Welcome to FootballsToYou.
“Football is like life – it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.” – Vince Lombardi
For the two of us, Football is equivalent to life itself.
This blog represents our not so humble views on the beautiful game of Football. Not only our views, but also our analysis and fun insights to the matches that are played, our main focus being the FIFA World Cup, Barclays Premier League, UEFA Champions League. It will also focus on the transfer market, and will have our tips, analysis and opinions on the dealings and rumours and feasibility of certain transfers.
If you have always wanted to sit back, enjoy and take a deep ride into the footballing world, its issues, controversies and what makes this game equivalent to a religion for many, you’ve reached your long awaited destination…
Given that we are in the #Brazil2014 season, we think it is only right to start by talking about the greatest sporting spectacle in the world: The FIFA WORLD CUP. This time, FIFA chose Brazil. A country that treats football as a religion and is that country’s esporte nacional, but doesn’t treat its citizens with that respect. It seems all hunky dory, but organizing an event of this stature, is anything but child’s play. All said and done, that day is here. June 12, 2014. Since, Iniesta broke numerous Dutch hearts, football has come a long way and so have the expectations and anticipations of millions of fans worldwide, be it India, Spain, England, Brazil, Russia or even Japan. An event that will last a month, a trophy so coveted, the World Cup has seen many great players, performances and teams, with Spain being a unique winner, where they won the 2010 World Cup after losing their first group game (vs Switzerland) (the first team to do so) and also scored the least number of goals (8) en route their glory. So what has changed in a span of four years? Cristiano Ronaldo has dethroned Lionel Messi as the World’s best player. Sir Alex Ferguson has retired. Gareth Bale has become the world’s most expensive player, Real Madrid have won their very coveted and unprecedented La Decima, Manchester United knocked Liverpool of their f*****g perch and finished 7th in the BPL and goal line technology has been added to the game.
But what has happened is done. Our focus shifts to this year’s world cup and the countries participating this year with many nations to choose from as favorites. What is unique about this World Cup? It is the first time ever that the previous World Cup’s finalists play their first game..against each other.
This is our shortlist of favourites from the lucky 32 teams who have made it to the World Cup Finals:
Each of these squads have their strengths, weaknesses, star players, a young player to watch out for and a surprise exclusion from their squad, regardless of injuries. That is exactly what we will provide to you.
Let us start with Brazil, the hosts.
Star Player – Neymar Jr., FC Barcelona (Mention – Hulk)
Neymar has come under a lot of criticism for his performances for FC Barcelona but his talent is unquestionable and if Brazil have even a slight chance of doing well, this guy will be their star man and he too will have a point to prove.
Strengths – Extremely good attacking trio in Hulk, Fred and Neymar.
Weaknesses – Not a very sure defensive unit as their defense lacks unity of sorts.
Young Player – Oscar., Chelsea FC
Exclusion – Lucas Moura, Paris Saint-Germain
Possible Replacements: Willian, Chelsea FC
Ranking – 2
Star Player – Thomas Muller, FC Bayern Munchen (Mention – Mesut Ozil)
Mr. Consistent for Bayern Munchen, coming in from a 25 goal season, he will lead the line for Germany and they will depend on his abilities given that Marco Reus is injured.
Strengths – Master Midfield containing the names Mario Gotze, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Ozil.
Weaknesses – They have only striker in their squad albeit Miroslav Klose is a top class player.
Young Player – Julian Draxler, FC Schalke 04
Exclusion – Marco Reus, Borussia Dortmund (Injury)
Replacement: Lukas Podolski, Arsenal FC
Ranking – 7
Star Player – Angel Di Maria, Real Madrid CF (Mention – Lionel Messi)
While most would wonder why not Lionel Messi, we feel that he has just been up to it this season to merit it, although there is no denying his talent. Angel by name and Devil by game, Di Maria has made the #10 position his own at Real Madrid and he is the unsung hero in the Bale and Ronaldo show and his influence on the game could make or break Argentina’s charge.
Strengths – Their attack feat. Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria
Weaknesses – The presence of the four time Ballon d’Or winner, Messi as the onus to score lies on him and it fitting in their attacking options could be a big headache as these players have big egos and may not be appreciative of the fact that they may be left out.That being said, he is also their greatest strength.
Young Player – Enzo Perez, Benfica
Biggest Exclusion – Carlitos Tevez, Juventus FC. (Didn’t want to cancel his family trip to Disneyland)
Replacement: Gonzalo Higuain, S.S.C. Napoli
Ranking – 1
Star Player – Diego Costa, Atletico Madrid CF (Mention – Iniesta)
This man chose to represent Spain over Brazil and Spain will heavily benefit from his services, who had a stunning season with Atletico Madrid scoring an astounding 38 goals in all competitions
Strengths – A super midfield boasting names such as Xavi, Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and the new “Blue eyed boy” of London (Arsenal fans look away) Cesc Fabregas, along with their super defense of Sergio Ramos, Pique and Jordi Alba. Iker Casillas deserves a mention too.
Weaknesses – Lack of out and out striking options due to untimely injuries and well, Fernando Torres.
Young Player – Koke, Atletico Madrid CF.
Biggest Exclusion – Isco, Real Madrid CF.
Replacement – David Silva, Manchester City FC
Ranking – 15
Star Player – Arjen Robben, FC Bayern Munchen (Mention – Robin van Persie)
The most efficient player in the history of Bundesliga with a scoring/assisting average of 76 minutes, this Dutch speedster will be looking to make amends for his dismal performance v/s Spain in the Finals last time out and he will be coming out all guns blazing.
Strengths – Their Golden Generation trio ( Sneijder, van Persie and Robben) are a major attacking asset and cannot be taken lightly
Defense – Their lack of big names in defense is a concern for the Oranje faithful and that seems their biggest liability
Young Player – Jordy Clasie, Feyenoord
Biggest Exclusion – Kevin Strootman, AS Roma (Injury)
Replacement: Jordy Clasie, Feyenoord
Ranking – 11
Star Man – Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool FC (Mention – Wayne Rooney)
Daniel Sturridge has had a successful season in Merseyside along with Luis Suarez and a tried and tested finisher he will be Roy Hodgson’s main striker.
Strengths – England display a strong team on paper with Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere.
Weaknesses – No Team work shown and England seem like a Team of Champions but not a Champion Team.
Young Player – Raheem Sterling, Liverpool FC
Biggest Exclusion – Ashely Cole, Unemployed.
Replacement: Luke Shaw, Southampton FC
Ranking – 3
Star Player – Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid CF (Mention – Joao Moutinho)
Cristiano Ronaldo. Commander, Captain and an absolute menace to defenders, the best player in the world, he will be Portugal star man with his pace, physical attributes and being a European Golden Boot winner and top scorer of the UEFA Champions League with a record 17 goals.
Strengths – Their biggest strength is their talisman Cristiano Ronaldo along with their talented midfield of Joao Moutinho, Nani and Raul Meireless.
Weaknesses – Not enough good striking options along with heavy reliance on Ronaldo, with a slightly inexperienced team.
Young Player – William Carvalho, Sporting Lisbon
Exclusion – Ricardo Quaresma, FC Porto
Replacement: Luis Nani, Manchester United FC
Ranking – 12
Star Player – Eden Hazard, Chelsea FC (Mention – Thibuat Courtois)
Chelsea’s new big thing, this guy is a complete playmaker, with a skillful dribble, a smart pass here and there and amazing free kicks. If he replicates his Chelsea form for the Red Devils, Belgium are in with a shout.
Strengths – A hoard of talented names throughout the pitch in Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Eden Hazard, Axel Witsel and Romelu “Tank” Lukaku
Weaknesses – Lack experience as most of their players are very young and with zero World Cup experience, but hey, Manchester United’s Class of ’92 did win the treble in 1999.
Young Player – Adnan Januzaj, Manchester United FC
Exclusion – Christian Benteke, Aston Villa FC.
Replacement: Kevin Mirallas, Everton FC
Well, fellow football fanatics, these are our views and we feel Brazil and Germany are in with the biggest say in this edition of the FIFA World Cup. If you agree with us about even a few thing, we plead you to read our upcoming posts and if you do not agree with our material and absolutely despise this blog, start your own and see what happens. Just kidding, if you do not like our material, tell us, read our upcoming material and let us change your minds.
Please stay on course for our review and expert analysis of the opener between Brazil and Croatia! Enjoy the FIFA Fever and may the country you support excel.
Live Long and Prosper!