FIFA World Cup looms near; I predict surprises

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Moria Dailey

Published: April 26, 2006

As you may know, June 9 is the date the first match of the 2006 World Cup will be played.  I’m ecstatic; the 2002 World Cup involved me having the weirdest sleep schedule for a month, as I was up at 2 or 4 a.m. to watch live matches.  Either way, Brazil won and I was even happier.  Everything paid off.

I’m looking for Brazil to win again, of course. 

But watch out for Mexico.  Yes, Mexico.  Mexico, who has declared their squad already, named only two strikers and might be the surprise of this year.  Well, not really a surprise; they’re ranked #7 in the world, but I was at least surprised to find out they’ve outscored everyone in the preliminaries, both as a team and with an individual player.  So if things continue as is, I’m definitely thinking that Jose Arellano will be winning the Golden Boot.

However, Brazil’s Ronaldo has his eyes on breaking the all-time World Cup goal record, which is 14 World Cup goals currently held by former German national Gerd Muller. He’s currently at 12 (tied with Brazilian football hero, Pel‚) and needs only three more goals to break Muller’s record.  But Ronaldo doesn’t do things the easy way; as long as his recently attained leg injury is cleared up (which I’m praying to every god I can think of and a few I made up it is), I think he’ll be a competitor for the Golden Boot.

Germany, as host country, will attempt to present a strong squad as a) they’re the second place team from 2002 and b) they’re on home soil.  In 2002, Germany had one of the best defensive sides I’ve ever seen, and probably the best goal keeper I’ve ever seen-Oliver Kahn.  However, in all of his brilliance (can you feel my seething sarcasm?), German manager Jurgen Klinnsman decided to give the position of starting keeper to Jens Lehmann.  Well, wave good-bye to the Cup, Germany.   

I’m looking forward to a great month, little sleep, lots of coffee and, I’m agreeing with Pel‚ on this one, another Brazilian championship.