The final first games of the first round are perceived by many as the real deal. Both Brazil and Portugal come into the mix amid keen interest from a cross spectrum of people. The two football giants enjoy support even of people who have teams participating in the same World Cup. I hope we don’t see their opponents cheering. Spain will be playing on Wednesday.
The Brazilians come as a free-flowing attacking unit which is usually disregarded when it comes to its defending abilities. Usually their goalkeepers are dependable enough. The previous generations of Junior Biano, Ceaser Sampiao, Cafu, Roberto Carlos and company defended well but were prone to school boy errors that usually would go unpunished. It will the interesting how events turn out this time.
Brazil act as a compact unit and coach Dunga is a non flamboyant character, even during his controvential playing days. The fact that he left Ronaldinho out of the team should tell you some thing. Brazil are here to make babies, not for romance.
Portugal play the African pride of the Ivory Coast. They have a quick and skillful Cristiano Ronaldo and Simao as key men. The Ivory Coast have arguably one of the greatest strikers of the game today in Didier Drogba. It will be nice to see him fully fit for the occasion. He will need the support of Chelsea team-mate Salomon Kalou, brother Yaya and Kolo Toure. All things equal, they will grind out a positive result for Africa.
Brazil will be expected to roll over Korea DPR without sweat. They promised not to take things lightly and if the Koreans get the message right,it means they should not turn up. The good thing about Asian teams at this tournament so far and in general, is their pace. While they may not get the result, they will provide some entertainment and scares here and there.
Spain will be expected to sweep past the Swiss. Much is expected from Feronando Torres, Xavi and Iniesta. It is still to be seen if the Barcelona machine can turn on the Spanish style. I think the team is over-rated and too old. If they go far, I will be surprised. They may give us value for money here and there and go home.
Frankly, I think the Koreans are here for the numbers, as is New Zealand and Australia. So are Slovenia, Serbia and Denmark.