FIFA World Cup 2014: Top five teams to watch out for

  • Nishant Andrews, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jun 10, 2014 21:08 IST

As the clock ticks by and we near June 12, the world prepares to experience another awe-inspiring display of stupendous teamwork and magnificent physical strength. This FIFA World Cup, we bring you a list of five teams that will have their fans unsettled at their seats, clamoring with joy for 90 minutes.

Prior to lifting the coveted Trophy in South Africa, so frequent were their exits at the last eight of the finals that Spain were said to be suffering from a ‘quarter-final jinx’. But, now being the defending champions, the Spanish coach and manager Vicente del Bosque shoulders a huge responsibility to upkeep the name of the team.

Moreover seeing the squad of XI, the team ranks first in the charts and has favourable chances of procuring the Cup again.

The men in red have a phalanx of very dependable players to call on, headed by Iker Casillas, while Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique have consolidated their positions as the leaders of a defence in which left-back Jordi Alba has gone from nothing to a nightmare.

With both David Villa and Fernando Torres struggling to find their touch, this year they have a new star Diego Costa to add on to their ballistic properties.

Having a humongous fan following and being the host team, “pundits” have already proclaimed Scolari’s squad as the winners of FIFA world Cup ’14.

Enveloping some big names and some youngster starlets, this team continues to be an eminent threat to others.

Striker Neymar has already been hailed as a man capable of playing a key role for the five-time world champions come Brazil 2014.Currently among the supporting cast in attack is Chelsea’s favoured youngster Oscar, while Barcelona’s Dani Alves and Zenit’s Hulk are the lung-bursting duo on the flank.

Between the poles, veteran goalkeeper Julio Cesar exudes confidence and security to the rest of the backline.

Securing the overall rank of 10 and having one title to their name, these underdogs still have that power and dynamic strength to come back into the race and overthrow any other team.

Under the able management of Roy Hodgson, England stand a fair chance to give a tough competition to the opponents.

Wayne Rooney starts off the team list, his clinical finishes attending to the forward block.

In midfield, Gerrard and Frank Lampard provide experience and creativity while young guns Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ross Barkley highlight the Three Lions' attacking flair for the future.

Danny Welbeck scored four goals and paved a path into the team, while Daniel Sturridge's emergence as one of the English Premier League’s top forwards can only bolsters Roy Hodgson's attacking options for Brazil.

This World Cup Joachim Low’s team will be having a serious number of absentees. With recent injury taking toll over Marco Reus against Armenia, Germany will have to field a rejigged forward, midfield and defence without the presence of tenacious enforcer Ilkay Gundogan and centre-half Holger Badstuber.

But with prodigious names like Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos, Boateng, Lahm, Julian Draxler and Podolski German fans would have a lot less to worry about.

With Manuel Neuer being compared to legends like Oliver Kahn and Lehmann, the German sticks will be in secure hands.

Full-back Philipp Lahm and schemer Bastian Schweinsteiger earned their international spurs long ago: each has reached 100 caps but is still at their peak.

Thomas Muller won the Adidas Golden Boot and was named Best Young Player at the 2010 finals, while youngsters Andre Schurrle, Toni Kroos and Mario Gotze keep getting better and better .

Deschamp Dider’s XI man squad, ranking 17 in the overall World Cup standings, stand a fair chance to procure the Golden Cup this year.

Although Les Bleus failed to win a single game at either UEFA EURO 2008 or the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and took a laborious route through to the quarter-finals at EURO 2012, the present generation will undoubtedly be anxious to draw a line under that recent tournament form when they touch down in Brazil.

France boast solidity at the back, with a in-form goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and a rearguard bolstered by the European experience of Patrice Evra, Laurent Koscielny and Raphael Varane.

In the midfield, Paul Pogba, youngster starlet, can produce moments of magic.

Further forward Karim Benzema and Olivier Giroud both possess a keen eye for goal.

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