubs sniffing around for some time. A superb cup on his part would surely clinch a monumental payday and immediate transfer to the likes of Barca or Man U (although he would look great in rave green). Furthermore, we are talking about the two time World Cup champions. That's more than England or France. Also, quite strangely, the Europeans and South Americans have alternated World Cup's since 1962. Since Italy won in 2006, it's South America's turn. Viva Uruguay!
The vertical white and sky blue stripes represent greatness. Two World Cup titles, most recently in 1986, have kept this country longing for every fourth year. A man named Maradona lead the Argentinians to glory sixteen years ago, and since 1990 when they last reached the final, they've come up empty handed. Sixteen years after departing, Maradona returns to the team, ready to lead them back to the promised land- as a coach. This time around, the team may not need the "Hand of God" to win their third FIFA World Cup. After all, La Albiceleste have the best player on the planet- Lionel Messi. It's up to Messi, Tevez, Higuan, and a youthful team to not just compete, but bring the title back to Argentina, solidifying the legacy of Maradona and confirming that Lionel Messi is not just the best player on the planet, but perhaps the best ever.
With the recent financial collapse, Greece has already proven they can take down all of Europe with one fell swoop. Who else in the field can claim that?
In 2002, after beating Portugal, Italy, and Spain, South Koreans advanced to the semi final and placed in fourth. Without a doubt, it was one of the most upset events in World Cup. After 2006 World Cup, Koreans went trials to bring out the new generation and discovered many talented young players such as Lee Chung-Yong(Bolton) and Ki Sung-Yong(Celtic). Now, in 2010, 5 veterans from 2002 are still in the squad and are matured to lead South Korea to qualify to the group stage without losing a game in the process. Ji-Sung Park, the unsung hero of Manchester United, named as the captain of the Korean squad and boosted team's morale with his ability to create chances and hard work. 23 men squad, the strongest ever in Korean's football history(even stronger than 2002's squad), will advance to the first round and try their chances to the final.
One African nation will be able to harness the passion and pride of the continent, and make a run deep into the knockout stage. Host nations typically enjoy great success during the World cup. But this year, that magical run will slide across the continent to Nigeria. South Africa is not skilled enough to advance and is stuck in a tough group. Ghana lost Essian, and Ivory Coast lost Drogba. Eto'o is throwing a tantrum for Cameroon. Algeria advancing past England and USA is tough sell. Nigeria is poised to advance with a slew of premiership stars like Jon Mikel Obi (M, Chelsea), Danny Shittu (D, Bolton), Dickson Etuhu (M, Fulham) and Ayegbeni Yakubu (F, Everton). Nigeria has talent all over the field, and following a nail biting qualifying run that resulted in a new coach (Lars Lagerback), the Super Eagles are ready to hoist the cup for Africa.