Still Wide Open
England or no England the world cup always carries on and as we trundle onto the quarter final stage, which has started today, can anyone hand on heart say they know who will win it?
I sure know that I cannot!
As I write this it is Germany, currently one-nil up against France, that are to become the first side to make it into the semi finals with the host national Brazil facing a tricky game against the so far impressive Columbian's later.
Belgium will fancy their chances against Argentina, although this really could go either way with perhaps the Dutch the most 'confident' of any at this stage of winning their tie - Costa Rica, real surprise package of this world cup, will have other ideas mind!
At this stage, quite clearly - even if a game or two in the 2nd round was perhaps won a little against the run of play - the best team are still in the tournament as it is no surprise that ALL 8 of the group winners made it to the quarter finals.
I know the English media would have a field day if it happened, 'why can so and so win it but we cannot' etc., but I would really like Costa Rica or Columbia to win it as it would really put the cat amongst the pigeons!
At a cool 66/1 maybe Costa Rica are worth a few quid, I took a punt but also had a crafty nibble at Columbia and Belgium...
Realist view, and not romantic view, is that it will be Brazil, Argentina, Holland or the winner of this game on now, but I really do no think there is much between any of the sides left, based on showings to date anyway, and on their day anyone could be anyone else.
My thinking is that, other than the side that of course defends better - in a tournament that has not seen too much of this happening! - the team that works best as a unit will go on and win it in the end, who that will be, like I say, I really do not know yet.
I really have, despite our early exit, enjoyed this world cup though and think it ranks second only to Italia '90 in my memorable world cups since I really took an interest in football as 1986 was watched but not really taken too much notice of in all honesty.
What about you, what are your thoughts on the winner and the tournament as whole?
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