It looks as if there are no clear favourites for this year’s World Cup as was the case in the previous ones.
Previously before the World Cup got under way, many gurus would favour several teams and they were never far away from reality.
Currently many soccer pundits around the world are struggling and failing to pick a team that would easily make it to the finals and eventually win it.
This then means anything is possible, including even surprise semifinalists and even winners.
What could also be taken note of this year’s tournament is the fact that it looks as if there are no big stars in the teams as was the case in the past. Currently, the only outstanding player who seems to be wonders at the tournament is Argentine, Lionel Messi.
Apart from being naturally talented, the Barcelona player has been in incredible form and helped his team to win the League championship this year.
His bosses at team level have even gone to the extent of saying his ball juggling skills and pace are defying the laws of physics.
What is normally happening is that even countries that are always traditional power houses are never short of big names with high popularity. Such teams look average because there are no outstanding players.
For instance, Brazil used to have inspirational players who were feared in every match they played. Every move, turn, shot they attempted was bad news to the opponents. In 1994 when they won the World Cup, they had the terrible twins in Romario and Bebeto.
The former was then known but it was where Bebeto made his name.
Four years down the line, the big names swelled. In addition to Ronaldo, there was Rivaldo. The two helped Brazil to go all the way to the finals where they lost to France 3-0.
Despite losing to France, Rivaldo and Ronaldo were the famous players who left a long lasting legacy. In the 2002 World Cup that was co-hosted by Korea and Japan, Brazil would go out in full force to win the tournament. Rivaldo and Ronaldo were still stars and the latter would emerge the leading goal scorer.
This time around, they are accompanied by a new kid on the block, Ronaldinho.
Before the tournament, Ronaldinho had proved himself a force to reckon with at the tournament. Rivaldo and Ronaldinho’s combination in the midfield was lethargic but destroyed many teams. Even when France won the 1998 World Cup, Zidane had already proven himself an extraordinary player.
He ended up stealing all the limelight of the tournament. France would fare badly at the 2002 tournament mainly because he played only one match, which was also the last for the country.
Zidane would then announce his international retirement after the tournament, but had to be recalled because his country struggled in the qualifiers.
He showed his true colours and helped France reach the 2006 finals where they controversially lost to defending champions, Italy.
Currently the 2010 World Cup is already underway in South Africa but it remains to be seen which player will really be a shining star.
However, the players likely to shine are Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast), Samuel Eto (Cameroon), Christiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Kaka, Maicon and Ramires (Brazil).