One year away. We are one year away from the beginning of the most popular competition in the world of sports, the FIFA World Cup. It seems like yesterday witnessing Germany beat Brazil 7-1 at the Maracana Stadium, in Rio de Janeiro, in 2014 in front of their home fans. This match shook the world.
It also seemed like a recent memory looking at Lionel Messi, after Argentina lost in extra-time to those same Germans 1-0, dejected after accepting the Golden Ball award for the best player of the competition.
Qualifications are still underway and we still may be surprised if some teams can qualify or not for this World Cup, which will host for first time 48 countries instead of 32.
Argentina, for example, is currently in big trouble, being fifth in the standings and with Lionel Messi still has to serve three of a four match ban imposed by FIFA (La Pulga and Argentina Futbol Association have appealed the decision and will meet with FIFA during the summer to reduce the suspension).
European nations have won the World Cup three times in a row now starting with Italy in 2006. Spain followed in 2010 and Germany in 2014. In the history of the game, it would generally be one European country followed by one South America side. After all, Brazil has five stars on their shirt, Argentina and Uruguay 2 each, making it 9 Word Cups in total.
My money is on a South American country to win it all next summer and despite the fact that Brazil has been the first country to earn its ticket to the big dance along with already qualified Russia, my prediction is the following:
Argentina, led by Lionel Messi, raises its third World Cup and the FC Barcelona genius cements his status as probably the best player to ever grace a football pitch.