Although it’s still a long way off – four months and change – the 2010 FIFA World Cup has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue since Italy won a shocker last time the Cup was held. Unfortunately, no noteworthy happenings have jumped out and grabbed fans in. There are no shockers to date. Brazil is still the favorite, with England, Spain and Argentina not very far behind. But people have already started selecting from the respective groups.
Group E, for many, looks to be the toughest. You could walk into top roulette casinos and have a better chance picking a straight number than selecting a winner of the four teams – Netherlands, Denmark, Japan and Cameroon – with any real confidence. However, the unheralded Cameroon carries the second-best odds of the group for a final with -66/1. Yes, it’s still an incredible long shot, and Denmark is thought to be a better all-around team, but don’t be surprised to see Cameroon come out unscathed.
Another group up in the air, for all intents and purposes, is Group F, containing Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand and Slovakia. Italy’s the odds-on favorite, but their 2006 triumph has carryover respect. Paraguay has been scratching and clawing and could easily outshine the boot-shaped footballers.
Most in the football world already have Groups G and H locked up, with Brazil (G) and Spain (H) winning respectively. However, Portugal, in Brazil’s Group, has a healthy and impressive team, showing drive and determination. If Brazil isn’t on its collective toes, Portugal could come out ahead of the pack. Unlikely, yes, but that’s what sports are all about.
Regardless of who ends up winning, the World Cup cannot get here soon enough. In the meantime, thankfully, we have plenty of wonderful football action to keep us semi-satisfied. But there’s no substitute for the real deal. If 2010 brings even half of the intensity of 2006, fans will certainly get their money’s worth come June.