Monday, June 9, 2014

World Cup 2014: Germany is My Favorite, but Belgium will be The Center of Attention and Japan is Our Best Asia Representatives

Since several months ago, apparently, every attention of the world started to focus on the upcoming World Cup 2014 in Brazil, by the numbers of days, the event will be started. However, in my beloved country, Indonesia, the atmosphere of this event has been immensely distracted by the National Election which has been held on April 9th for the representative’s election and will be going on July 9th for the presidential election. And honestly my attention was also distracted because of that, since I also concern and always put interest about the national politics issues in my country. When I realized, the event which was introduced by my beloved father in 1998 and made me among the football maniacs in the world, is going to start very soon, so then I conditioned myself to be prepared for this 4 years event. And this writing is one of the result J

World Cup is really special. 32 countries from around the world come to Brazil and try to crown the holy grail after undergone many of qualification stages in their region. The players competing in the same league and become rival each other for a year, return back to national team to fight for their country. The supporters yelling out and shouting each other for the whole season, are united to support their national team. Even the people who does not have their national country to support during the event, will still fall to the atmosphere and spirit of World Cup. All of them will give their best for celebrating this 4 year event that will bring joys and tears for everyone.

Since now, I am sure that most peoples already decide which countries that they want to support for WC 2014. And obviously a national man, will support their own national team. However, since my beloved country does not compete for the world cup YET (I really wish someday, before I die, I want to be among the people who are witnessing Indonesia competing in World Cup! Please grant this wish Oh The Sustainer of Heavens and Earth!), I have to give my support for other nation in World Cup. For this World Cup, I will put my eyes and support for Germany, Belgium, and Japan.

Why?

Germany, Die Mannschaft

Honestly, Brazil is the national team that I used to support in every World Cup since 1998. Ronaldo Luiz Nazario da Lima was the one who made me love his country, Brazil. It was so perfect when he played with his compatriot in WC 2002, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho, and he finally brought the fifth WC title for Brazil. Since then, Brazil always produced magician player. With bunch of magician in the team, Brazil always gave something beautiful game in every match they played. However, after the generation of Ronaldinho and Ricardo Kaka was relinquished, Brazil seemed to lose their Joga Bonito styles and they started to play with “European styles”. They lost their Latin styles. Since then, I found Brazil gameplay is not interesting anymore

On the other hand, Germany become more attractive since I saw them for the first time in WC 1998. They always performs fast attacking soccer which is always thrilling. By that styles, they crushed high-reputation team like Sweden, England, and Argentina with no mercy in previous WC. They also had outstanding performance in recent World Cup. They reached Final in WC 2002 and finished in Semifinal in both WC 2006 and 2010. And for this time, Germany made to Brazil without any lost during WC qualifications. And this WC, apparently, they will found no serious problem to get through from group stages.

Julian Draxler, may have his chance to be the new star of Germany
Moreover, I really like their current coach, Joachim Low, who are really brave and keen to promote young player to senior team. In WC 2010, he promoted a group of talented-young players like Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, Manuel Neuer, and Thomas Muller to occupy the focal point of the team and he found it succeed. And in WC 2014, brilliant young guys like Julian Draxler, Andre Schurrle, Mario Gotze, and Mathias Ginter will have their chances to show off in this prestigious competition. Another interesting point about Germany squad is Miroslav Klose, the oldest player in the squad that will have his chances to break the World Cup record as Topscorer. Right now, he shares the record with Ronaldo Luiz Nazario da Lima with 14 goals. He also has a chances to extend his record as the leading topscorer of Germany National Team. With the combination between talented-young players and the senior, I think this team is very strong both in mental and in quality. In my opinion, this Germany squad is the best squad in last 16 years and also the most complete squad in every line, from Goalkeeper to Forwards, as well as Spain, in WC 2014.

However, Germany has one big problem in the World Cup, anticlimax. Based on recent competition, they always played brilliantly in the group stages and early of knockout-phase. No matter the opponent is, whether it was high-profile nation or not, they surpassed them with convincing score and attractive gameplay. And when the competition was coming to an end, in the Final or Semifinal stage, their performance was less special than in the previous stage. A lot of possibility could affect this condition. In my personal opinion, I suppose the problem is about the stamina. I guess Germany played too much excited in the early of competition which really drained their stamina. And when the final game commenced, they lost their prime condition. Rotation of the best eleven need to be applied and with the depth of their squad, Germany has capability to perform it. As a coach, Joachim Low has to deal with this problem properly if he want Germany win the title that always being expected by germans since they are united into German Federal Republic in 1990.

Lothar Mattheus and Pierre Littbarski, when West Germany won the World Cup in 1990

These are the squad of Germany national team picked for WC 2014
No
Pos
Name
Date of Birth
Caps
Club
1
GK
Manuel Neuer
27 March 1986
45
Bayern Munich
12
GK
Ron-Robert Zieler
12 February 1989
3
Hannover 96
22
GK
Roman Weidenfeller
6 August 1980
3
Borussia Dortmund
2
DF
Kevin Gro├čkreutz
19 July 1988
5
Borussia Dortmund
3
DF
Mathias Ginter
19 January 1994
2
SC Freiburg
4
DF
Benedikt Howedes
29 February 1988
21
Schalke 04
5
DF
Matt Hummels
16 December 1988
30
Borussia Dortmund
15
DF
Erik Durm
12 May 1992
1
Borussia Dortmund
16
DF
Philipp Lahm (capt)
11 November 1983
106
Bayern Munich
17
DF
Per Mertesacker
29 September 1984
98
Arsenal
20
DF
Jerome Boateng
3 September 1988
39
Bayern Munich
21
DF
Shkrodan Mustafi
17 April 1992
1
Sampdoria
6
MF
Sami Khedira
4 April 1987
46
Real Madrid
7
MF
Bastian Schweinsteiger
1 August 1984
102
Bayern Munich
8
MF
Mesut Ozil
15 October 1988
55
Arsenal
9
MF
Andre Schurrle
6 November 1990
33
Chelsea
10
MF
Lukas Podolski
4 June 1985
114
Arsenal
13
MF
Thomas Muller
13 September 1989
49
Bayern Munich
14
MF
Julian Draxler
20 September 1993
11
Schalke 04
18
MF
Toni Kroos
4 January 1990
44
Bayern Munich
19
MF
Mario Gotze
3 June 1992
29
Bayern Munich
23
MF
Christoph Kramer
19 February 1991
2
Borussia Monchengladbach
11
FW
Miroslav Klose
9 June 1978
132
Lazio


Belgium, de Rode Duivels

When I saw this team in WC 2002, I only knew 3 players and I still remember them until now, they are, Marc Wilmots, Emile Mpenza, and Bart Goor. With that trio, Belgium reached first round of knockout phase in WC 2002 even though they had to suffer lost from Brazil in that stage. Afterwards, Belgium seemed to “vanish” from European Football. They did not have star player anymore and they lost the rivalry among the national teams in Europe. Almost 8 years Belgium disappear in the big competition like European Cup and World Cup.

Eden Hazard, most talented player in Belgium
When the time goes by and finally reaches WC 2014, Belgium seemed to regain their dignity in European football. They are able to go to Brazil as a winner of qualification group without suffering any lost, the matter that could not be carried out by high profile team like France, Portugal or England. They come to Brazil with fully loaded squad of talented-young players that has been forged in the European Top Leagues. Those quality players who come from prominent club in Europe such as Man City, Man United, Chelsea, Totenham, Liverpool, B. Munich, and Atletico, fills every line from goalkeeper to forward of Belgium National Team, and Eden Hazard is considered as the key player in the team. A really different faces of Belgium compared what we saw in the last 8 years. Coming to WC without suffering any lost is a real prove that this group of Belgians are really need to get serious attention from other nation in this competition.

That interesting fact also aroused me to put more attention on this team. It is impossible to miss the performance of talented team like this in 4 years competition. In WC 2014, Belgium is grouped with South Korea, Algeria, and Russia.  Among the others, Belgium is considered the best, and apparently, Belgium will have no difficulties to go through the knockout phase. Afterwards, hopefully, they are able to step further than any expectation what happened with Croatia in WC 1998.

These are the squad of Belgium national team picked for WC 2014
No
Pos
Name
Date of Birth
Caps
Club
1
GK
Thibaut Courtois
11 May 1992
17
Atletico Madrid
12
GK
Simon Mignolet
6 August 1988
14
Liverpool
13
GK
Sammy Bossut
11 August 1985
0
Zulte Waregem
2
DF
Toby Alderweireld
19 July 1988
34
Atletico Madrid
3
DF
Thomas Vermaelen
14 November 1985
47
Arsenal
4
DF
Vincent Kompany (capt)
10 April 1986
59
Manchester City
5
DF
Jan Vertonghen
24 April 1987
56
Tottenham Hotspur
15
DF
Daniel van Buyten
7 February 1978
79
Bayern Munich
18
DF
Nicolas Lombaerts
20 March 1985
25
Zenit St Petersburg
21
DF
Anthony Vanden Borre
23 October 1987
25
Anderlecht
23
DF
Laurent Chiman
5 August 1985
8
Standard Liege
6
MF
Axel Witsel
12 January 1989
48
Zenit St Petersburg
7
MF
Kevin de Bruyne
28 June 1991
21
Wolfsburg
8
MF
Marouane Fellaini
22 November 1987
50
Manchester United
16
MF
Steven Defour
15 April 1988
43
Porto
19
MF
Mousa Dembele
16 July 1987
57
Tottenham Hotspur
22
MF
Nacer Chadli
2 August 1989
20
Tottenham Hotspur
9
FW
Romelu Lukaku
13 May 1993
29
Everton
10
FW
Eden Hazard
7 January 1991
45
Chelsea
11
FW
Kevin Mirallas
5 October 1987
44
Everton
14
FW
Dries Mertens
6 May 1987
25
Napoli
17
FW
Divock Origi
18 April 1995
2
Lille
20
FW
Adnan Januzaj
5 February 1995
1
Manchester United



Japan, Samurai Blue

After the unpredicted performance of South Korea in WC 2002 to reach WC Semifinal, there was no other surprises provided by Asians in WC afterwards. Moreover, the retirement of their star player such as Ahn Jung Hwan, Park Ji Sung, Hidetoshi Nakata, and Shunsuke Nakamura made their national team condition even tougher. And during that period we rarely saw Asian players orbiting in the European stages. Yet, in this WC 2014, the state might be different. The surprise from Asia might be provided in this competition. Japan, who is currently considered as the Best Represent of Asia, has great chances to answer that expectation.

Japan comes to Brazil by carrying a group of excellence players with skills as well as experiences. Half of their current squad are playing in well-known leagues in Europe such as Bundesliga, Serie A, and Premier League. Shinji Okazaki, Atsuto Uchida, Gotoku Sakai, Makoto Hasebe are playing in Bundesliga-Germany, Keisuke Honda and Yuto Nagatomo are in Serie A-Italy, and Maya Yoshida and Shinji Kagawa are in Premier League-England. Furthermore, their iconic players, both Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa are playing for AC Milan and Manchester United, both of teams that have undergone numerous and glorious history in European football. They have accomplished better career than Shunsuke Nakamura and Hidetoshi Nakata in European football 10 years ago. And also, Yoichiro Kakitani, young striker of Cezero Osaka who created 21 goals in 34 games last season is the future star of Japan that ready to start gaining attention from European's club. Therefore, with the half of squad playing in Europe, it is fair to be said that this generation, perhaps, is the best for all time in the history of Japan national team. And the charge of Alberto Zaccheroni, the experienced manager from Italy, as head coach is emphasizing the European football styles inside Japan national team.

Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa, key members of Japan national team

It is still fresh to be recalled that in the last confederation cup in 2013, despite of Japan could not surpassed the group stages, they provided very attractive game and created a real difficulties for Brazil and Italy. In the international friendly, they also showed convincing performance. And fortunately, in WC 2014, Japan is belong to the “middle class group” alongside with, Ivory Coast, Colombia, and Greece. It is neither tough group nor the easy one, but it is the possible one. Focus and hard work need to be maintained to go to knockout stages. I really hope that Japan is able to progress into further step beyond public expectation, when we were witnessing South Korea in 2002.

These are the squad of Japan national team picked for WC 2014
No
Pos
Name
Date of Birth
Caps
Club
1
GK
Eiji Kawashima
20 March 1983
56
Standard Liege
12
GK
Shusaku Nishikawa
18 June 1986
13
Urawa Red Diamonds
23
GK
Shuici Gonda
3 March 1989
2
FC Tokyo
2
DF
Atsuto Uchida
27 March 1988
68
Schalke 04
3
DF
Gotoku Sakai
14 March 1991
12
Stuttgart
5
DF
Yuto Nagatomo
12 September 1986
70
Internazionale Milan
6
DF
Masato Morishige
21 May 1987
10
FC Tokyo
15
DF
Yasuyuki Konno
25 January 1983
81
Gamba Osaka
19
DF
Masahiko Inoha
28 August 1985
21
Jubilo Iwata
21
DF
Hiroki Sakai
12 April 1990
18
Hannover 96
22
DF
Maya Yoshida
24 August 1988
41
Southampton
4
MF
Keisuke Honda
13 June 1986
56
AC Milan
7
MF
Yasuhito Endo (capt)
28 January 1980
144
Gamba Osaka
10
MF
Shinji Kagawa
17 March 1989
57
Manchester United
14
MF
Toshihiro Aoyama
22 February 1986
6
Sanfrecce Hiroshima
16
MF
Hotaru Yamaguchi
6 October 1990
12
Cerezo Osaka
17
MF
Makoto Hasebe
18 January 1984
78
Eintracht Frankfurt
8
FW
Hiroshi Kiyotake
12 November 1989
25
Nurnberg
9
FW
Shinji Okazaki
16 April 1986
76
Mainz 05
11
FW
Yoichiro Kakitani
3 January 1990
12
Cerezo Osaka
13
FW
Yoshito Okubo
9 June 1982
57
Kawasaki Frontale
18
FW
Yuya Osako
18 May 1990
9
Koln
20
FW
Manabu Saito
4 April 1990
5
Yokahama Marinos



These 3 teams are my favorite for WC 2014 in Brazil. How about you?

2 comments:

  1. I'm looking forward to the day when Japan will play a game with Indonesia in World Cup!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for visiting my humble blog junyo!!
      and thank you for your wishes to my country!!
      looking forward to see you again.

      Delete