Football fever is beginning to grip us at Very HQ as the build up to kick off on June 12th starts to gain momentum!
We’ve got shirts for him, her, and even your little footy fan to get you in the mood for what’s set to be one of the greatest carnivals the world has ever seen! So whether you’re looking for some pointers or just want to spark up a debate down the pub; here’s our rundown of the team’s to watch out for in Rio…
One of the favourites to get their hands on the trophy this summer, Argentina are on South American turf and head to the tournament with Lionel Messi, arguably the world’s greatest player, within their ranks. With a resilient defensive and midfield axis, they’ll be hoping the explosion of pace and power from their forwards will spoil the party on enemy territory.
Very Verdict – No problems regarding the climate and with the quality in their armoury they won’t have a better opportunity to take home the top prize. Finalists.
The host nation will be hoping that they’ll be dancing to the samba beat as champions on July 13th. Weight lies heavily on global superstar Neymar’s shoulders, but the fanatical home support should ensure a safe passage through to the knockout stages.
Very Verdict – With five stars already on their chest, the nation expects. One of the favourites, it’s their lack of a consistent goal threat that is likely to haunt them. Semi-finalists.
Okay, there aren’t many of us that truly believe we can go all the way but there’s never any harm in showing support before the tournaments even started. Roy Hodgson and his boys haven’t set the world alight with their tactical approach recently but with a solid defensive unit and a fountain of youth waiting in the wings, you never know…
Very Verdict – Minimal chance of bringing back the trophy but we do have players who can make a difference. Getting out of the group stage would be measured as relative success.
It took a monumental comeback in the playoff against Ukraine to ensure the French booked their flight tickets to Brazil. Now they’re set for destination Rio, they’re not being touted as serious contenders, yet they still have the capacity to be dangerous. Could they summon the spirit of ’98 or is it going to be another dismal display from Les Blues?
Very Verdict – With a team of ageing mainstays, erratic superstars and untried performers, it’s doubtful France will prove to be anything more than quarter-finalists.
Oh not these again! Germany sailed through qualifying scoring an impressive 36 goals and look like one of the nations to watch in Brazil. Powerful, technically gifted and mentally strong, you could never rule them out, even when they weren’t any good! These days they’re packed to the rafters with talent and have the potential to be the first European winners on foreign soil.
Very Verdict – Drawn in a tough group, once they navigate their way through the knockout stages it would be brash to write them off. Just remember, they are Germany!
Tournament specialists, Italy is a nation that always cause problems. Beaten European finalists in 2012, they’ve licked their wounds and are back on the big stage. With the unpredictable Mario Ballotelli fronting the attack, it’s guaranteed there’ll be fireworks. Consistently mean in defence and with a clear understanding of how knockout football works, it would be a scandal to dismiss them as potential winners.
Very Verdict – Going by their past performances, Italy certainly know how to win. However, this time they’re a team in the middle of transition. Quarter-finalists.
The Dutch crop come into the tournament a little unfancied for once. A nation packed with talent, they’re normally branded as dark horses for the trophy before a falling out in-camp. This time they have a real reliance on youth, especially at the back, and will need Robin Van Persie firing on all cylinders if they want to manoeuvre their way through the group stage.
Very Verdict – Questionable. Drawn in a difficult group, it’s unlikely the sea of “Oranje” will even be around for the knockout stages.
Another unimpressive qualifying performance by the Portuguese but they do have the 2014 Ballon d’Or winner within their armoury. If he’s at his irresistible best, which he usually is – anything can happen. Cristiano Ronaldo is in his prime and thrilled as Portugal made it through the playoffs. His swagger on the pitch is enough to put the frighteners on defenders, even before the ball’s at his feet.
With a chance to become consecutive winners, the champions are back to defend their title. The dominance of the great Barcelona and tiki-taka passing might be on the wane, but they’re still brilliant and another win would confirm their place as the greatest generation of players of all time. And having the Brazilian-born Diego Costa up front, the foundations are set for the perfect fairy tale ending.
Very Verdict – Surely not again? The trademark sharp passing and interplay seems to no longer hold the key to dominance with the core of the team no longer at their peak. Semi-finalists.
All these football shirts are now available to buy on Very, so cop your favourite and gear up for the party in Rio.
Disclaimer – England images courtesy of Nike, Banner by Sara Yates (@Sara_Very)