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2014 FIFA World Cup
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Broken_Shoelace Offline
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2014 FIFA World Cup
Almost one month to go. Let's get the discussion going.

Brazil have already announced their squad:

Brazil:

Goalkeepers: Jefferson (Botafogo), Julio Cesar (Toronto FC), Victor (Atletico MG).

Defenders: Dante (Bayern Munich), David Luiz (Chelsea), Henrique (Napoli), Thiago Silva (PSG), Dani Alves (Barcelona), Maicon (Roma), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Maxwell (PSG).

Midfielders: Fernandinho (Manchester City), Hernanes (Inter), Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Oscar (Chelsea), Paulinho (Tottenham), Ramires (Chelsea), Willian (Chelsea).

Forwards: Bernard (Shakhtar Donetsk), Fred (Fluminense) Hulk (Zenit), Jo (Atletico MG), Neymar (Barcelona).

Some notable omissions: Kaka and Ronaldinho (not surprising really, as both are old and past their primes), Coutinho (really surprising considering he's been in great form for Liverpool and could play a role off the bench to spark creativity when needed), Lucas Moura (big mistake IMO. He's one of the quickest players in the world and can change a match in an instant. He's been really good for PSG), Filippe Luis (has been great for Atletico Madrid, but BRazil's defense is stacked anyway so I can see why he was left out).

What stands out to me is about this Brazil side is how different it is: Little creativity (by Brazil standards), no truly skillful players other than Neymar and Oscar, and no really world class striker (Fred to his credit, has played well with the national team, but he pales by comparison to previous Brazilian strikers).

Conversely, their defensive line-up is arguably the best in the world. They've got a world class player in every position, and a stacked bench too. Their midfield is solid but again, not the creative force you usually associate with Brazil.

They are however, my early pick to win the World Cup, though I might change my mind in the next few weeks.
08-May-2014 10:09 AM
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1972Murat Offline
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RE: 2014 FIFA World Cup
Here is Germany, one of my favorites along Brazil:

Goalies: Manuel Neuer (Bayern München), Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96)

Defense: Jerome Boateng (Bayern München), Philipp Lahm (Bayern München), Erik Durm (Borussia Dortmund), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund), Kevin Grosskreutz (Borussia Dortmund), Benedikt Höwedes (Schalke 04), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Marcell Jansen (Hamburg), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Shkodran Mustafi (Sampdoria).

Midfield: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Schalke 04), Leon Goretzka (Schalke 04), Mario Götze (Bayern München), Andre Hahn (Augsburg), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Bayern München), Max Meyer (Schalke 04), Thomas Müller (Bayern München), Mesut Özil (Arsenal) , Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Andre Schürrle (Chelsea), Luksa Podolski (Arsenal), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern München)

Forwards: Miroslav Klos (Lazio), Kevin Volland (Hoffenheim).

I would have expected Mario Gomez maybe to be in the lineup but he has not been playing great for a while. Even though the average age is around 25, lots of experience in that squad.

They may not look scary up front but Germany usually has no problem scoring as a team, with guys like Podolsky and Ozil.

08-May-2014 10:46 AM
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Broken_Shoelace Offline
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RE: 2014 FIFA World Cup
^^ It's important to note that in Germany's case, this is a provisional 30-man squad, which will later have to be reduced to 23. So 7 players on that list will still miss the World Cup in Brazil.

I agree about Gomez. I'm surprised he was left out especially since Germany are lacking true fire power up front. However, he's been plagued by injuries with Fiorentina this year, which is a shame because he had a promising start to the season. I'd have still taken him anyway, especially due to the relative lack of alternatives and Klose's age.

However, what Germany may lack in strikers, they make up for in attacking midfielders. With guys like Ozil (in spite of his inconsistency and shaky form), Kroos, Gotze, Muller, Schurle and Reus, Germany boasts the most robust set of attacking midfielders in the world. Scary stuff. The return of Khedira, provided he'll be fit enough to play at the required level, will give them defensive balance alongside the always reliable Schweinsteiger.

Though if I'm Joachim Loew, I'd think of playing Muller as a striker to compensate for the lack of options up front.

As always, I expect Germany to go deep, and they deserve to be among the favorites.
(This post was last modified: 08-May-2014 11:05 AM by Broken_Shoelace.)
08-May-2014 11:04 AM
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atttomole Online
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RE: 2014 FIFA World Cup
(08-May-2014 10:09 AM)Broken_Shoelace Wrote:  Almost one month to go. Let's get the discussion going.

Brazil have already announced their squad:

Brazil:

Goalkeepers: Jefferson (Botafogo), Julio Cesar (Toronto FC), Victor (Atletico MG).

Defenders: Dante (Bayern Munich), David Luiz (Chelsea), Henrique (Napoli), Thiago Silva (PSG), Dani Alves (Barcelona), Maicon (Roma), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Maxwell (PSG).

Midfielders: Fernandinho (Manchester City), Hernanes (Inter), Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Oscar (Chelsea), Paulinho (Tottenham), Ramires (Chelsea), Willian (Chelsea).

Forwards: Bernard (Shakhtar Donetsk), Fred (Fluminense) Hulk (Zenit), Jo (Atletico MG), Neymar (Barcelona).

Some notable omissions: Kaka and Ronaldinho (not surprising really, as both are old and past their primes), Coutinho (really surprising considering he's been in great form for Liverpool and could play a role off the bench to spark creativity when needed), Lucas Moura (big mistake IMO. He's one of the quickest players in the world and can change a match in an instant. He's been really good for PSG), Filippe Luis (has been great for Atletico Madrid, but BRazil's defense is stacked anyway so I can see why he was left out).

What stands out to me is about this Brazil side is how different it is: Little creativity (by Brazil standards), no truly skillful players other than Neymar and Oscar, and no really world class striker (Fred to his credit, has played well with the national team, but he pales by comparison to previous Brazilian strikers).

Conversely, their defensive line-up is arguably the best in the world. They've got a world class player in every position, and a stacked bench too. Their midfield is solid but again, not the creative force you usually associate with Brazil.

They are however, my early pick to win the World Cup, though I might change my mind in the next few weeks.
I agree with your analysis. Brazil has always struggled without top class finishers. Looking at the videos of their 1982 team, they had quality everywhere except a less than average forward, Serginho. It was not a surprise when Brasil reached 3 straight finals from 94 to 2002 because they had top strikers, Romario and then Ronaldo. I am also not sure if Neymar can delever in pressure situations where chances may be very few.
08-May-2014 11:38 AM
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Broken_Shoelace Offline
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RE: 2014 FIFA World Cup
^^^ Neymar is an interesting case. Obviously he's got potential, he'll improve and all that jazz, but I'm strictly talking about the present:

If we judge him exclusively by his first season at Barca, he's probably the most overrated player in the world. However, with the national team, he's been pretty phenomenal, and he was monstrous in last year's Confederations Cup.

The thing about Neymar though, is that he can make up for some of their lack of world cup striking as he scores goals himself, his main role with Brazil is to provide the creative spark. In this Brazilian side, he at times looks like the only player on the team who's capable of producing that moment of magic. If he's loose and playing with confidence, he'll do well, as Scolari has done a good job at building the team around him and making him their focal points. But, if he's still struggling with confidence and shows the form he did with Barca, he, along with Brazil, will struggle.

The good news however, is that not only are they playing at home, they have a pretty easy group, which means they can get some wins, gain confidence, and get the ball rolling (no pun intended). Let's see how Neymar deals with the pressure of carrying a nation's hopes on his shoulders at home.

But yes, the lack of world class strikers is worrying. We saw that in 2010 where Luis Fabiano failed when it really mattered (despite scoring a few), and in 2006, when Ronaldo was old and Adriano was really disappointing (of course the main disappointment that year was Ronaldinho. That squad was too ridiculous to underperform so badly).
(This post was last modified: 08-May-2014 11:48 AM by Broken_Shoelace.)
08-May-2014 11:46 AM
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atttomole Online
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RE: 2014 FIFA World Cup
(08-May-2014 11:46 AM)Broken_Shoelace Wrote:  ^^^ Neymar is an interesting case. Obviously he's got potential, he'll improve and all that jazz, but I'm strictly talking about the present:

If we judge him exclusively by his first season at Barca, he's probably the most overrated player in the world. However, with the national team, he's been pretty phenomenal, and he was monstrous in last year's Confederations Cup.

The thing about Neymar though, is that he can make up for some of their lack of world cup striking as he scores goals himself, his main role with Brazil is to provide the creative spark. In this Brazilian side, he at times looks like the only player on the team who's capable of producing that moment of magic. If he's loose and playing with confidence, he'll do well, as Scolari has done a good job at building the team around him and making him their focal points. But, if he's still struggling with confidence and shows the form he did with Barca, he, along with Brazil, will struggle.

The good news however, is that not only are they playing at home, they have a pretty easy group, which means they can get some wins, gain confidence, and get the ball rolling (no pun intended). Let's see how Neymar deals with the pressure of carrying a nation's hopes on his shoulders at home.

But yes, the lack of world class strikers is worrying. We saw that in 2010 where Luis Fabiano failed when it really mattered (despite scoring a few), and in 2006, when Ronaldo was old and Adriano was really disappointing (of course the main disappointment that year was Ronaldinho. That squad was too ridiculous to underperform so badly).
Neymar is expected to provide that creativity, and he will need a strong midfield to help him since he plays largely from the three quarters to the goal zone. Oscar and Hernanes can create as well, to help reduce the burden on Neymar. I felt that Scolari should have included Coutinho, even though I understand that he is limited to 22 men. The good thing about Scolari's approach is that they play a physical game, and know how to grind out results, like European teams. If Brazil are able to concede very few goals, then they should be able to win without scoring much. While playing at home will be an advantage, it could also mean added pressure because Brazilians are very demanding. My Brazilian coworker tells me that they think Brazil should win every world cup tournament they enter, which is a bit arrogant because other traditional powerhouses like Italy and Germany (Spain) are good enough to beat them.
Yes, the Brazilian team of 2006 looked scary. However, I think it was not balanced because it played with 4 attacking players who hardly came back to defend.
08-May-2014 09:19 PM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: 2014 FIFA World Cup
(08-May-2014 09:19 PM)atttomole Wrote:  The good thing about Scolari's approach is that they play a physical game, and know how to grind out results, like European teams. If Brazil are able to concede very few goals, then they should be able to win without scoring much.

This is what I dislike about Brazil, and have done since the 90's. They play like Europeans. They've traded in their flamboyance and emphasis on individual expression for what? To be like Europeans, and be able to "grind out results."

It's a horrid prospect, especially with the World Cup taking place in Brazil. Their mandate should be to make the world fall in love with football, but over the last couple of decades, they're progressively retreated from this and systematised and organised themselves to be actually the opposite of what Brazilian football stands for.

Now, before anybody says, they can't win by playing the old way, we don't know this. And remember, great Brazil teams had solid defences too, players who would work hard around the park and hold their own. Then, in attack, they were sumptuous and devastating. The 1982 side was built too much around their incredible attack, and a peerless midfield. Brilliance all over the park. They neglected defensive principles, but instead of developing towards similar to what they had, but with a strong and organised defence, they gave up and began to play according to systems, like Europeans. Which is drab, really.

By the way, Attomole, I agree wholeheartedly with you, but I find it something to regret rather than to celebrate. I'll be cheering for Spain, because Ireland aren't in it, and my sister lives in Spain...

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RE: 2014 FIFA World Cup
Kieran, our opinions usually converge as frequently as a solar eclipse but we've got the love of that 82 Brazil team in common... it wasn't the greatest team as results would attest, but as for a spectacle - they were just fantastic to watch.
09-May-2014 05:13 AM
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RE: 2014 FIFA World Cup
(09-May-2014 05:13 AM)britbox Wrote:  Kieran, our opinions usually converge as frequently as a solar eclipse but we've got the love of that 82 Brazil team in common... it wasn't the greatest team as results would attest, but as for a spectacle - they were just fantastic to watch.

That's it, and what should have been a starting point for Brazil, and football in general, became a full stop. They had the style, but the defenders forgot their primary role was to defend, and they should have taken pride in stopping others, retrieving the ball, and doing the basics. Instead, they wanted to show off their skills, which in fairness, were as tricky and great as most midfielders and strikers can manage.

Had Brazil built on this, instead of going into denial and crisis management, they may still have won two more World Cups, but football would also have been the winner, as the old saying goes...

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09-May-2014 06:41 AM
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RE: 2014 FIFA World Cup
We've had this debate before (re: Brazil 2006 vs. Brazil 1986) so I won't necessarily compare them, but part of why I feel their 2006 team was such a disappointment is because they had solid defense, and two really good defensive midfielders (Emerson and Gilberto Silva) in addition to their ridiculous offensive force. However, for that formation to work, especially with Ronaldinho and Kaka doing playmaking duties, Brazil had to sacrifice one of the strikers. Playing with two strikers in addition to Ronaldinho and Kaka made the squad too offensive, and it lacked any sort of balance.

I disagree with Keiran that Brazil has been playing like European teams since the 90's. They lost some of their "Samba" identity in the 90's (though with a world cup win and a final, it's tough to argue with results), but their 2002 squad with the 3 R's (Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho) was nothing European, neither was their 2006 squad. Their really European squads took place with Dunga, both as a player (94 and 98) and a coach (2010). And now again, with Scolari (though he was their coach in 2002, when they won).

I agree with attomole that given the relative lack of offensive talent by Brazil standards (again, this is only by Brazilian standards as their squad is still mighty talented), a physical, defensively solid approach with a compact midfield is probably the way to go. It's hard to deny that, their 3-0 destruction of Spain at last year's Confederations Cup, as "Un-Brazilian" as it was, was pretty impressive (high tempo, constant pressure, deadly counter-attack. Doesn't sound like Brazil, I know, but it got the job done).
(This post was last modified: 09-May-2014 10:19 AM by Broken_Shoelace.)
09-May-2014 10:18 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: 2014 FIFA World Cup
The Brazilians have more or less sold the exclusive rights to their identity since the 1982 World Cup. They tried a more defensive approach in 86, with a lot of the same players of 82, but they were older and employed less liberally, in the sense that the traditional Brazilian style focuses on the individual, as much as it did on the team. Personal expression was completely encouraged, and usually successful. They experimented horribly with European defensiveness and aggressive systems in the 1974 World Cup, where they were as brutal and filthy as Holland were at the last World Cup, and it took until 1982 before their reputation was salvaged.

It's true, they've have exceptional individuals since 1982, and should have had great teams, no matter that they've still been the side to beat at more or less every World Cup since then. Most of their best player move to Europe now and get infected with the European pragmatism and reliance on systems, which is good for building success, but not necessarily for creating great football.

I suppose, it was Atttamole's choice of words, that Brazil could "grind out results" in a home World Cup. That's a gruesome prospect and will have a detrimental effect on the game. Brazilian authority and playfulness and ingenious skill isn't just a sentimental ideal - it was often the default setting in the game. I hope they play like they used to, but with attention to the basic arts of defending.

Outside of Brazil, I wonder will we see a great team this year. The Germans, maybe. Spain might be getting old. Italy? I wonder if the Dutch can redeem themselves after the disgrace of 2010...

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09-May-2014 10:44 AM
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RE: 2014 FIFA World Cup
(09-May-2014 03:09 AM)Kieran Wrote:  
(08-May-2014 09:19 PM)atttomole Wrote:  The good thing about Scolari's approach is that they play a physical game, and know how to grind out results, like European teams. If Brazil are able to concede very few goals, then they should be able to win without scoring much.

This is what I dislike about Brazil, and have done since the 90's. They play like Europeans. They've traded in their flamboyance and emphasis on individual expression for what? To be like Europeans, and be able to "grind out results."

It's a horrid prospect, especially with the World Cup taking place in Brazil. Their mandate should be to make the world fall in love with football, but over the last couple of decades, they're progressively retreated from this and systematised and organised themselves to be actually the opposite of what Brazilian football stands for.

Now, before anybody says, they can't win by playing the old way, we don't know this. And remember, great Brazil teams had solid defences too, players who would work hard around the park and hold their own. Then, in attack, they were sumptuous and devastating. The 1982 side was built too much around their incredible attack, and a peerless midfield. Brilliance all over the park. They neglected defensive principles, but instead of developing towards similar to what they had, but with a strong and organised defence, they gave up and began to play according to systems, like Europeans. Which is drab, really.

By the way, Attomole, I agree wholeheartedly with you, but I find it something to regret rather than to celebrate. I'll be cheering for Spain, because Ireland aren't in it, and my sister lives in Spain...
I
I also loved the way Brazil played in the 80's, or earlier from what I saw in the videos. I really miss that type of football because the experience of watching them play that way is orgasmic. But I do not think they would have continued to win if they had kept that style of play. I saw a TV show yesterday where Zico was saying that they could have easily defended the result in 1982 against Italy at 2-2, but they still wanted to win the game even though a draw was enough to get them through.

Given how physical and tactical the modern game is, I think other teams would have found a way to beat them. After their 1970 win, it took Brazil another 24 years to win it. They knew they had to change because the Europeans were going to let them play and catch them on the break. The Brazilians now know that they need a midfield with ball winners, that are more useful when they are not in possession of the ball. In most cases, ball winners are not that spectacular when they have the ball, but they help protect the team. So you will get that tradeoff. The 1970 team was practically 4-2-4 when it was attacking, based on the videos I saw, and certainly that team would not win now.
09-May-2014 09:44 PM
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RE: 2014 FIFA World Cup


09-May-2014 10:18 PM
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RE: 2014 FIFA World Cup
That's football we won't see this summer, brother. No No

(09-May-2014 09:44 PM)atttomole Wrote:  I also loved the way Brazil played in the 80's, or earlier from what I saw in the videos. I really miss that type of football because the experience of watching them play that way is orgasmic. But I do not think they would have continued to win if they had kept that style of play. I saw a TV show yesterday where Zico was saying that they could have easily defended the result in 1982 against Italy at 2-2, but they still wanted to win the game even though a draw was enough to get them through.

Given how physical and tactical the modern game is, I think other teams would have found a way to beat them. After their 1970 win, it took Brazil another 24 years to win it. They knew they had to change because the Europeans were going to let them play and catch them on the break. The Brazilians now know that they need a midfield with ball winners, that are more useful when they are not in possession of the ball. In most cases, ball winners are not that spectacular when they have the ball, but they help protect the team. So you will get that tradeoff. The 1970 team was practically 4-2-4 when it was attacking, based on the videos I saw, and certainly that team would not win now.

This is true, Atttamole, but back in 1970, when Brazil won the World Cup, Italy were the most defensive side imaginable, well organised too, and built to stifle, but Brazil hockeyed them in the final because, a) they had superior players, and b) the players performed their duties all over the park.

So no Pep-style gambols up the park by the full-backs, who'd then saunter back while the ball was in their half. They built their success on sound football principles: when you don't have the ball, you defend, but when you do have the ball, you express yourself. And being so talented, their abilities were too much for the systematic defensive work of Italy. This is where the 1982 side fell down, in not telling their defenders to defend first, and foremost.

Could a side play like this now, and win the World Cup? I think so. If they have great enough players, and a manager who sticks to the basics. Spain won the European Championships with six midfielders and no strikers. Formations and systems are only relevant up to a point, but when the other team have the ball and are so superior, then any system can be dismantled, and often, demolished. But no Brazil manager can afford to take the risk nowadays, and especially not in a home tournament. They've become results driven, which is pragmatic, but doesn't make for such entertaining football...

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Smile RE: 2014 FIFA World Cup
world cup is now just a few hours less than 2 weeks away Smile

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeekk. Big Smile lets hope they finish the stadiums in time..3 are not complete.

Celebrate

knowing me alan partridge, knowing you tennis frontier..ah ha.
30-May-2014 06:53 PM
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RE: 2014 FIFA World Cup
Defending champions Spain have announced their final 23-man world cup squad:

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas, Pepe Reina, David de Gea

Defenders: Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Raul Albiol, Javi Martinez, Jordi Alba, Cesar Azpilicueta, Juanfran Torres

Midfielders: Koke, Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fabregas, Santi Cazorla, Pedro Rodriguez, Juan Mata, David Silva

Strikers: Fernando Torres, David Villa, Diego Costa

Notable omissions are Manchester City duo Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas. Both should have been included IMO (Negredo at the expense of David Villa), and I also feel Isco should have been there (though he didn't make the 30-man squad to begin with). Nevertheless, hard not to be impressed with the embarrassment of riches at their disposal.
01-Jun-2014 09:50 AM
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RE: 2014 FIFA World Cup
(01-Jun-2014 09:50 AM)Broken_Shoelace Wrote:  Defending champions Spain have announced their final 23-man world cup squad:

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas, Pepe Reina, David de Gea

Defenders: Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Raul Albiol, Javi Martinez, Jordi Alba, Cesar Azpilicueta, Juanfran Torres

Midfielders: Koke, Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fabregas, Santi Cazorla, Pedro Rodriguez, Juan Mata, David Silva

Strikers: Fernando Torres, David Villa, Diego Costa

Notable omissions are Manchester City duo Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas. Both should have been included IMO (Negredo at the expense of David Villa), and I also feel Isco should have been there (though he didn't make the 30-man squad to begin with). Nevertheless, hard not to be impressed with the embarrassment of riches at their disposal.

Thanks for putting that up, Broken. What are Spain's chances of repeating? (I suppose everyone knows they're my team.) Also, I haven't looked at all to see how the betting/gaming of teams is falling. I'm counting on you guys as my crib sheet. Anyone know when the draw comes out? Must be just a week, or so.
01-Jun-2014 07:40 PM
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RE: 2014 FIFA World Cup
(01-Jun-2014 07:40 PM)Moxie629 Wrote:  
(01-Jun-2014 09:50 AM)Broken_Shoelace Wrote:  Defending champions Spain have announced their final 23-man world cup squad:

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas, Pepe Reina, David de Gea

Defenders: Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Raul Albiol, Javi Martinez, Jordi Alba, Cesar Azpilicueta, Juanfran Torres

Midfielders: Koke, Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fabregas, Santi Cazorla, Pedro Rodriguez, Juan Mata, David Silva

Strikers: Fernando Torres, David Villa, Diego Costa

Notable omissions are Manchester City duo Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas. Both should have been included IMO (Negredo at the expense of David Villa), and I also feel Isco should have been there (though he didn't make the 30-man squad to begin with). Nevertheless, hard not to be impressed with the embarrassment of riches at their disposal.

Thanks for putting that up, Broken. What are Spain's chances of repeating? (I suppose everyone knows they're my team.) Also, I haven't looked at all to see how the betting/gaming of teams is falling. I'm counting on you guys as my crib sheet. Anyone know when the draw comes out? Must be just a week, or so.

Spain, in my book, are second favorites, behind Brazil, though they're definitely more vulnerable than they were 4 years ago. However, only Brazil, Germany and maaaaaaaaaaybe Italy have a realistic chance of beating them. I think Germany in particular, will be very difficult for them.

As far as the draw goes, do you mean the world cup draw? As in which team falls in which group and so on? Because if so, it came out some 7 months ago.
02-Jun-2014 02:52 AM
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Moxie629 Offline
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RE: 2014 FIFA World Cup
^ Thanks for answering my questions. How odd the draw comes out so early…I guess you can see I don't keep up. Blush I had looked on the fifa website, but couldn't find it. I'll source it. I'm a casual fan and nip in for the big moments. (As I do with all sports other than tennis, and then, just the ones I like.)
02-Jun-2014 07:06 PM
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Kiu Offline
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RE: 2014 FIFA World Cup
Just a few days left.

http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/

June 12 is the first match.
07-Jun-2014 07:15 PM
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