Before the first ball was kicked in Russia on June 11, some fans felt the much coveted World Cup would find its home to their countries.
You would agree with their lofty belief especially if they were nationals of Brazil,Spain, France, Argentina ,Belgium and the defending Champions Die Manchaft of Germany
Brazil was tipped to win a record 6th World Cup in Russia this summer. And they had all the arsenal to capture the trophy and bring it to their football crazy fans in the beautiful country of Brazil especially with Neymar coming back from a season ending injury. Brazil won all their Pre tournament friendly games in style with Neymar showing why he is seen as a perennial contender for the balon d’or .
All that promise fizzled out when Brazil met Belgium in one of the most interesting games of the Russia 2018 World Cup leaving Neymar disconsolate and scarred once more.
Brazil might have had the flair and biggest threat but Germany was tipped to defend the World Cup trophy. The team chosen to repeat this feat still had players who won the World Cup 4 years ago. If that team was stellar this German Team was only stellar in names only. An insipid performance against the Mexicans saw them lose , it was followed by a game won only at the last second by a kroos curler against the swedes and a loss against the less fancied South Korean team.
Germany was knocked out and it was quite unpredictable. Spain might have gone one further than Germany but they fell short of the high placedon them by their
2 days to their first match, Julien Lopetegui was sacked after being announced as the Coach of Real Madrid starting after the World Cup.
The announcement came as a shock but his sack by the Spanish FA came as a bigger shock. While the impressive showing in the first game against Portugal might have doused the fears, the roja blancos couldn’t go pass the host nation. Some quarters blame the sacking of Lopetegui on the failure of the team to reach it’s full potential at the World Cup .
But if there is one team amongst the pre tournament favourites who still retain the tag of favourites to win the trophy at the semi final stage, that team is the Les blues of France. The team has continued to grow from strength since the beginning of the tournament. They have defeated strong opponents including the Messi led Argentinian team and the well organized machinery of the Uruguay team. With Mbappe, Kante, pogba and Greizmann playing fantastic football it seems the World Cup is theirs for the taking. But would they be able to go through an impressive Belgian team who have continued to impress all through, not even loosing or drawing a single game in the tournament. The only team to do so in this tournament and they have been able to do so with the help of a marauding hazard, clinical lukaku and a Courtois who has rediscovered his red hot form. Belgium might just continue their impressive record and put an end to France chances just as they did to Brazil.
England seems to have an outside chance but a better chance at getting to the final if they can manage to muzzle Modric who has been fantastic so far at this World Cup, and get the ball 4th o their talisman Harry Kane who is the current highest goal scorer.
Croatia might fancy their chances as long as Modric keeps destroying midfields as he has continued without stop since the beginning of the tournament.
But their chances are slim but they might as well take it especially if it comes to a penalty shootout
Maybe England France or Belgium might win the World Cup or just maybe the men with the finest President at the World Cup, Croatia might just create history.