World Cup squad selected - Group G & H
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?
I grew up in Brasil and have witnessed firsthand the passion and devotion for the beautiful game, which has culminated into a 23 man roster boasting some of the most impressive names in international soccer. The Selecao's tactician, Dunga, has not relied only on Brazilian flair and creativity to carry the team to the final, opting to instill a tremendous work ethic and sense of equality among his team. Under Dunga, Brasil has played a frighteningly effective brand of soccer, relying heavily on defense, counter attacking, and set pieces. The team cruised through qualifying, survived a scare against the USA in the Confederations Final, and reclaimed its #1 spot in the FIFA rankings all within the last year. The winning mentality, the workman like approach, the loaded roster, and the support of the nation who live and breath the game will make the Selecao hexacampeaos this summer. Vamos la Brasil!
JOHANNESBURG - The cheering, chanting and horn blowing that went on for hours after the final whistle could only mean one thing - Africa were champions. Ivory Coast defeated France 1-0 in a thrilling match that gave the country, and the continent, its first World Cup championship. Star striker Didier Drogba scored the only goal to give the Elephants the victory and send the Soccer City crowd into raptures. "This is for our people," Drogba said. "This is for Africa." Many heroes appeared for the Ivory Coast during the match. Didier Zokora was able to constantly control possession in the midfield. Kolo Toure headed away countless dangerous crosses and anchored the defense. And unheralded Boubacar Berry made several brilliant saves that will surely get him noticed by bigger European clubs. But it was Drogba whose strike won the game and ignited a continent-wide celebration. Could it have ended any better?
Why will my country win the 2010 FIFA Word Cup? All you need to do is look at our success in the World Cup. In our last appearance (1966) we finished qualifying first in our region of 18 teams (16 teams withdrew from qualifying). In group play we advanced by beating Italy 1-0, and then were undone by our misunderstanding that the quarterfinal matches were only to be played quarterfinal time (twenty third minute) at which time we were up 3-0 over Portugal. Apparently, they still play all 90 minutes in quarter final matches and we lost 5-3. But we will not make the same mistake this time around.
The “Group of Death” is the most competitive. Three out of the Four teams are favored to move on. Only two will get that chance. Overall number one Brazil is heavily favored, but only if they can score on Portugal’s tough defense. The Ivory Coast lead by Premier league stand out and leading scorer Didier Drogba is also in the mix. Drogba’s Chelsea teammate and Portugal’s second captain, Paulo Ferreira, is protecting the box in front of goal keeper Eduardo who is making his first appearance on the World Cup pitch. Captain Cristiano Ronaldo has not been in top form, leading other Portugal players to step up. Attacking midfielder Simao is one of those players. He has emerged as Portugal's leading scorer during qualification, with 4 goals in 10 games. With so much effort spent guarding Ronaldo other players will be left open to shine.
Joga Bonito. That’s how Chile’s 2006 qualifying campaign ended, but for all the wrong reasons. Chile was humiliated by Brazil 5-0 in one of the final qualifying games that crushed their hopes of reaching the finals in Germany. Footage from that match was used by Nike in their Joga Bonito campaign to illustrate the beautiful game (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCDqDZVJtuE&NR=1). In Chile it served as a reminder that once again they weren’t good enough. The national federation made a bold move hiring Marcelo Bielsa, an Argentine, as the new manager. Using a squad mostly composed of young players like Mati Fernandez (former South American player of the year) and Alexis Sanchez (4 goals in the last 7 matches for Udinese), Chile finished 2nd in CONMEBOL qualifying and beat Argentina for the first time ever. These kids may not be household names in the US yet, but they’ve shown they can play. Joga Bonito.
Honduras hasn't been in the world cup since 1982. They made it to South Africa by a miracle. The USA beating Costa Rica 3-2 set off the biggest party seen in Honduras. They are the underdogs in their group, in which favorites Spain are also in. Honduras will fight to the last minute and leave everything on the pitch. With the likes of David Suazo and Wilson Palacions, they have what it takes to surprise the world, like they did in 1982 after tying the host nation of Spain in that year's World Cup. Honduras has nothing to lose coming into the tournament, they have a whole country watching and praying they succeed in the tourney, whether it be winning the whole thing, or at least getting through to the next stage.
I lived out a World Cup dream summer of 2006 living in Spain; catching every gripping moment in plazas scattered across my coastal city, each with one small flatscreen TV outside a pub and THOUSANDS of Spaniards and tourists alike watching each daring move the Spanish team made during World Cup 2006. It all ended without Spain, yet nonetheless ceremoniously dashing across the city of El Puerto trying to catch our train home, yet not missing a single penalty of the final by stopping in small groceries glimpsing goals on shop keepers' barely working TVs/radios. All moments not to be forgotten and all the more reason to keep up with the 2010 World Cup and mi equipo Espana in their rise to the top as they have exemplified in the qualifiers. It would be an honor to bring Seattle fans the same enthusiasm for Spain that I know and love!
The Swiss will win because the are so neutral. You may the beauty of the 25 yard free kick into the top corner. Or the grace of a perfect first touch of the cheats slotted into the bottom corner. You may love the diving save or perfect tip over the bar. These are all amazing things and fun to watch. The truth is however the game in won in the midfield, in the neutral area of the field. You may think goalies win you games and strikers make the money, but you can't win unless you control the neutral part of the field. The swiss may not have the power of Spain or the Grace of Brazil but they have the neutrality to take home the 2010 FIFA World Cup.