With the first round of the group stage having just wrapped up and the second round underway, here are the teams you should be keeping an eye out for (in no particular order):
- Spain: The 2010 FIFA World Cup champion is certainly one to look out for. An amazing display of talent and spirit during their game with Portugal making it difficult to root for one team over the other. But having won before, Spain has proven that it can win the biggest cup in football.
- Portugal: Portugal and Spain gave us the most competitive and exciting game on the second day of the world cup. With a world class player like Ronaldo having scored all the goals for his side (a total of 4 goals), the UEFA Euro 2016 winner may be one of the best contenders for the cup.
- France: France is always a favourite, despite inconsistent performances over the years. However, we should never rule out this group as they did win their first match against Australia. We’re hoping to see a more exciting game from them in the coming matches.
- Brazil: Every world cup tournament, Brazil is continuously ranked high amongst the favourites to win and for good reasons. This year is no different, but Brazil did have a rusty start and its main star Neymar wasn’t that convincing. Coutinho though is the one to look out for.
- Belgium: Ranked higher than Spain and 3rd on the list, Belgium had an easy win against Panama during its first match. The Belgium team is one of the few teams considered as well-rounded in this tournament which is why they have made our list of potential winners.
- The underdogs: Honestly, there are so many underdogs this time I don’t know which one to pick. With the World Cup being hosted at home, Russia has a lot to prove. They are not only playing to win, but they are going for the ultimate glory in front of millions of fans. Russia has scored the most goals amongst all teams played so far, with a total of 8 goals. Mexico may be our all-time favourite amongst all the underdogs, having robbed Germany of a first-match victory. Ranked 6th on FIFA’s World Ranking, in no universe should Switzerland be called an underdog, but they have also never won the biggest prize and 2018 may be theirs. Iceland gave Argentina a run for its money, so who knows, maybe the Vikings will surprise us all! Croatia was not even going to make our list, but after their superb game last night, they are certainly one to look out for.
Is your favourite team not featured?
Had we compiled this simple list before the world cup started, Germany would have topped our list. Unfortunately, having lost to Mexico, other contenders have shown a more promising start. Anything is possible though, in 2010 Spain lost its first match against Switzerland and went on to win the cup. Yes, England won their first match, but we didn’t expect anything less. England has failed to bring any significant trophies home time after time but we should still never underestimate them. Argentina made the list before yesterday’s match, but we just had to cut them off after their abysmal performance.
Who are you rooting for and which team do you think will take home the trophy? Let us know in the comments section.