Just thinkin’ about tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow till’ there’s none…
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you, tomorrow
You’re only a day away!
I woke up this morning unable to get those age-old Annie lyrics out of my head. I’ve been singing them all morning. For indeed, tomorrow is only a day away. And tomorrow will be a great day. We are so close, everyone. The day we’ve been waiting for since 2010 is one night’s sleep away. And then when we wake up tomorrow, we will know that for 31 days, life will be great. Ah, the World Cup is near.
Today, I will choose my winners for the major awards at the World Cup.
Lionel Messi will take his rightful place above the footballing world with a stellar performance at this year’s World Cup. While Argentina’s diminutive superstar might lose out on some goals due to Argentina’s other talent up front, his play will lead Argentina all the way to the final. Opponents will fear this Argentine frontline, and for good reason. All the doubters will be quieted after Messi’s opening match performance, and he will only continue to get better.
Led by Edinson Cavani, another South American team will impress in Brazil. Everyone has been focusing on Luis Suarez and the potential impact he will have on this tournament. But when teams focus too much attention on Suarez, Cavani will be equally dangerous leading the Uruguay line. A run to the semifinals will give Cavani enough games to score 6 goals for the tournament. While Argentina will score the most goals, their totals will be spread among four star players, so I believe 6 will top the charts. A potential big money move out of the shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic could also motivate Cavani, as he looks to prove that he is one of the game’s best goalscorers.
Manuel Neuer somehow manages to fly under the radar when people discuss the best international goalkeepers. After stepping in for an injured Rene Adler in South Africa in 2010, Neuer has continuously improved since then, leading Bayern Munich to the treble a year ago. His leadership at the back of a potentially shaky backline for the Germans will be vital, and Neuer will come up with the necessary big saves when called upon. He will also be eager to put the injury concerns about his shoulder behind him. Look for the big German shotstopper to impress in Brazil.
Best Young Player
Paul Pogba will be a force in the middle of the French midfield. While I don’t think France will advance past the round of 16, Pogba’s performances will stand out enough to earn him this award. Few players possess his combination of speed and power from box to box. Alongside Blaise Matuidi and Yohan Cabaye, the French midfield trio will be among he tournament’s best. Pogba is also one of the most likely players to score the goal of the tournament. If you don’t watch much Serie A soccer, make sure to catch a France game to see Pogba play. Manchester United sure could use players like him.
Now, as I will do each day for the next month, I will offer my predictions for tomorrow’s game(s).
Brazil 3 Croatia 0
Tomorrow’s opener will be much more than just a game to many around the world. The singing of the Brazilian national anthem will be a moment remembered for years to come. But once the pre-match festivities are out of the way, the Brazilians will be fired up and ready to play. Neymar is too much of a showman not to put one in the back of the net tomorrow. Marcelo will also score, and Fred will grab the third with a sitter produced by Neymar and Oscar. Not having Mario Mandzukic due to suspension is a big loss for Croatia, and as a result they will not have many chances. They will also miss the relief his hold up play provides after long spells of Brazilian possession. I don’t see Brazil losing this one.
Who do you think will win those awards? What’s your predicted outcome in tomorrow’s opener? Please comment! Have a great day, everyone.