By Domenic Favata
Argentina: The feisty South Americans hail the world’s best ever player and the current best player. I’m talking about Coach Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi. Maradona has had a controversial build up to the World Cup, facing fines, suspensions and hefty flack from the South American media. If they can put all the talk behind them and let their football do the talking, then the likes of Carlos Tevez, Lionel Messi and Maxi Rodriguez could lead Argentina to a world cup trophy.
Player to watch: Lionel Messi (Midfielder/Attacker) The best player in the world that is yet to show his status at international level. He can score from long range, short range, header, you name it. If this man fires, Argentina will win the world cup.
Nigeria: The inconsistent Africans begin their campaign on home soil. Often referred to as impotent as they fail to deliver the hype that is expected of at world cup level. However, do not underestimate this team, a combination of blistering speed and solid defence could see them progress through to the round of 16.
Player to Watch: Joseph Yobo (c) (Defender) The no nonsense defender is a solid contributor and is one of the most highly regarded African footballers. Captain of the country, will be expected to lead by example.
South Korea: The team of home sickness. The Koreans have never made it out of the group stage outside their home turf (2002, South Korea WC, semis). Captain Huh Jung- moo will be hoping to combine with playmaker Park Ji Sung and propel his side into the round of 16.
Player to watch: Park Ji-Sung (Midfielder) The face of Korean football who hails from English giants Manchester United. Is a solid player and has taste for setting up and scoring goals.
Greece: Greece is the target for insults. “Boring, anti football, rubbish…” The insults keep on coming but the manager keeps ignoring. Targeted for the reason that they are too reliant on set pieces and counter attack. But, the 2004 Euro champions could come out and cause an upset in Group B.
Player to watch: Theofanis Gekas (Striker) The goal scoring machine has not yet won the trust of the manager as the sole target up front. However, if let loose he could cause some problems for the oppositions defence.
My tips: Argentina & South Korea to make it to Round of 16
Headline: “MESSI-THE NEW MARADONA”