"Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that": Bill Shankly
The 2018 FIFA World Cup is all set to start from Thursday and be rest assured this quote will be on the lips of every coach and every player which takes the field. The month-long extravaganza will be one hell of an affair in which all the top stars and teams will give their all for the biggest prize in football - the World Cup Trophy!
All the football lovers around the country would surely have picked up which team they will be backing and if you ask me Brazil are one team that has the most balanced squad and ticks every box.
Legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson once famously said that 'attack win you games but defence wins you titles' and looking at the Brazil line-up they surely have one of the most solid defences as well as one of the most lethal attacks in their 23-man squad.
Many people might argue with me here but Brazil has rock solid defence. They have one of the best left backs of all time in Marcelo - who is good in defence as well as going forward through wings. The CB pairing of Thiago Silva, Joao Miranda are both big, strong and excellent. Although they are not quick but they have enough experience to handle that weakness. Right Back Danilo can be seen as the weakest link in the team but he had a pretty decent season as a backup RB at Manchester City.
Brazil possesses one of the most solid midfields out of all 32 teams. Casemiro, Paulinho, and Renato Augusto will occupy the three-man midfield and be rest assured these three can easily dominate the center of the pitch against even the best of the opposition. They are well built, they are quick and they are not shy of making tackle or two. Talking about their backup midfield options then you have Fernandinho and Fred. Well if someone like Fernandinho - who is coming into the World Cup with an awesome season at City - then it surely tells you the strength of this midfield.
Speedy guys who can threaten on the counter. They have superstars who can single-handedly win the game up front for them. They have players up front who can dribble past any defence and provide a magical assist or score goal of the tournament. Brazilian coach Tite will be going with the wide players in Neymar (Left-wing) and Philippe Coutinho (Right-wing). And the solo striker will be Gabriel Jesus. More than anyone other players who needs this trophy is Neymar. He needs to prove to the world that he is right up there against the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. And when you talk about the depth up front - just hold on your breath here - the likes of Douglas Costa, Roberto Firmino, Taison, and Willian will be warming the bench. FFS!