Those of us who will be glued to their television sets, or following online in a few days time, the antics of the World Cup leave many of us with one question: who is the safe bet to win. When we consider that question, one thing we can do is consider what each of the television pundits say and then bet against them, for they are seldom completely correct in their analysis. So what do they say about the winner of the 2014 World Cup?
Gary Lineker reckons it will be an Argentine victory. With Lionel Messi fit one can not rule them out of the equation. But his fellow pundit, Alan Shearer, himself an expert at finding the net, reckons the Brazilian Samba will rule. They do seem to have an easier set of games to the knock-out stages and he believes that with Neymar, they have a winner. But this can be a team’s undoing, as we have seen in the past, to assume ease of transition from one stage to the next.
Former England international, Chris Waddle, agrees with Shearer. He says that “Brazil are on a mission” to win on home soil. Phil Neville sides with Lineker, as does Robbie Savage. So the favour of these men rests with the south American teams, who will be used to playing in the heat of the day in such a climate.
But with the likes of Pele saying that England has as much chance of winning as Brazil, this brings into light the fact that each of the British TV pundits are writing off anything but the south Americans, which seems a strange thing to do. Or does it?
With the combined squad strengths of Brazil and Argentina; to mention Messi and Aguerro in the same sentence says just about everything, it is obvious that they are favourites. But will they indeed, win the thing? They are certainly used to the big occasion, with Barcelona and Manchester City respectively, but once again, this is the World Cup and anything can happen. Will Argentina or Brazil win it?
I believe not. I believe that there may well be a surprise this time round, in the shape of either an African continent team winning, or another European victory in testing conditions. Should Brazil win it, I for one would be very happy, as will millions of yellow clad fans. Should Argentina win it, then I would not be so happy. But should a win come from somewhere else, then this fan of the game would be delighted, for it shows the game at its beautiful best, open, flowing and winnable for all.
So come on all you other teams; go for the win, not the draw. Go for victory and glory and bring that World Cup home! Whoever you are, may you win it squarely and fairly and show that pundits can sometimes turn out to be nothing but Muppets!