One of the early favourites to win the World Cup was Germany, who was arguably among the strongest European teams during the qualifying round. Sure enough, Germany proved to be a safe bet for fans as the team triumphed over their final challenger Argentina 1-0 to settle the score, and lift the World Cup trophy.
For many football fans, the next big event is the beginning of European league play. Germany’s Bundesliga League as well as the Premier League in England, La Liga in Spain, and Serie A in Italy all kick off in the third full week of August. Clearly there is still plenty of football to cheer on this summer.
But for fans of the national teams, the next big event will be the Euro Cup which kicks off in 2016. Germany is betting they can be crowned Euro champions while also wearing the World Cup crown when European teams return to the pitch in France on June 10, 2016.
After the Euro, teams prepare for the Confederations Cup which will tee up the next World Cup in 2018. FIFA awarded Russia as the hosts of both big events, but that could change if the global standoff with Russia over Ukraine spirals out of control. FIFA has so far remained neutral regarding the conflict, but many groups are lobbying FIFA to pull the 2018 World Cup out of Russia.
There is lots of time between now and the 2018 World Cup, and fans will likely see new players emerge as national heroes ahead of the next big event. For example, Neymar became Brazil’s franchise star while Colombia’s James Rodriguez was awarded the Golden Boot as the top striker in the 2014 World Cup. Both players were in their first World Cup tournament, but guaranteed long careers playing for their national teams.
New stars will likely become household names on the road to the 2018 World Cup. Until then, be sure to enjoy the journey.
With Sky and BT officially announcing their televised fixtures for 2014/15, The Redmen TV take a closer look at the impact on Liverpool’s campaign.
With reports suggesting that a £25m move to Liverpool is imminent, The Redmen TV take a closer look at the stats of Benfica winger Lazar Markovic…
By Alex Sloane @sloaneaw
After crashing out in the group stages in 2009, we have waited 5 long years for our next venture into the Champions League. Start preparing your potential away day trips now!
Back in 2009, Fiorentina, Debrecen and Lyon stood in our way, but unlike then, the Reds will this year find themselves in pot 3. This opens up the prospect of a very tough group but after the season we just had there is no doubting we can give the very best teams in Europe a game.
Being in pot 3 does guarantee us an away day against one of the ‘big boys’; Barcelona, Real Madrid, Athletico, Bayern, Benfica or Porto. But in addition to this tough ties against pot 2 teams, such as; Dortmund, Juventus or PSG are also possible.
If you are looking for an easy group that we can cruise through… good luck! Arguably the best case scenario would be; Porto, Zenit and BATE. Not the most glamourous away trips but a great chance of progressing through to the knockout stages.
If you want drama and to see the beautiful game at it’s very best; take your pick from pot 1; (Real, Barca, Bayern, Athletico), PSG or Dortmund from pot 2 and Monaco or Roma from pot 4.
If I were a gambling man I would predict one thing; Luis Suarez returning from his ban at Anfield with Barcelona in a crucial group game.
A table with all likely qualifiers is below, see you on the continent!
So, now the inevitable has happened and Luis Suarez has been sold, focus turns to his replacement. Or, if popular opinion is to be believed, “replacements“. The Bleacher Report claims “It only makes sense for Rodgers to seek quantity…” when talking about replacing Suarez. This, for anyone with a clue about Liverpool, or indeed just football knows, is complete Shite! Whether it be with one, or six players , Brendan Rodgers’ priority is at the other end of the team.
It’s imperative that Rodgers looks to bring two or three quality defenders. His’ wish to “go one better next season” is simply a pipe dream otherwise. Liverpool didn’t fail to win their 19th League title through a lack of goals, but through poor, shambolic and at times, comedic defending. Their goal difference of 51 was 14 worse than Manchester City’s at 65. This is where the side fell short, and if this obsession with Luis Suarez and his replacement(s) continues, then that’s where they’ll fall short next season too.
Southampton’s’ Dejan Lovren and Steven Caulker from Cardiff have been mentioned in central defence. Both would be decent additions, in particular Lovren who besides being better statistically, also has more international experience than Caulker. With Champions League footy beckoning, this gives him the edge in my opinion.
At left back Ben Davies and Alberto Moreno are reported targets, and either one would provide competition for fit-again Jose Enrique who I believe should remain first choice in the position subject to fitness. Either way, shoring up the back line should be Liverpool’s priority. Liverpool had the top scorer at both ends of the pitch last season. Martin Skrtel with four own goals made sure of that record.
Suarez leaving can only be a good thing for Liverpool. Besides the fact that the Uruguayan acted like a complete tool on occasion (say no more), for footballing reasons Brendan Rodgers can now focus on building a team rather than playing to the strengths of just one player. This is key. The noises about Rodgers looking to recruit Loic Remy from QPR or Swansea’s Wilfried Bony are welcome. Both of those would make the LFC a stronger proposition than they were last season. They certainly don’t need both, this is for sure.
Now that Liverpool are “wedged-up” from the sale of their prized striker, it would be suicidal for Rodgers to jump into the transfer market and splash out on a load of players like a kid in a sweetshop. Or like Tottenham Hotspur after selling Gareth Bale, if you prefer. They simply need to replace the likes of Iago Aspas, Luis Alberto and likely, Lucas Leiva. Perhaps Daniel Agger also. All of which is evident with the captures of Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Lazar Marković and Emre Can. The team just needs a couple of defenders now and then concentrate on integrating them into the team for next season. However, sorting the defence out should have been the boss’s first port of call.
Over the years, I’ve seen some many players come and go for Liverpool. Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish, Alan Hansen, Ian Rush, John Barnes, Peter Beardsley. The list goes on… All of whom have been replaced and in future such players, will continue to be be replaced. Was Suarez a better player than Barnes, Beardsley or Rush. Most definitely not in my opinion. Not for the team. He may have been a better individual but Liverpool Football Club and Athletic Grounds Ltd. has never been about that. They’ve never had success with that and perhaps not winning the title last season serves as a reminder as to why this philosophy is correct and was so successful.
To make the last step to success, Liverpool’s task is to get back to the basics. The basics of what the club and the team ethics are all about. Moaning about Suarez and trying to replace him with two or three (probably) average players will not achieve that. I’m glad he’s gone. He was good whilst he was here but all told, probably more trouble than he was worth. A new chapter is around the corner and if we approach it in the right way, we’ll be celebrating this time next year. If not, then last season will be a mere blip.
Follow me on Twitter: @Mrbengreen
Germany are looking to become the first European nation to win the World Cup in South America on Sunday when they enter the final as favourites to beat Argentina.
Germany are 4/1 to win the World Cup with William Hill – exclusive offer for new customers only.
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