There is something sweeping the World

Specials for the World Cup at the Royal Mile:

1) Wear your team jersey during live broadcast and receive a free Carlsberg/Budweiser when they score.

2) Free domestic keg during first USA match on June 16th at 5 pm

3) Free Magners jersey to person that pops the Magners keg(during USA match)

Something is sweeping the world, something so large that every continent will turn its attention towards, wars will stop and people will unite for the love of Sport. No matter culture, religion, or race we all come together to watch the world’s best 32 nations battle on the pitch for the right to be called the Champions of the World. In two days we will all tune in to the opening Ceremonies of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Brazil, a country whose love for soccer reigns supreme will be hosting this event in numerous cities through the vast country reaching form the Amazonian Rain Forest to the Coast of Rio (Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Sao Paulo, Rio, Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Cuiaba, Salvador, Recife, Natal, Fortaleza, and Manaus.) The tournament stretches from June 12th to July 13th with the first game being the Host country Brazil vs. Croatia at Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo at 3pm CST.

A tournament and a continent both rich with history will be sure not to disappoint. The first World Cups Inaugural tournament was held in boarding country Uruguay in the year 1930 in which they defeated Argentina 4-2 to become victors, the Italians (Gli Azzurri) took the next two in 1934 and 1938. After the 1938 World cup World War II put a stop to International play which and it resurfaced in 1950 in Brazil a year many Brazilians wish they could forget losing to Uruguay 2-1 in the final match of the four team group ( the only year a final match did not decide the champion.) This has continued every four years since, Brazil being the most successful nation followed by Italy, Germany/West Germany, Argentina, Uruguay, France, England and Spain. As one can see the winner of each WC going back from 1930 has come from either South America, or Europe. Another important piece of information is that all World Cups played in South America have been won by a South American team a streak which in my eyes can continue in 2014.

I have heard many people as well as myself state that this world cup could very well be the best cup (inside the stadium) and the worst outside the stadium. With a raised concern of violence and protest set against the extreme spending for the World Cup, the police presence in the known Favelas and public transit strikes which have already crippled the city of Sao Paulo making traffic a huge issue. However all socio/political issues aside we should witness “Jogo Bonito” Portuguese for the Beautiful game inside the stadiums with team favorites such as Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Spain playing alongside such well rounded teams as Belgium, Colombia, Uruguay and Italy and many others. With that stated enough with my constant rambling let’s get into these group stages:

Group A: Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon

Within this group lies the host nation, Brazil, who by many experts are picked to win the tournament. It may not only because they are the host nation but they are led by some of the world’s best players including Neymar, Oscar and Alves. Mexico and Croatia both stumbled their way through qualifying but are neck and neck on who will advance along with Brazil. Cameroon will try to rely heaving on creativity and magic to be able to come out of this group as Eto’o will have his hands full to get his team into the knockout round.

Most likely to move on: Brazil, Mexico

Group B: Spain, Chile, Netherlands, Australia

Australia seems have to gotten themselves into their own “Group of Death” with three top 15 teams to compete against. Defending champion Spain seems to have all the same pieces in place to make another run with Diego Costa leading the way like he did with Atletico Madrid. The other team from 2010’s World Cup title game is Netherlands who seems to have the same team but questions on defense. Chile is the wild card of this group and will rely heavily on attacking.

Most likely to move on: Spain, Netherlands

Group C: Columbia, Japan, Greece, Ivory Coast

Columbia seems to have the upper hand in this group but must try to replace Radamel Falcao and give help to Ospina in goal. Japan and Greece are both strong in different aspects with Japan relying on possession and Greece packing numbers for the counter. The wild card for this group is Ivory Coast who may be on its last leg’s for some of their stars including Drogba but they are one of the best teams from Africa in this tournament.

Most likely to move on: Columbia, Ivory Coast

Group D: Costa Rica, Italy, England, Uruguay

Good luck to Costa Rica for having to play three top 10 teams along the way. Italy is bound with quality players in all aspects including Gianluigi Buffon in goal and Mario Balotelli up front and should benefit from great midfield and defensive play. Uruguay will rely heavily on recently injured Luis Suarez to use his goal scoring ability from the EPL and hope it translates to the World Cup. England doesn’t have much hype in this tournament but has some firepower to move into the next round.

Most likely to move on: Italy, Uruguay

Group E: Ecuador, France, Honduras, Switzerland

France may not flame out this time around like it did in 2010 but with Ribery out of the tournament; it will rely heavily on others. Ecuador relied a lot on its home field for qualifying but relies too much on the forward side to move on. Honduras could surprise people with its goal scoring upfront but must continue to make strides to compete. The Swiss are well coached and shouldn’t have a problem moving out of the group as long as manger Ottmar Hitzfeld gets his bunch together.

Most likely to move on: Switzerland, France

Group F: Argentina, Bosnia, Iran, Nigeria

Nigeria and Iran will have to play lights out if they want to come out of this group with Argentina. Argentina should have no problem coming out of this group led by Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero. Bosnia should come in second with its strong play from Miralem Pjanic and Edin Dzeko.

Most likely to move on: Argentina, Bosnia

Group G: Germany, Ghana, Portugal, USA

Labeled the “Group of Death”, this group will have no problem exciting people with every single match. Ghana is a well rounded team that has made it to the quarterfinals in 2010. Portugal is led by the best player in the world, Christiano Ronaldo, but he was recently injured and will rely heavily on others if he is not fit. Germany is a heavy favorite to win the whole tournament led by veterans and a well coached team with a surplus of attackers. A lot if riding on the United States to make it out of this group without Landon Donovan and with 5 players with World Cup experience out of 23. They will rely on all aspects especially goalie Tim Howard to keep them in all games.

Most likely to move on: Germany, Portugal

Group H: Algeria, Belgium, South Korea, Russia

This group is wide open beyond favorite Belgium, who is loaded with talent and have no problem winning the group. Beyond that, Algeria and Russia should be fighting along for second place but Russia may have some troubles adjusting to the temperatures and Algeria relying on a settled defense. For Korea, they must play as a team and not individuals as they have in the past in order to move on.

Most likely to move on: Belgium, Russia

Schedule:

Thursday, June 12th:
Brazil v. Croatia at 3PM

Friday June 13th:
Mexico v. Cameroon at 11AM
Spain v. Netherlands at 2 PM
Chile v. Australia at 5PM

Saturday June 14th:
Columbia v. Greece at 11AM
Uruguay v. Costa Rica at 2PM
England v. Italy at 5PM
Ivory Coast v. Japan at 8 PM

Sunday June 15th:
Switzerland v. Ecuador at 11AM
France v. Honduras at 2PM
Argentina v. Bosnia at 5PM

Monday June 16th:
Germany v. Portugal at 11AM
Iran v. Nigeria at 2PM
Ghana v. USA at 5PM

Tuesday June 17th:
Belgium v. Algeria at 11AM
Brazil v. Mexico at 2PM
Russia v. Korea at 5PM

Wednesday June 18th:
Australia v. Netherlands at 11AM
Spain v. Chile at 2PM
Cameroon v. Croatia at 5PM

Thursday June 19th:
Columbia v. Ivory Coast at 11AM
Uruguay v. England at 2PM
Japan v. Greece at 5PM

Friday June 20th:
Italy v. Costa Rica at 11AM
Switzerland v. France at 2 PM
Honduras v. Ecuador at 5PM

Saturday June 21st:
Argentina v. Iran at 11AM
Germany v. Ghana at 2PM
Bosnia v. Nigeria at 5PM

Sunday June 22nd:
Belgium v. Russia at 11AM
Korea v. Algeria at 2PM
USA v. Portugal at 5PM

Monday June 23rd:
Australia v. Spain at 11 AM
Netherlands v. Chile at 11AM
Cameroon v. Brazil at 3PM
Croatia v. Mexico at 3PM

Tuesday June 24th:
Costa Rica v. England at 11AM
Italy v. Uruguay at 11AM
Greece v. Ivory Coast at 3PM
Japan v. Columba at 3PM

Wednesday June 25th:
Nigeria v. Argentina at 11AM
Bosnia v. Iran at 11AM
Honduras v. Switzerland at 3PM
Ecuador v. France at 3PM

Thursday June 26th:
Germany v. USA at 11AM
Ghana v. Portugal at 11AM
Algeria v. Russia at 3PM
Korea v. Belgium at 3PM

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