The so-called “Group of Death,” Group G will no doubt be one of the most exciting to follow during the 2014 World Cup, mostly because of the inclusion of Portugal and this year’s Ballon d’Or winner, Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the most flamboyant players in the world.
Ronaldo has enough charisma all on his own, and he is one of those players who people either love or hate, so a lot of passionate feelings will be brought up depending on how Portugal performs.
But, this World Cup Football and Group G is about a lot more than the Portuguese captain.
We also have the always feared German squad with its legendary presence, and they are a threat in any international competition. Germany is one of the teams being mentioned as possible title winners, and the German’s are certainly looking forward to avenging their loss to Spain in the 2010 South Africa World Cup.
Germany comes in as the heavy favorite to win Group G, but that is easier said than done. While it’s true that Coach Joachim Low has enough depth to take the top spot, he still has to face some fierce competition, not only from Portugal, but the US and powerful Ghana.
There are some interesting historical factors to consider among the teams in Group G at the 2014 World Cup. Most of the teams in Group G have faced off in other international tournaments several times and are familiar with the other’s style of play.
There is no question that the powerhouses coming in are Germany and Portugal, both of whom have lots to prove in Brazil. Germany –with three titles as West Germany — finished a disappointing second after falling to Spain in the 2010 finals. Portugal has never raised the Cup and Ronaldo is hoping to display the king of all trophies in his new museum in Madeira.
But Portugal is full of uncertainty as the hard-fought Spanish and European seasons took their toll on Ronaldo. As a result, it is impossible to overlook the fact that Ronaldo has been suffering from two leg injuries. CR7 — as he is known to his fans — returned to the field against Ireland on Tuesday and helped Portugal to a 5-1 victory.
Germany recently lost Marco Reus to injury. He is not as important for his team as Ronaldo is to Portugal, but his loss is not to be taken lightly. The combination of youth and experience with veteran players Klose, Podolski, Neuer and Mueller, plus a few talented newbies, means the number two team in the world will most likely top Group G at the 2014 World Cup.
Team USA’s coach and former German player Jurgen Klinsmann — who was one of the stars of Germany’s World Cup championship team of 1990 — will use all his knowledge of the feared rivals to employ his players to best of his ability.
Klinsmann recently shocked the football world when he opted to do without American superstar Landon Donovan, a veteran and the most capped player in US history with 154 appearances for the National Team. The US and Portugal also have a history, and the Europeans will be looking for revenge after the Americans sent them packing at the 2002 World Cup.
Last, but certainly not least is Ghana, which eliminated the US in two consecutive World Cups and is considered a definite contender in Group G. The African team advanced, along with Germany, to the round of 16 in the 2010 World Cup.
Ghana — which is a wildcard — will be looking to advance to the knockout round for the third consecutive World Cup.
The “Group of Death” is certainly a good nickname for Group G, which promises to be one of the most competitive at the 2014 World Cup. The opener will be a sign of things to come with Germany and Portugal facing off on June 16.
Prediction: Germany and Portugal advance.
[Image via Bing]