Sports

Nepali stars’ take on World Cup

Jun 14, 2018-As football fever grips the planet, Nepal has also geared up to witness the global football’s showpiece. Although cricket has taken a huge stride in the world, football remains the most popular sport in the country that often witnesses thousands of football lovers making deafening noise to cheer for their favourite teams in front of big screens.

The Kathmandu Post presents views and predictions of former Nepali stars and coaches as World Cup 2018 begins

 

 

Raju Kaji Shakya (Ex-footballer, current coach)

I support Brazil. They are very strong. They are born to play football. The best feature of the Brazilian team is that it has very good individual players. The World Cup didn’t go well for them four years ago because they were humiliated by Germany. It is football and results like these can happen to any team at any time. That defeat must have taught them a great lesson and I strongly feel that they would be keen to erase that defeat. Germany themselves would be the other title favourites, if Brazil miss the bus.

Hari Khadka (Ex-player, current coach)

When it comes to World Cup, it is very hard to predict who will win unless the league stage is over. It is only after the league stage, we can judge the performance of any team. Before the tournament, everyone will have the same prediction. The pre-tournament favourites are Germany, France, Brazil and Belgium. Currently, these are the names that have been dominating global football because their qualifying matches have been very clinical. If I have to pick a team then obviously its Germany. I want Argentina to win the World Cup just because of Messi. He is the one who has been ruling football world for quite a long but doesn’t have a global trophy to his name. A player like Messi deserves a World Cup.

Bikram Lama (Current footballer)

I don’t have one single team to cheer because I have always loved to analyse how each and every team plays. France, Germany and Brazil play very good as a team and I would be very eager to see how they fare. World Cup is a clash between big teams and in this race. I really want to assess how lesser teams like Iceland and Panama perform. There is a long list of players to watch in this World Cup. I would like to see what Casemiro (Brazil) and Paul Pogba (France) do in Russia. They are very good players and I am confident that they would do well in the tournament.

Ananta Tamang (Current footballer)

I am rooting for Germany. They have always been the favourites when it comes to the World Cup or European Championship. It is wonderful that without having big names they dominate world football. They always manage to come with clinical performance and punish the greatest teams in the world. Germany are strong in defence and their team game is the best in the world. Besides Germany, I think Brazil, France and Spain are the other favourites to win the title. Among individual players, I like Ramos, Isco and Marco Asensio in the Spanish squad, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil in Germany. It would be interesting to see how Antoine Griezmann does for France. He is a big game player and France will be expecting a lot from him.

Gyanendra Malla (National cricketer)

I have been a die-hard fan of Brazil and cannot even imagine anyone else winning the World Cup. I find them the favourites because they are evenly poised in both attacking and defensive football and the midfield has always looked very strong for them. Almost the entire Brazilian squad has a huge amount of experience of playing in Europe and that will be the biggest advantage for them. From the last World Cup, they have moved on and gained confidence. The team itself looks very stable. Beside Brazil, I find the Belgian squad very strong. Their team gives a feeling that they are the good alternative for the Netherlands who have missed out this time. I don’t mind if Messi wins the World Cup for Argentina.

Published: 14-06-2018 15:52

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