Aside from the thousands of fans that will be travelling to the World Cup, and the inevitable party paradise that will greet them, there are many thing to look forward to on the football pitch. These things, are my top 10.
The South American side have ultimately sneaked under the radar of most fans to reach number four in the world rankings. During the qualifying format, Colombia finished second in the South American group, and only to points adrift of eventual table toppers Argentina. They re a squad filled with talent that ranges across the top European leagues. Players such as Falcao (Monaco), Bacca (Sevilla), and Muriel (Udinese) will provide a deadly attacking threat, especially if Falcao can recover from his current injury problems. A strong midfield includes Guarin (Inter), Cuadrado (Fiorentina) and Rodriguez (Monaco), who will also help provide an attacking threat in the shape of assist for the strikers. Defensively I feel that they can be exposed and will have to be wary of the attacking threats of other teams. In their own continent, with not having to adapt to the climate, and with their recent performances in the qualifying, Colombia have a solid chance of really making a mark on the tournament.
9. Diego Costa
A player loved by his faithful, but despised by most others, he will certainly be an interesting watch. The most interesting will be the reception he receives. Changing his nationality from Brazilian to Spanish, will I'm sure have an affect on the native supporters. So, a hot atmosphere most likely, however, he could be a missing link in an already high quality Spanish side. The two previous major tournaments, Spain have approached without a high-class striker, and still managed to be victorious at the Euro's with Fabregas playing the majority of the tournament up front. This season Costa has shown how much of an asset he will be with the goals he has scored to fire Atletico to both the Champions League semi-finals and top of La Liga. And he is my tip to be the top scorer for the competition, providing Spain reproduce their potential.
The Argentinians have failed on numerous occasions in recent major competitions. The last World Cup, they were humiliated by a strong German side, however, like Colombia, the conditions and environment will suit this side. Like Colombia, they performed well in qualifying, eventually topping their table, however, they don have their defensive frailties. Offensively however, it is a completely different story, and in my opinion they have the most dangerous attack in the competition. Prolific forwards such as Higuain, Aguero, Tevez and of course Lionel Messi, will give the defenses and goalkeepers a worry.. Their two wingers Lavezzi and Di Maria will provide this attacking four with the ammunition they need to fire Argentina to glory. With a group containing only Bosnia, Iran and Nigeria, they are cettainties to progress to at least the knockout stages.
STAY TUNED FOR PART TWO.......