Friday, June 6, 2014

Germany at world cup : Marco Reus out of the world cup

In a massive setback to the German national team, star winger Marco Reus has been ruled out of the world cup after suffering suspected ankle ligament damage in the friendly against Armenia. Its a shame that fans across the globe won't be able to see Reus in action in Brazil and Germany, for sure, is going to miss his services badly in the latter stages of the tournament. Reus, who has been attracting attention from big clubs across Europe had recently stated his desire to stay at Dortmund. Reus joins Ribery in the list of star attractions missing the world cup due to injury. Get well soon Marco.

France at world cup : Franck Ribery out of the world cup

In a huge setback to the French national team, star attacker Franck Ribery has been ruled out of the world cup in Brazil. The persistent back problem could be attributed the reason behind the Bayern Munich stars' pull out. France are drawn alongside Switzerland, Equador and Honduras in Group E. Though Ribery's injury is not likely to affect their qualification to the next round, a player of his class is surely going to be missed in the later stages of the tournament, if they happen to progress. All said and done, the fans across the globe are going to miss to the trickster in the gala tournament.

FIFA world cup 2014 : World rankings by group

32 countries have qualified for the FIFA world starting in Brazil next week. It should not come as a surprise that quite a few fancied teams have missed out. Players like Zlatan Ibrahimovich, Gareth Bale wouldn't be seen in action as their teams failed to make the cut. Lets have a look at the world rankings of the teams that have qualified for the world cup in Brazil.

FIFA World cup 2014 : Final squads - Group H

Group H



Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid, on loan from Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Sammy Bosut (Zulte Waregem).
Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Atletico Madrid), Laurent Ciman (Standard Liege), Nicolas Lombaerts (Zenit St Petersburg), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Daniel Van Buyten (Bayern Munich), Anthony Vanden Borre (Anderlecht), Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham).
Midfielders: Nacer Chadli, Mousa Dembele (both Tottenham), Steven Defour (Porto), Kevin De Bruyne (Wolfsburg), Marouane Fellaini, Adnan Januzaj (both Manchester United), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Kevin Mirallas (Everton), Divock Origi (Lille), Axel Witsel (Zenit St Petersburg).
Forwards: Romelu Lukaku (Everton, on loan from Chelsea), Dries Mertens (Napoli).


Goalkeepers: Rais Mbolhi (CSKA Sofia), Cedric Si Mohamed (CS Constantine), Mohamed Lamine Zemmamouche (USM Alger).
Defenders: Essaid Belkalem (Watford, on loan from Granada), Madjid Bougherra (Lekhwya Club), Liassine Cadamuro (Mallorca), Faouzi Ghoualm (Napoli), Rafik Halliche (Academica Coimbra), Aissa Mandi (Stade Reims), Carl Medjani (Valenciennes), Djamel Mesbah (Livorno), Mehdi Mostefa (AC Ajaccio).
Midfielders: Nabil Bentaleb (Tottenham), Yasine Brahimi (Granada), Medhi Lacen (Getafe), Saphir Taider (Inter Milan), Hassan Yebda (Udinese).
Forwards: Abdelmoumene Djabou (Club Africain), Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia), Nabil Ghilas (Porto), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City), Islam Slimani (Sporting Lisbon), Hilal Soudani (Dinamo Zagreb).


Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Yury Lodygin (Zenit St Petersburg), Sergey Ryzhikov (Rubin Kazan).
Defenders: Vasili Berezutskiy, Sergey Ignashevich, Georgi Schennikov (all CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Granat, Alexey Kozlov (both Dynamo Moscow), Andrey Eshchenko (Anzhi Makhachkala), Dmitry Kombarov (Spartak Moscow), Andrey Semenov (Terek Grozny),
Midfielders: Denis Glushakov (Spartak Moscow), Igor Denisov, Yury Zhirkov, Alexey Ionov (all Dynamo Moscow), Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow), Alexander Samedov (Lokomotiv Moscow), Victor Faizulin, Oleg Shatov (both Zenit St Petersburg), Roman Shirokov (Krasnodar).
Forwards: Maxim Kanunnikov (Amkar Perm), Alexander Kerzhakov (Zenit St Petersburg), Alexander Kokorin (Dynamo Moscow).

South Korea

Goalkeepers: Jung Sung-ryeong (Suwon Bluewings), Kim Seung-gyu (Ulsan Horang-i), Lee Bum-young (Busan I'Park)
Defenders: Yun Suk-young (QPR), Kim Young-kwon (Guangzhou Evergrande), Hwang Seok-ho (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Hong Jeong-ho (Augsburg), Kwak Tae-hwi (Al Hilal), Lee Yong (Ulsan Horang-i), Kim Chang-soo (Kashiwa Reysol), Park Joo-ho (Mainz)
Midfielders: Ki Seung-yueng (Sunderland, on loan from Swansea), Ha Dae-sung (Beijing Guoan), Han Kook-young (Kashiwa Reysol), Park Jung-woo (Guangzhou R&F), Son Heung-min (Bayer Leverkusen), Kim Bo-kyung (Cardiff City), Lee Chung-yong (Bolton Wanderers), Ji Dong-won (Augsburg).
Forwards: Koo Ja-cheol (Mainz), Lee Keun-ho (Sangju Sangmu), Park Chu-young (Arsenal), Kim Shin-wook (Ulsan Horang-i).
My picks : Belgium, Russia

Weather Could Play A Huge Factor In Brazil

Soccer players are known as some of the fittest athletes in the world, but when the 32 best countries get together to face off in Brazil for the World Cup, they will be tested. The majority of players play in cooler, less humid places around the world compared to Brazil, so it could be a big change.

Dehydration is definitely something that people will have to watch for during the World Cup. A lot of teams have spent the last few months conditioning their top players for Brazil. However, technically only the Brazilian team will know exactly how it feels to play multiple games in the tropical setting.

Those familiar with soccer and playing in one day fantasy sports already know about the impact weather can make in the top European Leagues. Most of the time, the adverse weather conditions over there include rain, sleet and snow. Rarely is it so hot and humid that players are left gasping for air.

Thanks to a lot of technology and knowledge about dehydration in general, teams are doing a very good job of preparing as much as possible. They are strategically taking water breaks, training in similar weather and more. Just one example is England’s preparation in Miami, Florida for the tournament.

With all that being said, experts, oddsmakers and everyone else who follows the sport still believes that the South American teams, and specifically Brazil, are going to have the edge. That seems to always be the case in the World Cup in general, but if it really heats up, they could have an edge specifically on the European powers. After all, there is no real way to prepare for the actual matches with all the emotion that goes with it in a hostile, tropical setting.

Written by : Daniel Luchington

Thursday, June 5, 2014

FIFA World cup 2014 : Final squads - Group G

Group G


Alexander Hassenstein / Getty

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover)
Defenders: Jerome Boateng, Philipp Lahm (both Bayern Munich), Erik Durm, Kevin Grosskreutz, Mats Hummels (all Borussia Dortmund), Benedikt Howedes (Schalke), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal).
Midfielders: Julian Draxler (Schalke), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Mario Gotze, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Bastian Schweinsteiger (all Bayern Munich), Christoph Kramer (Borussia Monchengladbach), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Andre Schurrle (Chelsea)
Forwards: Miroslav Klose (Lazio), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal).


Goalkeepers: Beto (Sevilla), Eduardo (Braga), Rui Patricio (Sporting).
Defenders: Andre Almeida (Benfica), Bruno Alves (Fenerbahce), Fabio Coentreo, Pepe (both Real Madrid), Joao Pereira, Ricardo Costa (both Valencia), Neto (Zenit).
Midfielders: Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Miguel Veloso (Dinamo Kiev), Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce), Ruben Amorim (Benfica), William Carvalho (Sporting).
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Eder, Rafa (both SC Braga), Helder Postiga (Lazio), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Nani (Manchester United), Varela (FC Porto), Vieirinha (Wolfsburg).


Goalkeepers: Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates), Adam Kwarasey (Stromsgodset), Stephen Adams (Aduana Stars).
Defenders: Samuel Inkoom (Platanias), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege), Harrison Afful (Esperance), John Boye (Rennes), Jonathan Mensah (Evian), Rashid Sumalia (Mamelodi Sundowns).
Midfielders: Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari (both AC Milan), Rabiu Mohammed (Kuban Krasnodar), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese), Afriyie Acquah (Parma), Christian Atsu (Vitesse), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough), Andre Ayew (Marseille), Mubarak Wakaso (Rubin Kazan).
Forwards: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Schalke 04), Abdul Majeed Waris (Valenciennes), Jordan Ayew (Sochaux).

United States

Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake).
Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke), Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders).
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City).
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Aron Johansson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).
My picks : Portugal, Germany

FIFA World cup 2014 : Final squads - Group F

Group F


Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Sampdoria), Mariano Andujar (Catania), Agustin Orion (Boca Juniors).
Defenders: Pablo Zabaleta, Martin Demichelis (both Manchester City), Federico Fernandez (Napoli), Ezequiel Garay (Benfica), Marcos Rojo (Sporting Lisbon), Hugo Campagnaro (Inter Milan), Jose Basantra (Monterrey)
Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Fernando Gago (Boca Juniors), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Ricardo Alvarez (Inter Milan), Augusto Fernandez (Celta Vigo), Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid), Maxi Rodriguez (Newell's Old Boys), Enzo Perez (Benfica).
Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Rodrigo Palacio (Inter Milan), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris St-Germain).


Goalkeepers: Asmir Begovic (Stoke City), Asmir Avdukic (Borac Banja Luka), Jasmin Fejzic (VFR Aalen).
Defenders: Emir Spahic (Bayer Leverkusen), Toni Sunjic (Zorya Lugansk), Sead Kolasinac (Schalke), Ognjen Vranjes (Elazigspor), Ermin Bicakcic (Eintracht Braunschweig), Muhamed Besic (Ferencvaros), Mensur Mujdza (Freiburg).
Midfielders: Miralem Pjanic (Roma), Izet Hajrovic (Galatasaray), Haris Medunjanin (Gaziantepspor), Senad Lulic (Lazio), Anel Hadzic (Sturm), Tino Susic, Avdija Vrsaljevic (both Hajduk), Sejad Salihovic (Hoffenheim), Zvjezdan Misimovic (Guizhour Renhe), Senijad Ibricic (Erciyesspor),
Strikers: Vedad Ibisevic (VfB Stuttgart), Edin Dzeko (Manchester City), Edin Visca (Istanbul BB).


Goalkeepers: Daniel Davari (Eintracht Braunschweig), Alireza Haghighi (Sporting Covilha, on loan from Rubin Kazan), Rahman Ahmadi (Sepahan).
Defenders: Hossein Mahini, Jalal Hosseini, Mehrdad Pouladi (all Persepolis), Steven Beitashour (Vancouver Whitecaps), Pejman Montazeri (Umm Salal), Amir-Hossein Sadeghi, Hashem Beikzadeh (both Esteghlal), Ahmad Alenemeh (Naft).
Midfielders: Javad Nekounam (Kuwait SC), Andranik Teymourian (Esteghlal), Reza Haghighi (Persepolis), Ghasem Haddadifar (Zob Ahan), Bakhtiar Rahmani (Foolad), Ehsan Hajsafi (Sepahan).
Forwards: Ashkan Dejagah (Fulham), Masoud Shojaei (Las Palmas), Alireza Jahanbakhsh (NEC Nijmegen), Reza Ghoochannejhad (Charlton), Karim Ansarifard (Tractor Saz, on loan from Persepolis), Khosro Heydari (Esteghlal).


Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille), Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be'er Sheva), Chigozie Agbim (Gombe United)
Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (Monaco), Efe Ambrose (Celtic), Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor), Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves), Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough), Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod), Joseph Yobo (Norwich, on loan from Fenerbahce), Kunle Odunlami (Sunshine Stars).
Midifelders: John Obi Mikel (Chelsea), Ramon Azeez (Almeria), Ogenyi Onazi (Lazio), Reuben Gabriel (Waasland-Beveren), Michael Babatunde (Violyn Lutsk).
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow), Shola Ameobi (Newcastle), Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce), Michael Uchebo (Cercle Brugge), Peter Odemwingie (Stoke), Victor Moses (Liverpool, on loan from Chelsea), Uche Nwofor (Heerenveen).
My picks : Argentina, Nigeria

FIFA World cup 2014 : Final squads - Group E

Group E


Goalkeepers: Diego Benaglio (Wolfsburg), Roman Buerki (Grasshopper), Yann Sommer (Basel).
Defenders: Johan Djourou (Hamburg), Michael Lang (Grasshopper), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Ricardo Rodriguez (Wolfsburg), Fabian Schaer (Basel), Philippe Senderos (Valencia), Steve von Bergen (Young Boys), Reto Ziegler (Sassuolo).
Midfielders: Tranquillo Barnetta (Eintracht Frankfurt), Valon Behrami, Blerim Dzemaili, Gokhan Inler (all Napoli), Gelson Fernandes (Freiburg), Xherdan Shaqiri (Bayern Munich), Valentin Stocker (Basel).
Forwards: Josip Drmic (Nuremberg), Mario Gavranovic (Zurich), Admir Mehmedi (Freiburg), Haris Seferovic (Real Sociedad), Granit Xhaka (Borussia Monchengladbach).


Goalkeepers: Maximo Banguera (Barcelona SC), Alexander Dominguez (LDU Quito), Adrian Bone (El Nacional).
Defenders: Frickson Erazo (Flamengo), Jorge Guagua, Oscar Bagui, Gabriel Achilier (all Emelec), Walter Ayovi (Pachuca), Juan Carlos Paredes (Barcelona SC).
Midfielders: Segundo Castillo (Al-Hilal), Carlos Gruezo (Stuttgart), Renato Ibarra (Vitesse Arnhem), Cristian Noboa (Dynamo Moscow), Luis Saritama (Barcelona SC), Antonio Valencia (Manchester United), Edison Mendez (Independiente Santa Fe), Fidel Martinez (Tijuana), Michael Arroyo (Atlante).
Forwards: Felipe Caicedo (Al-Jazira), Jefferson Montero (Morelia), Joao Rojas (Cruz Azul), Jaime Ayovi (Tijuana), Enner Valencia (Pachuca).


Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Stephane Ruffier (Marseille), Mickael Landreau (Bastia).
Defenders: Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle), Lucas Digne (Paris St-Germain) Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Laurent Koscielny, Bacary Sagna (both Arsenal), Eliaquim Mangala (Porto), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid).
Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye, Blaise Matuidi (both Paris St-Germain), Clement Grenier (Lyon), Rio Mavuba (Lille), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille).
Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad), Loic Remy (Newastle, on loan from QPR), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich).



Goalkeepers: Noel Valladares, Donis Escober (both Olimpia), Luis Lopez (Real Espana).
Defenders: Brayan Beckeles (Olimpia), Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic), Juan Carlos Garcia (Wigan), Maynor Figueroa (Hull), Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes), Osman Chavez (Qingdao Janoon), Juan Pablo Montes (Motagua).
Midfielders: Edder Delgado (Real Espana), Luis Garrido (Olimpia), Roger Espinoza (Wigan), Jorge Claros (Motagua), Wilson Palacios (Stoke), Oscar Garcia (Houston Dynamo), Andy Najar (Anderlecht), Mario Martinez (Real Espana), Marvin Chavez (Chivas USA).
Forwards: Jerry Bengtson (New England Revolution), Jerry Palacios (Alajuelense), Carlo Costly (Real Espana), Rony Martinez (Real Sociedad).

My picks : France, Switzerland

FIFA World cup 2014 : Final squads - Group D

Group D


Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Martin Silva (Vasco da Gama), Rodrigo Munoz (Libertad).
Defenders: Maximiliano Pereira (Benfica), Diego Lugano (West Brom), Diego Godin, Jose Maria Gimenez (both Atletico Madrid), Sebastian Coates (Liverpool), Martin Caceres (Juventus), Jorge Fucile (Porto).
Midfielders: Alvaro Gonzalez (Lazio), Alvaro Pereira (Sao Paolo), Walter Gargano (Parma), Egidio Arevalo Rios (Morella), Diego Perez (Bologna), Cristian Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid), Gaston Ramirez (Southampton), Nicolas Lodeiro (Botafogo).
Forwards: Luis Suarez (Liverpool), Edinson Cavani (Paris St-Germain), Abel Hernandez (Palermo), Diego Forlan (Cerezo Osaka), Christian Stuani (Espanyol.

Costa Rica

Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas (Levante), Patrick Pemberton (Alajuelense) Daniel Cambronero (Herediano).
Defenders: Johnny Acosta (Alajuelense), Giancarlo Gonzalez (Columbus Crew), Michael Umana (Saprissa), Oscar Duarte (Bruges), Waylon Francis (Columbus Crew), Heiner Mora (Saprissa), Junior Diaz (Mainz 05), Christian Gamboa (Rosenborg), Roy Miller (New York Red Bulls).
Midfielders: Celso Borges (AIK), Christian Bolanos (Copenhagen), Esteban Granados (Herediano), Michael Barrantes (Aalesund), Yeltsin Tejeda (Saprissa), Diego Calvo (Valerenga), Jose Miguel Cubero (Herediano).
Forwards: Bryan Ruiz (PSV Eindhoven, on loan from Fulham), Joel Campbell (Olympiakos, on loan from Arsenal), Randall Brenes (Cartagines), Marco Urena (FC Kuban Krasnodar).


Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Celtic), Ben Foster (West Brom), Joe Hart (Manchester City)
Defenders: Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka (both Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones, Chris Smalling (both Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Southampton).
Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling (all Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Southampton), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere (both Arsenal).
Forwards: Rickie Lambert (Southampton), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United).


Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris St-Germain), Mattia Perin (Genoa)
Defenders: Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini (all Juventus), Gabriel Paletta (Parma), Ignazio Abate, Mattia De Sciglio (both AC Milan), Matteo Darmian (Torino).
Midfielders: Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio (both Juventus), Thiago Motta, Marco Verratti (both Paris St-Germain), Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Marco Parolo (Parma), Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina).
Forwards: Mario Balotelli (AC Milan), Antonio Cassano (Parma), Alessio Cerci, Ciro Immobile (both Torino), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli).

My picks : Uruguay, England (Italy might have a say)

FIFA World cup 2014 : Final squads - Group C

Group C


Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Nice), Faryd Mondragon (Deportivo Cali), Camilo Vargas (Independiente Santa Fe).
Defenders: Mario Yepes, Cristian Zapata (both AC Milan), Pablo Armero (West Ham, on loan from Napoli), Camilo Zuniga (Napoli), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Eder Alvarez Balanta (River Plate), Carlos Valdes (San Lorenzo).
Midfielders: Fredy Guarin (Inter Milan), Juan Cuadrado (Fiorentina), James Rodriguez (Monaco), Abel Aguilar (Toulouse), Juan Fernando Quintero (Porto), Carlos Sanchez (Elche), Aldo Leao Ramirez (Morelia), Alexander Mejia (Atletico Nacional),
Forwards: Victor Ibarbo (Cagliari), Jackson Martinez (Porto), Carlos Bacca (Sevilla), Adrian Ramos (Hertha Berlin), Teofilo Gutierrez (River Plate).


Goalkeepers: Orestis Karnezis (Granada), Panagiotis Glykos (PAOK), Stefanos Kapino (Panathinaikos).
Defenders: Kostas Manolas, Giannis Maniatis, Jose Holebas (all Olympiakos), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Borussia Dortmund), Giorgios Tzavellas (PAOK), Loukas Vyntra (Levante), Vasilis Torosidis (Roma), Vangelis Moras (Verona).
Midfielders: Alexandros Tziolis (Kayserispor), Andreas Samaris (Olympiakos), Kostas Katsouranis (PAOK), Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham), Panagiotis Tachtsidis (Torino), Ioannis Fetfatzidis (Genoa), Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (Bologna), Panagiotis Kone (Bologna).
Forwards: Dimitris Salpingidis (PAOK), Giorgios Samaras (Celtic), Konstantinos Mitroglou (Fulham), Theofanis Gekas (Konyaspor).

Ivory Coast


Goalkeepers: Boubacar Barry (Lokeren), Sylvain Gbohouo (Sewe Sport), Sayouba Sande (Stabaek).
Defenders: Kolo Toure (Liverpool), Sol Bamba (Trabzonspor), Didier Zokora (Trabzonspor), Serge Aurier (Toulouse), Arthur Boka (Stuttgart), Ousmane Viera Diarrassouba (Caykur Rizespor), Constant Djakpa (Frankfurt), Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro (Toulouse).
Midfielders: Yaya Toure (Manchester City), Cheick Tiote (Newcastle), Serey Die (Basel), Max Gradel, Diomande Ismael (Saint Etienne), Didier Ya Konan (Hannover), Mathis Bolly (Dusseldorf).
Forwards: Gervinho (Roma), Didier Drogba (Galatasaray), Salomon Kalou (Lille), Wilfried Bony (Swansea), Giovanni Sio (Basel).


Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Standard Liege), Shusaku Nishikawa (Urawa Reds), Shuichi Gonda (FC Tokyo).
Defenders: Masato Morishige (FC Tokyo), Yasuyuki Konno (Gamba Osaka), Yuto Nagatomo (Inter Milan), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Masahiko Inoha (Jubilo Iwata), Atsuto Uchida (Schalke 04), Hiroki Sakai (Hannover 96), Gotoku Sakai (VfB Stuttgart).
Midfielders: Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka), Keisuke Honda (AC Milan), Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United), Makoto Hasebe, Hiroshi Kiyotake (both FC Nuremberg), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Toshihiro Aoyama (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Manabu Saito (Yokohama F Marinos).
Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Mainz), Yoichiro Kakitani (Cerezo Osaka), Yuya Osako (TSV Munich 1860), Yoshito Okubo (Kawasaki Frontale).
My picks : Ivory Coast, Colombia (I'd love to see Japan going through to the next round)

FIFA World cup 2014 : Final squads - Group B

Group B


Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Napoli), David De Gea (Manchester United).
Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba (both Barcelona), Raul Albiol (Napoli), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid).
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas (all Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich).
Forwards: David Silva (Manchester City), Diego Costa, David Villa (both Atletico Madrid), Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Pedro (Barcelona), Juan Mata (Manchester United).


Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (Ajax), Tim Krul (Newcastle), Michel Vorm (Swansea)
Defenders: Daley Blind, Joel Veltman (both Ajax), Stefan de Vrij, Daryl Janmaat, Terence Kongolo, Bruno Martins Indi, (all Feyenoord), Paul Verhaegh (FC Augsburg), Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa).
Midfielders: Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord), Jonathan de Guzman (Swansea), Nigel de Jong (AC Milan), Leroy Fer (Norwich), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich), Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray), Georginio Wijnaldum (PSV Eindhoven).
Forwards: Memphis Depay (PSV Eindhoven), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke 04), Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahce), Jeremain Lens (Dynamo Kiev), Robin van Persie (Manchester United).


Lars Baron

Goalkeepers: Claudio Bravo (Real Sociedad), Johnny Herrera (Universidad de Chile), Cristopher Toselli (Universidad Catolica).
Defenders: Gary Medel (Cardiff City), Gonzalo Jara (Nottingham Forest), Jose Rojas (Universidad de Chile), Eugenio Mena (Santos), Mauricio Isla (Juventus).
Midfielders: Jorge Valdivia (Palmeiras), Felipe Gutierrez (Twente), Jose Pedro Fuenzalida (Colo Colo), Francisco Silva (Osasuna), Arturo Vidal (Juventus), Charles Aranguiz (Internacional), Marcelo Diaz (Basel), Carlos Carmona (Atalanta), Miiko Albornoz (Malmo).
Forwards: Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona), Esteban Paredes (Colo Colo) Eduardo Vargas (Valencia), Jean Beausejour (Wigan Athletic), Mauricio Pinilla (Cagliari), Fabian Orellana (Celta).


Goalkeepers: Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United), Mitchell Langerak (Borussia Dortmund), Mat Ryan (Club Brugge).
Defenders: Jason Davidson (Heracles Almelo), Ivan Franjic (Brisbane Roar), Ryan McGowan (Shandong Luneng Taishan), Matthew Spiranovic (Western Sydney Wanderers), Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Bailey Wright (Preston North End).
Midfielders: Oliver Bozanic (Luzern), Mark Bresciano (Al Gharafa), James Holland (Austria Vienna), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace), Massimo Luongo (Swindon Town), Matthew McKay (Brisbane Roar), Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory), Tommy Oar (Utrecht), James Troisi (Melbourne Victory), Dario Vidosic (Sion).
Forwards: Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), Ben Halloran (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Matthew Leckie (FSV Frankfurt 1899), Adam Taggart (Newcastle Jets).

My picks : Spain, Netherlands

FIFA World cup 2014 : Final squads - Group A

Group A

Star man: Neymar

Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Toronto FC, on loan from QPR), Jefferson (Botafogo), Victor (Atletico Mineiro).

 Defenders: Marcelo (Real Madrid), Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Maicon (Roma), Maxwell, Thiago Silva (both Paris St-Germain), David Luiz (Chelsea), Dante (Bayern Munich), Henrique (Napoli). 

Midfielders: Paulinho (Tottenham), Ramires, Willian, Oscar (all Chelsea), Hernanes (Inter Milan), Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Fernandinho (Manchester City).

Forwards: Bernard (Shakhtar Donetsk), Neymar (Barcelona), Fred (Fluminense), Jo (Atletico Mineiro), Hulk (Zenit St Petersburg).


Goalkeepers: Stipe Pletikosa (Rostov), Daniel Subasic (Monaco), Oliver Zelenika (Dinamo Zagreb) 

Defenders: Darijo Srna (Shakhtar Donetsk), Dejan Lovren (Southampton), Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), Gordon Schildenfeld, Danijel Pranjic (both Panathinaikos), Domagoj Vida (Dinamo Kiev), Sime Vrsaljko (Genoa).

 Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Sevilla), Ognjen Vukojevic (Dinamo Kiev), Ivan Perisic (Wolfsburg), Mateo Kovacic (Inter Milan), Marcelo Brozovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Sammir (Getafe), Ivan Mocinic (Rijeka).

 Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Bayern Munich), Ivica Olic (Wolfsburg), Eduardo (Shakhtar Donetsk), Nikica jelavic (Hull City), Ante Rebic (Fiorentina)


Goalkeepers: Jose de Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul), Guillermo Ochoa (Ajaccio), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca).

Defenders: Miguel Layun, Paul Aguilar, Francisco Javier Rodriguez (all America), Carlos Salcido (Tigres), Andres Guardado (Bayer Leverkusen), Hector Moreno (Espanyol), Diego Reyes (Porto), Rafael Marquez (Leon).

Midfielders: Miguel Angel Ponce, Isaac Brizuela (both Toluca), Jose Juan Vasquez, Luis Montes, Carlos Pena (all Leon), Hector Herrera (Porto), Marco Fabian (Cruz Azul).

Forwards: Oribe Peralta (Santos), Javier Hernandez (Manchester United), Giovani dos Santos (Villarreal), Raul Jimenez (America), Alan Pulido (Tigres)


Goalkeepers: Loic Feudjou (Coton Sport), Charles Itandje (Konyaspor), Sammy Ndjock (Fethiyespor).

Defenders: Benoit Assou-Ekotto (QPR, on loan from Tottenham), Henri Bedimo (Lyon), Aurelien Chedjou (Galatasaray), Cedric Djeugou (Coton Sport), Nicolas Nkoulou (Marseille), Dany Nounkeu (Besiktas), Allan Nyom (Granada).

Midfielders: Enoh Eyong (Antalyaspor), Jean Makoun (Rennes), Joel Matip (Schalke), Stephane Mbia (Sevilla, on loan from QPR), Benjamin Moukandjo (Nancy), Landry Nguemo (Bordeaux), Edgar Salli (Lens), Alex Song (Barcelona).

Forwards: Vincent Aboubakar (Lorient), Eric-Maxim Choupo Moting (Mainz), Samuel Eto'o (Chelsea), Fabrice Olinga (Malaga), Achille Webo (Fenerbahce)

My picks : Brazil, Mexico

The curious case of David Moyes at Manchester United

When David Moyes was appointed the manager following SAF's retirement, there was a sense of euphoria and excitement surrounding the Chosen One. It was understandable considering the club was stepping into a new era and there was a new person occupying the manager seat after almost three decades. When the announcement came people perceived it was a reward for Moyes' consistent achievements over a long tenure in charge of Everton and Preston. The club had just won a record breaking 20th league title and SAF must have felt he was leaving the club with the best possible squad.

It was not until July 2013 that Moyes took charge of the club and his first task was to sort out the Wayne Rooney situation. As a United fan, I personally feel Wazza hasn't been doing himself any good by putting himself in awkward positions during these contract negotiations. There is a feeling among United fans that he is not a hero anymore though the reaction from Old Trafford faithful suggest otherwise.

By the end of August 2013, Moyes had done enough to keep Rooney at Old Trafford for the season at-least. So what about signings? Manchester United were badly in need of a world class midfielder for a few years now and that wasn't addressed. In the end Fellaini was bought from Everton for a staggering 27M pounds. It did not impress the fans one bit. The season rolled on and slide begun. Moyes had revitalized Wayne Rooney who seemed a different player altogether but RVP paled in comparison to the player he was the previous season.

No one could argue United had the best squad but SAF managed to extract the maximum out of the players when the stepped on to the pitch every single time. Cracks were opening and the worst part was they were widening big time. The tactical acumen of Moyes was questioned and his post match interviews did nothing to inspire confidence among the fans or the management. The performance hit a new low against Olympiakos, seen as one the worst performances ever by the Red Devils