As of now, Brazil’s route to the Finals of World Cup 2010, appears to be pretty clear, unless some major accident happens, which again seems very unlikely given the opponents they will be facing. But who would they face in the Finals?
Going by the ranks and current team performances, Spain should be defeating Portugal, then meet Argentina in the semifinals, unless a major upset occurs where the European Brazil defeats the Spaniards. I am discounting Germany in the quarterfinals against Argentina since they have a relatively young and inexperienced team to handle the Argentinian guile and the Messi tornado. Thus the Argentinians should face no problems overcoming the Germans, who have already shown in this World Cup that their defense is not what it used to be, after the end of the reign of Oliver Kahn.
Next comes the Spain vs Argentina, truly the clash of the titans. I personally believe the difference here could be the big game temperament. Spain is yet to be in such hot pants in recent times in a World Cup, and although, they may be a better team, going by current performances, my heart says it will be Argentina who will rule the Roost. How ever, who wins this game may very well go on to win the cup.
Assuming it is Argentina who defeats Spain, we are en route to a classic Brazil vs Argentina world cup finals. The Argentina and Brazil football rivalry is a highly competitive sports rivalry that exists between the national football teams of the two countries. Although, I personally find a lot of similarity in the playing styles of both the teams, games between them, even those that are only friendly matches, are often marked by notable and sometimes controversial incidents between the teams or amongst their respective fans, just like an India-Pakistan cricket match. No wonder this rivalry is better called the “Battle of the South Americans.” The latest match between the two teams was for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers held on 5 September 2009 where Brazil won with the final score of 3–1. A match it truly will be, where we’ll witness the Messi vs Kaka magic. I personally will be missing Ronaldinho though. Will Dunga’s no-nonsense approach supersede Maradona’s flamboyance and display of skill in the gameplan? Because it was more or less the same teams that played that match also, I believe Brazil could be in the leading seat in that case.
However, if Spain manages to drive past the Messi magic, they will meet Brazil in the Finals. If Brazil meets Spain, it will be a game of sorts. Brazil is not relying on its age old silky skills in this World Cup, although skill and dribble are in their genes. Whereas, the no-nonsense simple yet effective approach is a game plan of the Europeans, and is ingrained in the Spanish blood. Here the game could be highly unpredictable and can swing in either way. My heart as always sings for Brazil, but my mind says, in such a scenario, the Spaniards may have the upper hand. Brazil’s game-plan is not what it generally is, in this worl cup and this apparent “strength” may be the reason for their fall.
After so much analysis, by “not a football expert”, but by an “ardent football fan”, my heart still says it will be a Brazil vs Argentina finals. Am dying to see the match, where the arch-rivals will meet again. I am also dying to see Brazil add yet another star to the legendary Amarelinha shirt. Lets see what the future holds for us.