It’s that time of year again. This period usually signals a boring time for football fans but this year it’s the world cup. Below is a look at some teams that feature some Arsenal players.
A decade ago, La Roja gave us an era of utter domination under the leadership of Vicente del Bosque. They won Euro 2008 and followed that with lifting the 2010 World Cup. Their tiki-taka style of play was pleasing to the eye and had a knack for unlocking the strongest of defenses.
The Euro 2008 final was a testament to this as they won the game by a solitary goal against a defensively-organized Die Mannschaft. The consistent inclusion of legends such as Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Xavi and Andreas Iniesta led them to their first world cup at the expense of Netherlands better known as the Flying Dutchmen.
Spain continued its dominance and won the Euro 2012. That era of dominance came to an end in the 2014 world cup where a rather tired and outclassed Spain team did not make it out of the group stages. Their woes followed them to Euro 2016 where they were eliminated by Italy. Del Bosque retired after the tournament and was replaced by Julen Lopetegui. On paper, this seems like a perfect fit as he uses the same footballing philosophies as his predecessor.
Julen Lopetegui got things off to a good start and won nine of their ten qualifying matches in a group that featured Italy. They scored thirty-six goals and only conceded three goals. Gunners like Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal helped La Roja get to Russia. Spain looks like a team on a mission and that combined with a number of factors makes them a team to watch in Russia. A few gunners will be heartbroken as Hector Bellerin did not make the final team to play the tournament.
The Die Mannschaft were the only team to win all their qualifiers for the world cup. They are considered favorites but if history has taught us anything, it is that they have a daunting task ahead of them. Brazil is the only team that has been able to retain the most prestigious prize in football (1962). The team will carry star goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to Russia even though he spent most of the season on the sidelines. Arsenal players Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi played a key role in the qualifiers but the latter was dropped from the final squad. Be sure to check out betting tips and predictions for Die Mannschaft as they aim to conquer the world.
The Les Bleus are main contenders for the throne, but they leave a lot of questions to be answered. They won seven games on their way to qualifying for the World. France has a relatively young squad which hasn’t quite gelled to form a unit. They dropped points against underdogs Belarus and Luxembourg before being duly beaten by Sweden. Gunners Laurent Koscielny and Alexandre Lacazette will not feature for Les Bleus but ex-gunner Olivier Giroud will lead their attack in Russia.
Other Gunners to feature in Russia are
Granit Xhaka – Switzerland
Joel Campbell – Costa Rica
Alex Iwobi – Nigeria
Danny Welbeck – England
David Ospina – Colombia
Mohamed Elneny – Egypt
As a Gunner, the world cup will be interesting as it features a couple of our stars.
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