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When you look at Group G, which is made of Brazil, Cote d’Ivoire, Korea DPR, and Portugal, it is obvious that the two names which will emerge as favorites are the two rivals – Brazil and Portugal.
They are favorites as always. Every time the Seleçao features at the finals of the World Cup, the entire public of football expects them to play and dance on the rhythm of Samba music. Brazil never go into FIFA’s most prestigious tournament without thinking of winning it. Being victorious seems to be part of the country’s tradition – where “Ordem e Progresso” (Discipline and Progress in English) is the people’s motto. Brazil have clinched the trophy a record five times and they are the world’s most successful football nation.
In recent years, the likes of countries like Spain and Italy have attempted to rival them, however. Brazil’s last World Cup triumph was back in 2002 when they beat Germany in the final to lift the trophy. With the 2006 World Cup going Italy’s way, Brazil will be motivated to do a lot more this time out than they did four years ago. During South Africa 2010, the public will surely witness the best of Brazil’s current squad. After all, they may benefit from the 2009 Confederations Cup success which they tasted on the same South African soil. A Seleçao could be playing one more time for football fans’ entertainment and for the pride of their people.
They are poised to deliver. As European rivals of South America’s giants Brazil, Portugal aim to impose themselves as potential World Cup winners. They will only be participating in their fifth World Cup finals. No Luis Figo or Pauleta, and of course no Eusebio; these men are former players and present legends of the Portuguese national team of football.
The one who will hold the task of leading A Selecção to a memorable World Cup campaign is Cristiano Ronaldo. Portugal have actually failed to make the best of impressions since the past three years. Their low goal-scoring record has been harming their dominance over opponents on the pitch. Portugal’s objective at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa will not only be to display some good attacking football, but also to get positive results.
They are not really underdogs but this is how people will prefer to see them, considering their World Cup record. Cote d’Ivoire aren’t any kind of ‘low profiled’ team. The Elephants count a large amount of star players that enjoy their club football in Europe’s top flight leagues. On paper, Cote d’Ivoire don’t lack of talent. Many coaches will think it’s a privilege to manage people like Chelsea’s Didier Drogba and the Toure brothers among other names.
But oddly, this nation flops in major tournaments. They certainly learned a lot from the 2006 World Cup in Germany where their controversial disqualification after a defeat against the Netherlands sparked up a real feeling of fury among Ivoirian fans. The Elephants will be trying their luck in South Africa 2010 and hope that Group G’s big guns don’t overpower them.
North Korea’s inclusion in Group G only helps this section to be more interesting. This team faces the enormous challenge of qualifying into the last 16 at the expense of Brazil, Portugal or Cote d’Ivoire.
None of these big three nations will dare to underestimate Korea DPR. As underdogs, they’ll have nothing to lose but this doesn’t mean that they won’t be playing without desire. The public should watch out for the North Koreans as they could present a serious threat to the rest of Group G’s contenders.
Brazil: Luis Fabiano, Kaka, Daniel Alves
Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo, Simao Sabrosa, Bruno Alves, Miguel Veloso, Danny
Cote d’Ivoire: Didier Drogba, Kader Keita, Gervinho, Kolo and Yaya Toure
Korea DPR : Hong Yong Jo, Choe Kum-Chol
Portugal vs Brazil:
This is the game that everyone will want to see and many have been dreaming about it as the “Battle of the Universe”. Firstly, the duel between Real Madrid team mates Cristiano Ronaldo and Ricardo Kaka will spark up a lot of interest. But Portuguese fans will rather be anxious to know how well the team has recovered from its humiliating 6-2 defeat against Brazil in a friendly back in 2008.
Regardless of the importance of this match in terms of qualification fate, the desire to win this honorable clash will definitely be present for both sides. It will surely reveal a lot about each team’s mental and spiritual state.
Portugal vs Korea DPR:
During the 1966 World Cup in England, Portugal staged one of the greatest comebacks to deny Korea DPR from achieving a historical victory in the quarter-finals of the competition.
The Asian side was 3-0 up after 25 minutes and thought that the pace was set for a Korean party. However, Portugal scored five goals in both periods to defeat their opponents. In 2010, the Chollima target a victory in particular against Portugal. Can they really avoid losing out again?
Portugal vs Brazil:
Forty-four years ago, Portugal and Brazil were drawn in the same group just like at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
At many people’s surprise, new faces Portugal triumphed 3-1 over the South Americans. Eusebio was the star in that match, scoring twice to eclipse Brazil’s Pele and to seal his side’s victory.
What effect will the spirit of the 1966 World Cup have on the fate of the teams in Group G?
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