Brazil World Cup 2014: Examining Most Dangerous Squads in FIFA Tournament

James DudkoFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2014

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - FEBRUARY 06:  Head coach Louis van Gaal of Netherlands (L) and head coach Cesare Prandelli of Italy before the international friendly match between Netherlands and Italy at Amsterdam Arena on February 6, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Spain are the favorites for the 2014 World Cup, per Oddschecker, but three other nations will pose significant danger.

One is a fierce South American rival of host nation Brazil. There is also room for a deceptively strong Italy squad.

The Italians will be vying to advance from the same group as a nation defined as much by its players' inability to coexist as its technical quality.

But that squad will be buoyed by newly appointed Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, who will be determined to end his international career with a flourish.

Here are the three squads who can upset the established order in Brazil.



South American nation Uruguay boast one of the most feared attacking lines in world football. It is led by the mercurial gifts of arch-trickster Luis Suarez.

The Liverpool star has just completed a phenomenal season that earned him the Football Writers' Association and PFA Player of the Year awards in England. Those personal honors were just rewards for 31 goals and 12 assists in the Barclays Premier League, per

Luis Suarez has enjoyed a magnificent season.
Luis Suarez has enjoyed a magnificent season.Clive Rose/Getty Images

As if Suarez weren't enough for World Cup defences to handle, he will be supported by the veteran guile of Diego Forlan and the predatory power of Edinson Cavani.

The latter may have stumbled through his first year with Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain. But Cavani is still capable of finding the net at any level.

This trio brilliantly combines creativity, instinct, strength and pace. If all three are firing in Brazil, Uruguay will go far.



Like Uruguay, Italy call Group D home. Their experienced squad is expertly managed by Cesare Prandelli, a man more tactically and philosophically adventurous than your average Italian coach.

The strength of Prandelli's group lies in its perfectly balanced midfield. Physical power and defensive resolve are provided by Thiago Motta, while technical cunning comes from greybeard playmaker Andrea Pirlo.

One player to watch is Pirlo's Juventus teammate, Claudio Marchisio. He is blessed with a knack for perfectly timed and late-breaking runs into the box.

Once he gets there, Marchisio rarely wastes a chance. The 28-year-old is a clever and stylish finisher.

Up front, things could be particularly interesting for the Italians. Torino duo Ciro Immobile and Alessio Cerci offer pace and intelligent movement. They are rising stars who could surprise many in Brazil.

As could this deep and talented squad.



This isn't the most star-studded Netherlands squad to travel to a World Cup. But Louis van Gaal's group still features some genuine match-winners.

The most obvious are Manchester United striker Robin van Persie and Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben. Not many other teams in the tournament boast a pair of attackers so devilishly quick and technically adept.

In typical Dutch fashion, there are also some young players to keep an eye on. They include 22-year-old Feyenoord midfield pass master Jordy Clasie.

The pint-sized prober has been linked with a possible move to United in a Manchester Evening News report. There, he would continue working with Van Gaal, who is sure to get the most out of the Netherlands' exceptional array of attacking talent.


All squad information via The Daily Telegraph.