World Cup begins after four years

Ethan Blumes, Staff Writer

The World Cup kicks off on June 14, where 32 teams who previously qualified will try to capture the beloved World Cup trophy.

England looks to put the Euro cup behind them after they lost to Iceland in the quarter finals back in 2016. The game ended two to one with the scorers from Iceland being Ragnar Sigurdsson and Kolbeinn Sigbórsson.     

The defending champions Germany looks strong with goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer coming back from a metatarsal fracture. Center back Jerome Boateng looks doubtful coming into the tournament with a thigh injury during the first fixture of the champions league semi finals vs. Real Madrid.

¨I personally believe that the two teams that are gonna win the World Cup are France and Belgium because they have the strongest teams on paper and have been killing it in qualifiers,” junior Nico Machado said.

This year is the first time in 60 years that Italy will not be in the World Cup after losing to Sweden in qualifiers by a score of one to zero. Chile and Netherlands also failed qualifying for the tournament which is a shock because Chile won the Copa America against Argentina and Netherlands made it to the semi-finals of the previous World Cup.  

“It’s a complete shock to me that Italy didn’t make it into the World Cup, I had really high hopes for them to make it far. With Buffon being named goalkeeper of the year and not being in the World Cup is heartbreaking,” junior Patrick Catillo said.

The United States has not qualified which has created a shock to most of the people in the world. With arguably having the easiest teams to face in qualifying, they still failed to qualify for the World Cup. United States goalkeeper Tim Howard has retired from the national team at the age of 39 after the team did not qualify.

This years host Russia looks promising with striker Artem Dzyuba on form,  being top goalscorer for CSK Moscow in the Russian League.

Egypt, who has not qualified for the competition in eight years, looks hopeful with star Mohamed Salah being standout player of the year, breaking the all time Premier League Record for most goals in a season with also bringing his team Liverpool to the Champions League Final.

Poland has qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 2006 and look to put in a good run. The team looks stronger than ever with Lewandowski being top goalscorer in Bundesliga.  Poland also in 2016 made it to the quarter finals of the Euro Cup and got knocked out in penalties against Portugal, the team that ended up winning the tourney.