Star Players Mean Russia World Cup Might Just Top the Lot

Star Players Mean Russia World Cup Might Just Top the Lot
The 2018 World Cup has been something of a slow-build. It might be because many of the prominent media outlets are not used to covering events within Russia, or it could simply be down to the fact that club football is increasing its stranglehold on the world’s attention.

Yet, from the moment the final whistle went in the Champions League Final, the majority of football fans will have been thinking about the big kick-off at the Luzhniki Stadium on 14th June.

And, fans are right to be excited. In terms of brilliant players, you must go back to France 1998 and the era of Zidane, Ronaldo and Roberto Baggio et al to find such a ‘stacked’ collection of talent.

It may only be looked as such upon with hindsight, but it may just be that we are in a golden era of football, with Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar, Griezmann, Suarez, Kane, Salah, Firmino, Mbappé, Isco, Silva, Pogba, Muller, Aguero and others all set to light up the finals in Russia.

Not every World Cup delivers

Lionel Messi Argentina World Cup Star Player in Russia
This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND
Of course, having great players does not always mean we have a wonderful tournament. Despite fielding like Diego Maradona and Lothar Matthaus, Italia ’90 delivered, frankly, turgid football in the majority of matches. However, the fact that there are so many good teams going to Russia might just mean this will be a tournament to remember. 

Indeed, there doesn’t seem to be a clear favourite for the World Cup, which could add to the spectacle. Betfair and Paddy Power have put both Brazil and Germany at the top of the odds at 9/2, but they are closely followed behind by Spain at 11/2 and France at 6/1. Can anyone say with confidence which of these sides is superior? It’s difficult, so check out free football betting tips to get the latest expert opinion on the World Cup and more.

Belgium look like potential winners

Even taking the top four nations aside for a moment, we are still left with the like of Argentina, Belgium (both 10/1), England (16/1) and the European champions Portugal (22/1). That’s eight teams with realistic designs on winning the World Cup. Surely such a closely matched bunch of excellent teams will lead to an exciting, unpredictable tournament.

We must also remember, however, that the World Cup is about the underdogs and, once again, the 2018 World Cup might serve up some cracking teams that could upset the odds. This could indeed be one of the most memorable tournaments for African sides. Plenty will be expected of Mo Salah’s Egypt, but keep an eye on Senegal who could storm out of Group H ahead of Poland, Colombia and Japan.

Underdogs bring something unique to Finals

Underdogs bring something unique to Finals
This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC
If the last few years of international football taught us anything it is that we should never underestimate the smaller nations. It will be intriguing to see how Iceland and Costa Rica – the darlings of Euro 2016 and World Cup 2014 respectively – get on, considering the bigger nations will be ready for them. Could Panama, Peru and Iran usurp Iceland and Costa Rica as everyone’s second team?

There is also the question of the England team and its long-suffering fans. There is much less pressure this time around, mainly because England have been garbage in the last few major tournaments. But the lack of expectation might suit Gareth Southgate’s young side this time around.

All of these factors are pointing towards a vintage World Cup on the pitch, one that might reinvigorate international football one more.

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FM19 Blog - Best Football Manager 2019 Content: Star Players Mean Russia World Cup Might Just Top the Lot
Star Players Mean Russia World Cup Might Just Top the Lot
Can the upcoming World Cup 2018 in Russia top the lot? With these star players in the competition's shortlist it could easily be so.
FM19 Blog - Best Football Manager 2019 Content
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