Local soccer enthusiasts make predictions on who will win World Cup

Dave
Dave Leaderhouse
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 – Prince Albert Youth Soccer Association board of director

Selection – Belgium

Reason – “They are 20-1 outsiders, but watching Premier League soccer all winter I have noticed more and more excellent Belgian players… also in France and Germany. If they (Belgium) can be brought together as a team they could surprise a few people.”

SEAN RIGGS – Prince Albert Youth Soccer Association technical director

Selection – Brazil

Reason – “Home field advantage is so big in sports. Spain is always a favourite, but I would like to see Argentina and Messi win it. There has been a lot of talk about Belgium as a sleeper, but my sleeper pick would be Ghana. There will be a lot of great action, drama and surprises. Us football (soccer) enthusiasts have been waiting for this for four years. The schedule is made, rosters are in and it’s time for action. I’m looking forward t every minute of the showcase of the best game on the planet.”

DAVE LEADERHOUSE – Daily Herald Sports Reporter

Selection – Netherlands

Reason – “Not being the most informed soccer fan in the world I have grown to appreciate it from my time covering the game for the paper and also from having been overseas when a couple of major competitions were being held. I remember travelling through the Netherlands more than 20 years ago and I believe it was the European Cup being played and the Netherlands were in the final. The country came to a complete standstill to watch and cheer on their heroes. I know every country is passionate about their team, but that will always stick with me so here is hoping they get the chance to do it on a much bigger stage.”

BABAK GHAZANFARI – Prince Albert Youth Soccer Association board member

Selection – Brazil

Reason – “Since the World Cup has started there has never been a European team winning on South American soil and in my opinion it will not change this time. Although Germany and Spain both have the players to give it a good run, they are both in very tough groups and will have nothing left once they get to the second round. Looking at the groups, both Brazil and Argentina are going to have an easy time advancing to the round of 16, but Germany and Spain have to play team like Chile, the Netherlands, Ghana, Portugal and the USA. So, Brazil or Argentina will win.”

ANDREW SCHOPP - Daily Herald Sports Reporter

Selection - Spain

Reason - “We are seeing a strange happening where the most soccer-mad country on Earth is beginning to reject FIFA’s big event. Home field advantage may not be what people expect as Brazilian sentiment towards FIFA increasingly sours. Since winning the World Cup in 2010, Spain have not missed a beat and will follow their 2012 UEFA European Championship with a second straight world title. Although strong contenders, Brazil will struggle to find their way to the final while hosting a tournament tainted by political tensions in the host country.” 

sports@paherald.sk.ca

Organizations: Prince Albert, Daily Herald, FIFA

Geographic location: Brazil, Spain, Belgium Germany Argentina Netherlands Ghana France Chile Portugal USA

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