With the World Cup just around the corner (OK, like a really big corner), we’ll be taking some time every Friday to investigate the best ball-kickers (it’s a technical term, don’t worry about it) of each World Cup group. Today, Group C!
(Photo: Getty Images)
The Elephants have come into tournaments and qualifications for a while as the top dog in Africa, but they always seem to flunk out early, with Ghana or Nigeria going deeper. They could have some emotional incentives this go-around though, as all-time leading scorer (and 36-year-old) Didier Drogba will be competing in his last World Cup. They’ll have to compete with chippy Greek and Japanese teams for the last spot out (Colombia has the most talent of the group), but they could very well float through on Drogba-inspired energy alone.
Colombia could very well be a dark horse to go deep into the tournament. Led by Radamel Falcao, the squad is impeccably well-balanced with old and young as well as defense and offense (but mostly offense). They’ve sat out the tournament since 1998, but picked up a fortunate group draw this year and look to become the most notorious Colombian side since the one that hung out with Pablo Escobar and did stuff like this.
Anchored by Shinji Kagawa, a midfielder Manchester United should probably be playing, the super-technical Japanese squad could make a play for the group stage in this World Cup. They were able to make it to the round of 16 in the 2010 competition, only to be dismissed on penalties by Paraguay. Not that we minded that Paraguay run all that much.
The Greeks play an interesting and very open brand of soccer, but without anyone to take control of the squad, they’ll probably fizzle out in the group stage. At least they’ll still have memories of Euro 2004 to hold them over.
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