This summers World Cup is set to be one of the great sporting events of recent times, as football heads back to its spiritual home.
Here we take a look at the teams best suited to win the biggest prize in football:
The Brazilian people have always expected their team to win the World Cup, no matter which counrty they were playing in. Now at long last the World Cup is in Brazil and expectation is even greater. Where other counties will be asking themselves can they handle the warmer climate? The Brazilian players will be asking themselves can they handle the sheer pressure from their own nation?
Leading Brazil into this pressure zone will be the man who guided Brazil to their last World Cup glory in 2002 Luiz Felipe Scolari, he will know anything short of World Cup triumph will be seen as a failure.
The World Cup holders head to Brazil with the knowledge that for many it could be their last, Spain’s golden age is coming to an end. The question now is can they go out with one last hurrah. Certainly the decision by Diego Costa to play for Spain will give the Spanish midfielders a cutting edge striker, someone who will keep opposing defenders on their toes. Though it remains to be seen if Vicente del Bosque chooses to play him or whether he sticks with a 6 man midfield with Fabergas operating in the advanced role. Where the Spanish shouldn’t struggle is the hotter climate, as they are more accustomed to it than other European nations & also the way the Spanish play, the ball tends to do most of the work.
While they may no longer be at the peak of their powers, Spain still go to the World Cup as one of the favourites.
The young guns that famously stormed onto the scene back in 2010 and taught England a footballing lesson are four years older, however unlike then expectations are far greater to win Germanys first World Cup in 24 years.
After what was perceived to be a failure at the European championships the German Head Coach Joachim Low will know its make or break for him.
Led by the relatively unknown Alejandro Sabella, Argentina head into this World Cup in very different style from their last, where they were of course led by the one and only Diego Maradona. Then there was a sense of anything goes, no rules and a disaster waiting to happen. Now however Argentina feel like a much more solid unit.
Few will argue Argentina have some of the best attacking talent with Lionel Messi looking to confirm his place alongside Pele and Diego Maradona as one of the all time greats. If the Argentines can just hold their rather suspicious looking defence together they may well win the tournament in their biggest rivals back yard.
Captained by Vincent Kompany and managed by Marc Wilmots, Belgium head to Brazil as real dark horses. They have been drawn in Group H, alongside the likes of Russia and Korea. Its a group Belgium are expected to qualify from. However where they finish after that is anyone’s guess. With talent such as Hazard, Witsel, Coutois and Lukaku the Belgium’s should certainly surprise a few. They have never been one of the great footballing nations, having watched their neighbours in Holland and France set the standard, Belgium’s time has finally come to write their own history.
Ultimately the only thing that can be promised during a World Cup is there will be twists and turns, highs and lows, tears and joy & the knowledge there can be only one winner.