Saturday, June 03, 2006

Sportszilla's World Cup Preview - Group C
By Imtiaz Mussa

World Cup Titles: 2 (1978, 1986)
Last Time We Saw Them: They were one of the big disappointments of Korea/Japan failing to make it out of the group stages
June 10 vs. Ivory Coast
June 16 vs. Serbia and Montenegro
June 21 vs. Holland
The Manager: Jose Pekerman took over in 2004 after having previously turned down the position in 1998 citing that he was too inexperienced at the time. He has enjoyed previous success with Argentina’s Under 20 squad. He took Argentina to the Confederation’s Cup Final last year where they were thrashed by Brazil 4-1.
Goalkeepers: Roberto Abbondanzieri (Boca Juniors), Leonardo Franco (Atletico Madrid, Spain), Oscar Ustari (Independiente)
Defenders: Fabricio Coloccini (Deportivo Coruna, Spain), Roberto Ayala (Valencia, Spain), Gabriel Heinze (Manchester United, England), Juan Pablo Sorin (Villarreal, Spain), Gabriel Milito (Real Zaragoza, Spain), Nicolas Burdisso (Inter Milan, Italy), Leandro Cufre (AS Roma, Italy)
Midfielders: Lionel Scaloni (West Ham United, England), Esteban Cambiasso (Inter Milan, Italy), Javier Mascherano (Corinthians, Brazil), Luis Gonzalez (Porto, Portugal), Pablo Aimar (Valencia, Spain), Juan Roman Riquelme (Villarreal, Spain), Maximiliano Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid, Spain)
Forwards: Carlos Tevez (Corinthians, Brazil), Hernan Crespo (Chelsea, England), Lionel Messi (Barcelona, Spain), Rodrigo Palacio (Boca Juniors), Javier Saviola (Sevilla, Spain), Julio Cruz (Inter Milan, Italy)
Breakdown: Argentina has always been considered to be one of the best countries in the world. They will look to get over the disappointment of four years ago with a team that blends veterans with exciting youth. Tough tacklers Juan Pablo Sorin, Roberto Ayala, and Gabriel Heinze anchor a very solid defense. Juan Roman Riquelme has been a revelation in Villarreal as he has become one of the best playmakers in Europe. Hernan Crespo is the veteran up front as he will provide guidance to 22 year old Carlos Tevez who led Argentina to Olympic gold in 2004 and Lionel Messi who broke out from the shadows of Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto’o to become yet another force to be reckoned with at Barcelona.
Star Man: Juan Roman Riquelme – midfielder – Villarreal
He might not be the fastest player on the pitch but he’s a pretty good bet to be the smartest. The Argentina attack will go through him and if you’re not careful, he will score a goal as well.
Verdict: Group C might be the second toughest group in the tournament but Argentina have the talent to win the entire thing. They will have some mental barriers to break down after previous failures. They should at least make it to the quarterfinals.

World Cup Titles: 0
Last Time We Saw Them: Did not qualify for Korea/Japan after a run to the semis in France
June 10 vs. Serbia and Montenegro
June 16 vs. Ivory Coast
June 21 vs. Argentina
The Manager: Dutch legend Marco Van Basten took over in July 2004 and has revolutionized the way in which the Dutch team have conducted themselves. He is not interested in having players who act like movie stars and has turned to youth.
Goalkeepers: Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United), Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax), Henk Timmer (AZ Alkmaar)
Defenders: Khalid Boulahrouz (Hamburg SV), Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Barcelona), Tim de Cler (AZ Alkmaar), Kew Jaliens (AZ Alkmaar), Jan Kromkamp (Liverpool), Joris Mathijsen (AZ Alkmaar), Andre Ooijer (PSV Eindhoven), Johnny Heitinga (Ajax)
Midfielders: Mark van Bommel (Barcelona), Phillip Cocu (PSV Eindhoven), Denny Landzaat (AZ Alkmaar), Hedwiges Maduro (Ajax), Wesley Sneijder (Ajax), Rafael van der Vaart (Hamburg SV)
Strikers: Ryan Babel (Ajax), Dirk Kuyt (Feyenoord), Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United), Robin van Persie (Arsenal), Arjen Robben (Chelsea), Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (PSV Eindhoven)
Breakdown: This Dutch team is one of the best teams that the world is not talking about. They are extremely solid throughout the lineup as Van Basten has opted to go with youth. That means that we will not see the likes of Edgar Davids, Patrick Klivert, and Clarence Seedorf. Instead, get ready to watch players like Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie, and Hedwiges Maduro. Manchester United’s Edwin Van Der Sar is not going to make flashy saves but he will not make a mistake. The defense in front of him is young but has plenty of potential with the likes of Heitinga and Kromkamp. Since heading to Germany, Rafael Van Der Vaart has re-established himself as one of the best young midfielders in the world. Watch out for Chelsea’s Arjen Robben on the wings. Up front, it is all about Ruud Van Nistelrooy, the best finisher in the world. He should be motivated after Sir Alex Ferguson chose to bench him in favor of Louis Saha.
Star Man: Ruud Van Nistelrooy – striker – Manchester United
At 29 years old, Ruud will be playing in his first ever World Cup after missing out in 1998 due to a knee injury. If he gets the ball in the box in a good position, he will most certainly score. He will be looking to have a good tournament to show Ferguson that he is still one of the best players in the world.
Verdict: It is a tough group but Ruud will score enough goals to enable the Dutch to move on. If they get hot, they could make a serious run at the semis or even the finals. Realistically, they should go to the quarterfinals.

Ivory Coast
World Cup Titles: 0
Last Time We Saw Them: This is their first time in the World Cup
June 10 vs. Argentina
June 16 vs. Holland
June 21 vs. Serbia and Montenegro
The Manager: Henri Michel was France’s manager during their 1986 run to the World Cup semi-finals so he knows what it takes to be successful in the World Cup. Unfortunately, he will be leaving the team after the finals due to disputes he has had with the federation.
Goalkeepers: Jean-Jacques Tizie (Esperance Tunis, Tunisia), Boubacar Barry Copa (KSK Beveren, Belgium), Gerard Gnanhouan (Montpellier, France)
Defenders: Cyrille Domoraud (Creteil, France), Blaise Kouassi (ES Troyes, France), Abdoulaye Meite (Marseille, France), Etienne Arthur Boka (Strasbourg, France), Kolo Toure (Arsenal, England), Emmanuel Eboue (Arsenal, England), Marc Zoro (FC Messina, Italy)
Midfielders: Didier Zokora (St Etienne, France), Emerse Fae (Nantes, France), Kanga Gauthier Akale (Auxerre, France), Romaric Ndri Koffi (Le Mans, France), Gnegneri Yaya Toure (Olympiakos,Greece), Gilles Yapi Yapo (Young Boys, Switzerland), Guy Roland Demel (Hamburg, Germany)
Strikers: Bakari Kone (Nice, France), Didier Drogba (Chelsea, England), Arouna Kone (PSV Eindhoven, Holland), Bonaventure Kalou (Paris Saint-Germain, France), Abdoul Kader Keita (Lille, France), Aruna Dindane (Lens, France)
Breakdown: For a team that is making their first ever appearance, there is plenty of talent in this squad. Didier Drogba may have been constantly criticized while playing with Chelsea but he is the heart, soul, and big scorer of the team. His strike partner Aruna Dindane scored seven times in qualifying. Midfielder Didier Zokora has been on the radar screens of many of Europe’s biggest clubs but there isn’t much alongside him. In defense, Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Eboue are both regulars for Champions League finalists Arsenal. The only things going against the Elephants are a lack of experience and a very difficult group.
Star Man: Didier Drogba – striker - Chelsea
With Andriy Shevchenko joining Chelsea from AC Milan for £30 million, Drogba’s future in London might be a mystery but there is no doubt that he is the man for the Ivory Coast. He is a solidly built striker with plenty of speed meaning that he will be difficult for the opposition to handle.
This is a difficult group for a team making their World Cup debut. They have plenty of talent on the squad and if they can make some noise, it will be a building block. They will make life difficult for Argentina and Holland.

Serbia and Montenegro
World Cup Titles: 0
Last Time We Saw Them: This is their first time in the World Cup. Serbia and Montenegro became a nation in 2003.
June 10 vs. Holland
June 16 vs. Argentina
June 21 vs. Ivory Coast
The Manager: Ilija Petkovic has been in charge since the formation of the nation having previously managed Switzerland, Greece, Japan, and China. He played in the 1974 World Cup in West Germany for the former Yugoslavia.
Goalkeepers: Dragoslav Jevric (Anakaraspor, Turkey), Oliver Kovacevic (CSKA Sofia, Bulgaria), Vladimir Stojkovic (Nantes, France)
Defenders: Goran Gavrancic (Dynamo Kiev, Ukraine), Ivica Dragutinovic (Sevilla, Spain), Mladen Krstajic (Schalke 04, Germany), Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United, England), Milan Dudic (Red Star Belgrade), Nenad Djordjevic (Partizan Belgrade), Dusan Basta (Red Star Belgrade)
Midfielders: Dejan Stankovic, (Inter Milan, Italy), Igor Duljaj (Shakhtar Donetsk, Ukraine), Predrag Djordjevic (Olympiakos Piraeus, Greece), Ognjen Koroman (Portsmouth, England), Albert Nadj (Partizan Belgrade), Sasa Ilic (Galatasaray, Turkey), Zvonimir Vukic (Partizan Belgrade), Ivan Ergic (Basle, Switzerland), Dusan Petkovic (VfL Wolfsburg)
Forwards: Savo Milosevic (Osasuna, Spain), Mateja Kezman (Atletico Madrid, Spain), Nikola Zigic (Red Star Belgrade), Danijel Ljuboja (VfB Stuttgart, Germany)
Breakdown: In qualifying, this team won their group allowing only one goal. Defender Nemanja Vidic turned a brilliant qualifying campaign in defense in a big move to Manchester United. Fellow defenders Mladen Krstajic and Goran Gavrancic may also be on their way to big moves after playing so well in qualifying. Dejan Stankovic has a point to prove in Germany. His critics claim that he plays better for Inter Milan than he ever did for his nation. He will be expected to help set-up Mateja Kezman who was a dynamic goalscorer in Holland and Zvonimir Vukic.
Star Man: Mateja Kezman – striker – Atletico Madrid
He was a flop for Chelsea after being a brilliant goalscorer for PSV Eindhoven. He has since gone to Atletico Madrid where he has returned to being a solid striker. He scored five times in Serbia’s qualifying campaign.
Verdict: It’s one thing to be shutting out the likes of Bosnia, Belgium, and Lithuania but Serbia and Montenegro will get a rude awakening when they face Ruud Van Nistelrooy.

Group C Predicted Order of Finish
Ivory Coast
Serbia and Montenegro

German Football Term of the Day
Freistob – Free-kick


Blogger fifa2006 said...

Thank you for your blogger about football,I’d like to exchange message with you:

Motto of different country FIFA2006 world cup team
1.We are football >Germany< on the road to gold Netherlands
3.Liberte,Egalite,Jules Rimet >France<
4.Never-ending legend,united Korea
5.2006,It's Swiss o'clock
6.A passion to win and a thirst to succeed
7.angola lead the way,our team is our people
8.get up,argentina are on the move
9.australia's socceroos-bound for glory
10.vehicle monitored by 180 million brazilian heart
11.our army is the team,our weapon is the ball,let's get to germany and give it our all Costarica
12.ecuador my life,football my passion,the cup my goal
13.come on the elephants!win the cup in style nation,one trophy,eleven lions ENGLAND
15.go black stars,the stars of our world > Ghana<
16.stars of Persia pride,italy in our hearts
18.light up your samurai spirit Japan the finals with fire in our hearts "> Croatia<
20.aztec passion across the world
21.from the heart of america...this is the guarani spirit
22.white and red,dangerous and brave >Poland<
23.with a flag in the window and a nation on the pitch,forca Portugal
24.the green hawks cannot be stopped > Saudi Arabia<
25.fight!show spirit!come on!you have the support of everyone >Sweden<
26.for the love of the game
27.spain,one country,one goal
28 with our support,ukraine cannot fail to win come the soca warriors-the fighting spirit of the Caribbean
30.belief and a lion's strength,for victory and our fans > Czech<
31.the carthage eagles...higher and stronger than ever
32.united we play,united we win>UNITED STATE<

Dr Han (Super football fans) content

7:04 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home