OT: World Cup predictions

Submitted by amir_al-muminin on April 11th, 2010 at 3:19 PM

Who do you think will win it all?

I've been a fan of Argentina since I was a six year old kid, but--while taking nothing away from him as a player--I seriously doubt Diego Maradona's competence as a coach. Too much ego for me. Also, Messi has underperformed in international play, and the theory that Maradona is trying to sabotage Messi's career (out of fear of being surpassed) does not seem all that ridiculous to me.

I think this will finally be Spain's year (not a bold prediction, I know).

60 days till kickoff!



April 11th, 2010 at 3:33 PM ^

If we can beat Spain, we can beat anyone ...

But seriously, I'm taking Brazil. If they can beat Portugal in their group play, I think they'll be primed to win the whole ball of wax...


April 11th, 2010 at 3:38 PM ^

I don't care if we beat them and they fell of the mgoblog On Notice board. I always consider Spain as constantly On Notice.

I've been feeling more and more like Argentina could make a run. I like whoever they match up against in the first round after pool play. Just a question of if they screw themselves over against one of the European powers in the second round. Could have a ton of momentum going forward.


April 11th, 2010 at 3:45 PM ^

I really would like to see the US win. If we win our group, we would most likely play either Serbia or Australia. If we are runner ups in Group C, we will most likely face Germany. I think we got a pretty favorable draw, hopefully "US soccer hating God" does not rear his ugly head.

This might be Spain's year, but they wont have an easy route to the championship. Lets say that Spain wins group H, then they will play the runner up of Group G. That can either be Brazil, Portugal or Ivory Coast.

For whatever reason I always think the Dutch will make a run, but somehow they always seem to disappoint.


April 11th, 2010 at 4:12 PM ^

I feel like England has a great chance of making it far... especially if they can actually get some people to stay healthy. 2006 was bad luck on injuries in a year when they had the potential to go all the way.


April 11th, 2010 at 4:17 PM ^

Although I think the US has a chance to make a magical run to the final because they did get a great draw and England has some issues, Brazil.

L'Carpetron Do…

April 11th, 2010 at 4:35 PM ^

England always seems to have the talent to win it all but they can never put it together. Spain is the same way.

I'll be rooting like hell for the good ol' USA. I think they can make a serious run at it. That would be great to see and make the summer incredibly fun.

I must commend mgoblog again for its diverse and thorough sports coverage. I love reading about World Cup soccer and U of M lacrosse (R.I.P. 49 game winning streak) in addition to the superb reporting on all things maize and blue. USA! Go Blue! Thanks!


April 11th, 2010 at 7:17 PM ^

Just one other time, in 1984 I believe. I do agree this wouldn't be too bad if they had a WC trophy and another finals appearance to go along with it.

To be fair, they were robbed in 2002 in the quarters against South Korea, their late goal was incorrectly disallowed and they lost in PKs. They had a very solid squad that year.


April 11th, 2010 at 7:23 PM ^

1) I like the World Cup. But soccer isn't a very popular game in America. Americans LOVE football. They love baseball. They love NASCAR. They don't love futbol. It doesn't make those sports objectively better than soccer. It's just a reflection of the preferences of the populace.

2) 'round these parts, "football" is the game where people throw and catch the ball with their hands. I know, I know, that makes no sense. Too bad. You just gotta go deal with it.


April 11th, 2010 at 9:41 PM ^

Soccer, (generally) no.

The same way I become a curling fanatic every four years, every four years American interest in soccer increases dramatically. American interest in the World Cup can't really be taken as interest in soccer qua soccer.

FWIW, while I understand and appreciate soccer, I can't for the life of me understand the draw of NASCAR. Can anyone explain it to me? 500 miles of left turns?

[/belittling sports I don't fully understand]


April 11th, 2010 at 10:16 PM ^

lol i know the typical ignorant american like you thinks football is only american football...and i love football in the sense of peyton manning, tom brady, etc. its my favorite sport....but "futbol" as you call it is only the spanish ay to say it...the sport is called football too and rightfully so...its hard for americans to really appreciate world football because its not theirs...which is really selfish...nfl football is theirs, basketball is theirs, baseball is their past time even though they arent the best at it, and even though hockey is owned by canadians and russians the main league is theirs...but world football isnt theirs so they hate it and uits never talked about...but the sport is great and americans cant appreciate it which is a shame..and i just love all the dumb fu'ck americans who say if you want to call it football its called "futbol" when they are to dumb to realize thats only how you call it in spanish....like you....go away gimp and talk about something you actually have a clue about


April 12th, 2010 at 5:30 PM ^

The reason people call the game played on a gridiron with pads and helmets "football" is because that's its name in American English. "Soccer" is name we call the game played in shorts and where guys can't use their hands. This has nothing to do with national chauvinism. That's just what the two games are called in our language. We aren't the only country that does this. The sport is also called "soccer" in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland - in short, in most of the English-speaking world outside Britain.


April 11th, 2010 at 4:59 PM ^

other than a potentially good defense and wayne rooney, they have problems in net, a midfield that is too static and devoid of creativity or reliable wingers and a bunch of forwards that couldn't make the squad of any other contender.

this is how its always been. if they catch fire on defense on score timely goals, especially off set pieces, of course they have a chance. but the EPL's level of exposure always means an overrated england.

then there is the gerrard/lampard issue (to those who don't follow soccer, this is an issue akin to having gilbert arenas and allen iverson in the same back court). so many people think england have a world class midfield because of these two. yea gerrard and lampard are world class for the roles they play in their clubs, but as a unit the english midfield is mediocre.

the most important player for them is a milner/walcott/lennon/joe cole. if they suddenly start being able to take on defenders and provide good service into the box on a regular basis then yea they are for real. but this is like waiting for obi ezeh to finally become a good middle linebacker - you can keep waiting, but it's probably not gonna happen.

my money's on another quarterfinal exit for england


April 11th, 2010 at 5:18 PM ^

... but I have the good fortune of being able to go to two games this year. I chose the games before the draw came out, and lucked out with England v. Algeria and Portugal v. North Korea. I'll be rooting for whichever team has fewer points so that the U.S. has a better chance to advance (in full U.S. apparel, of course!).



April 11th, 2010 at 5:37 PM ^

It seems like your implication is that the Premiership is substandard compared to other, less broadly televised European leagues. I have to disagree as English clubs have played exceptionally well in Europe lately. In the last 5 years, the finals have seen 6 of a possible 10 teams hail from England, to say nothing of semi finals and quarter finals.

I want the US to destroy England, and the English team may in fact have severe issues, but a weak domestic league isn't one of them.


April 11th, 2010 at 6:27 PM ^

I'm not sure what his implication was, but I have to point out that the EPL's increased success in the Champions League has come after the increase in non-English players in the league. From 2000 to 2006, the number of foreign players increased from ~1/3 to ~1/2 of all players in the EPL. There is a lot of money to be had, and top tier players have been coming to England in greater numbers this past decade.

La Liga in Spain still has a limit on the number of foreign players a team is allowed to field, and I believe Serie A does as well (not 100% sure though)


April 11th, 2010 at 6:50 PM ^

yea i actually think even with this years champions league results, the premiership is the top league.

i was saying that the EPL is by far the most exposed league in the world, and english stars receive a disproportionate amount of attention. which in turn lead them to be a little overrated.

yes gerrard, lampard, but even the walcotts and lennons are overrated household names when really they are talented but average players. this is because they are 1) english and 2) play in the premiership.

and like jam706 said, judging the national team based on the quality of the domestic league is wildly inaccurate in england's case.

with that said, i have nothing against england and want them to do well


April 11th, 2010 at 5:00 PM ^

I think Spain is definitely the best team out there. They just have so much depth. A lot of their key players play together on Barcelona, in Xavi, Iniesta, and Puyol, and they also have the best keeper in the World in Casillas. I also really like Torres and Villa as forwards. Not to mention that World-class central mid fielder Cesc Fabregas doesn't even start most of the time due to all the depth Spain has. They have to be the favorite to win it all.


April 11th, 2010 at 7:04 PM ^

a world class keeper, a strangely good spanish defense, a midfield that could double as the world XI's midfield, and 2 of the 5 best strikers in the world (that play so well together - a bigger rarity).

this isn't like the 06 brazil team where everyone expected them to cruise because they assumed kaka, ronaldinho, robinho and ronaldo would play well as a team. this exact same team tore apart this past euro and have proven they can play well together.

but obviously anything can happen...


April 11th, 2010 at 5:46 PM ^

I'm going with Brazil.

Also, I'll wage that the US forces a draw with England in the first match just to get everyone's hopes up. Then, USA will proceed proceed to lose all the remaining matches and fail to advance.


April 11th, 2010 at 10:09 PM ^

Brazil traditionally starts a bit slow. The fact that they're in the group of death that has Ivory Coast and Portugal, they can't afford to start slow, otherwise, they'd be out in group play. Portugal is a very solid team and Ivory Coast is a very dangerous team with their arguably best player in the world, Dider Drogba, leading the way. If Brazil finish second, they would likely face Spain.


April 11th, 2010 at 6:11 PM ^

Did the OP really say that Messi has underperformed on the International stage?

Does the OP realize that Messi was 18 at the last World Cup?

Messi is now, easily, the best player in the world. Allow him at least one legitimate chance to be the star entering a World Cup. Gee whiz. You'd think this is a fanbase that declares players busts before they finish their freshmen years or something.....


April 12th, 2010 at 12:29 AM ^

I said that he has underperformed in international play (friendlies included), and he has. I understand that Messi was young, and only started one game in World Cup 2006 (and didn't play at all against the Ivory Coast or Germany), but you also must understand that the vast majority of international games are not World Cup matches. Messi has made 43 international appearances, and only 3 of those were in a World Cup.

Perhaps I should have specified, as I was really only talking about the last year or so (under Maradona) anyway. FWIW, I think Messi is the best player in the world.