I am not sure how many of you who read these posts are interested in the World Cup. Just by stereotyping I would guess not many because Americans do not enjoy soccer. They have their own SuperBowl (which I never seen once in my life) but have no interest when it comes to the World Cup. Anyway, these are my predictions. Just note I am not some crazy soccer expert, this is just what I know from observing other championships.
Let us start with Italy, the champions of 2006. They have Buffon on their team who is a great goalkeeper, that is definitely a positive for them. But they are missing Toni, who was one of the main players on their team and in EURO 2008. I think Italy is weaker than it was in the past, but it should be a very strong team to beat. Remember that Italy almost beat Spain in the EURO 2008 matches. Italy should arrive in the semi-finals.
England. Well I do not know much about England. They always seemed to me like an average playing team, not the best, but they do not suck. They never rose to the top except back in the 60's. I doubt this year will prove an exception. They will likely get into the quarter-finals.
America. SUCKS! No way. America is going to go embarrass itself just like it did in all the past events. I am excited for the Shabbos match tomorrow between England and America. The commercial for this event was great! The commentator read a passage from Thomas Paine's the "Crisis", haha, how funny, a humorous way to present a match between England and America. But America will embarrass itself tomorrow and for the entire tournament.
Brazil is the standard response from someone who does not follow soccer to say they will be the champions. However, I really do not see Brazil doing well this World Cup event. Sorry. They do not have Ronaldinho anymore and they no longer have Ronaldo as the goal scorer. They are missing two powerful players. They have Kaka but Kaka is not impressive to me. I seen him play in the 2006 World Cup, he only scored one goal, and never seemed to strengthen the team. Brazil is much weaker than it always was. I will be surprised to see it in the semi-finals. They will likely get to the quarter-finals.
France will never be the same without Zidane. Zidane is a lengend, together with Baukenbauer, Muller, Pele and Maradona. Zidane was who made it possible for France to be such a strong team. With him gone France has no chance to win anymore. France however retains Henry and Ribery, two very good players, that is a positive. But with Zidane missing I would be surprised to see them in the semi-finals. The best for France are the quarter-finals, even if that.
I know that Netherlands is a very strong orange team. But sadly I do not know anything about them. I wish I can say more. But the only thing I know is that every one's name ends with "van".
Germany is my favorite team. I love Germany. The way they pass the ball around is beautiful. Germany is a very strong team and it always was a strong team. Germany is also a very consistent team. It ended up in the semi-finals more than any other team. And this is counting the two times when Germany was banned from participating in the World Cup following the end of World War 2. Germany has a lot of new players on their team. In 2006 Germany had the oldest team. But this year they have a very young team. Having young players is great but sadly a lot of experience is gone. Michael Ballack, the team captain, is no longer playing. However, Germany still retains Bastian Schweinsteitger, Philiph Lahm, and Lucas Podolski. This is great. In fact, Lahm recently said that this is the best German assembled team. It all comes down to Miroslav Klose. Klose was the best player of the 2006 World Cup, scoring more goals than anyone else, and it was Klose who spared Germany from facing defeat to Argentina in the quater-finals. Klose is a great player but he is much older now. If Klose can keep his great soccer skill that we seen from 2006 I am positive that Germany will end up in the semi-finals and hopefully in the final match. They do have a new goalkeeper, but I guess that is good, Lehmann was never that great.
Spain are the champions from the 2008 EURO and for good reason when they defeated Germany in the final match 1-0. Spain has nearly and impenetrable defense. Back in 2008 Spain was undefeated in approximately 20 straight games. Spain has two fantastic players. Fernando Torres (who scored the goal against Germany) and Cesc Fabregas. Spain has its first ever chance to win the World Cup. I am certain Spain would end up in the semi-finals, and it should defeat their opponents into the finals. I am guessing that we will most likely see Spain in the final event.
Australia. Will not get far, though they had a great performance in 2006. I just mention them because they have such awesome uniforms. I love their uniforms. Even if they lose, their uniforms are full of win.