With the World Cup forthcoming, this period may be important in both suggesting which teams may be regarded as favourites, and for final preparations to get underway. The latter may be pivotal in ensuring sides enter the tournament superiorly equipped to their counterparts, with honing both chemistry levels and tactics key in ultimately enhancing triumph opportunities. Considering a multitude of sides have previously won the competition, it seems this year’s edition may boast an array of skills. Yet, with previous finalists Italy and Netherlands both absent from the competition, opportunities may be provided for others to succeed. Thus, motivation for all may be at its peak, potentially leading to intriguing and competitive encounters.
The tournament itself is hosted in Russia, perhaps providing an opportunity for the nation to highlight their footballing credentials. Yet, considering the events which have occurred concurrently with the confirmation of their hosting, and the potential challenges which may have arisen, they may be required to innovate and improve. Fifa may have therefore opted for Russia in order to enable them to highlight how they may have the credentials to host the tournament successfully. Plus, with debates occurring around race in Russia in the build-up to the event, the country may be encouraged to also improve the standard of living for all. Therefore, the tournament may be impacting on a broader scale, making advancements in multiple areas.
Considering the reputation, and history, of the competition, it seems to be the most prominent focus for players, with this suggestion perhaps reiterated by the actions of Neymar. Due to possessing the status of world’s most expensive player, he may be regarded among the most accomplished in the world, with PSG highlighting their large faith in his capabilities. Having attained an injury whilst playing for the French side in February, he seemed to use this to his advantage, relishing the challenge of becoming fit for the World Cup. In solely aiming to prepare for it, he may have highlighted the importance of the tournament, and having earned a place in the Brazilian squad as captain, he seems to have achieved his goal.
Whilst a number of teams may possess the required credentials to ultimately attain the trophy, the focus in Britain may naturally be on England who, as the sole home nation to qualify, may be striving to lead the Isles forward. There seems a wide scope for improvement after previous competition performances, leading to motivation to be at its peak, and thus the nation may be aiming to represent the population proficiently. Southgate also seems to have successfully balanced utilising players in form with more experienced counterparts, and in providing opportunities for young players to enter the fray, he may be making the pathway into international football increasingly viable.
This suggestion may be reiterated by the recent performance of the England U21 side in the Toulon tournament, winning for the third successive year. As such, it seems the nation may have a productive youth system which produces players who may transition into men’s professional football. Yet, the challenge may be to make sure this consistently occurs, as it may help the English side to create a team who have played with each other for years. With players including Ruben Loftus-Cheek having made this transition successfully, it may suggest these tournaments might ensure young players obtain the necessary experience to ultimately be able to perform at their peak in major events.
With the tournament scheduled to begin on Thursday, it seems this period may be most productively utilised to make sure the players may be well prepared for their fixtures. The forthcoming group games may also be equally important, enabling them to learn whether their tactics may be successful, and providing them with important experience for the latter rounds. The results may, therefore, be important, yet they may ultimately be secondary to the tournament’s crowning glory: uniting the globe via bypassing boundaries and inspiring the masses to strive for a career in the sport.
How might the World Cup create more viable pathways to the pinnacle for players across the globe?