World Cup Guide: Group B

Joao Moutinho. Photo: Courtesy of Uefa.

Pulse spoke to eight football fanatics on their countries respective chances at this years World Cup.

All eight of our new writers play for the local football club, Budapest Celtic.

For our Group B run down look no further than Portugal & C.F. Estrela da Amadora supporter, Henrique Albuquerque.

What are you earliest World Cup memories?

The first world cup I remember following was the 2002 in Korea and Japan.

A disastrous participation for Portugal, not making it out of a group with USA, South Korea and Poland and with shameful cases of indiscipline.

It was played on the other side of the world for us Europeans, so some of the games were played at unusual hours. I remember teachers letting us skip classes to watch the Portugal games.

I probably lost interest and didn’t watch anything else after Portugal was out, until the day of the final, when I remember me and my friend turning the TV on in his house just in time for kick off.

Ronaldo with his famous haircut… to this day I am still patiently waiting for a player to copy it.

What can we expect from Portugal?

I expect Portugal to reach the quarter-finals and then find a stronger opponent, probably France. Then, in theory we will be knocked out. But we know how theories don’t always work in practice 😉

Who are the key players in each group B side?

Spain’s squad is full of talented players.

De Gea will probably be one of the best goalkeepers in the tournament. Then I think Asensio, Isco and David Silva will make Spain’s matches interesting to watch. It’s also Iniesta’s last tournament and he has been very important for Spain since their 2008 triumph in the Euros. It’s strange to think there was a time when Iniesta had hair.

For Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo is an obvious pick. Bernardo Silva and André Silva are new in major tournaments and I think they will both make it to the starting eleven and be important players. Moutinho is still a great player and will make the engine work in midfield.

For Morocco Medhi Benatia and Hakim Ziyech and for Iran Sardar Azmoun, Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Mehdi Taremi will be the key players.

Which two sides will qualify from the group?

Spain and Portugal, likely in that order.

Who will be the star of this competition?

The Video Assistant Referee.

When the competition is over who will emerge triumphant?

France or Brazil. I can’t tell between those.

What annoys you most about the World Cup?

That players can’t drink from the trophy. Just kidding, it’s an iconic beauty, that trophy.