African Teams At World Cup 2014: The Underdogs

As a football enthusiast, and a budding sportswoman, I am quite excited about World Cup 2014, and even more so about the African teams competing this year. The whole world has pretty much ruled out any hopes the continent has of lifting the trophy but they have overlooked one big thing that Africa has and no one else does – the ‘we’ factor. I am a Kenyan, who shares an apartment with a Rwandan and a Nigerian and we are all big football fans; to us it doesn’t really matter which African team lifts the trophy as long as an African team does it. The infamous rivalry between the European and South American nations could be their downfall and our dusty little road to success. But before I get ahead of myself planning how I’m going to celebrate let’s take a closer look at what each team has to offer.

Ghana – So far the African team that has been the closest to lifting the trophy (let’s agree to quickly forget about the past and move on) many Africans have pegged their hopes on the Black Stars.  Grouped with Portugal, USA and Germany, Ghana has a steep climb ahead of them. That notwithstanding the squad has the youngest raw talent supported by experienced players such as Gyan and Boateng.

Nigeria – With a black cloud over their head as allegations of match fixing are following them around, Nigeria probably have the most to prove. Victor Moses and Peter Odemwingie will lead the front line, as an African I am confident that these two well net quite a few memorable goals throughout their campaign.

Cameroon – They have come into the continent hoping to regain the ‘darling of Africa’ title that they once possessed back in 1990. Infighting has been a problem for them as players constantly quarrel with officials about bonuses and lack of training. But that has not stopped them from wanting the cup bad enough to push through it all and fight for victory.

Ivory CoastManchester City’s Yaya Toure and former Chelsea legend Didier Drogba for Ivory Coast are the big boys on the squad with many of their younger counterparts looking to them for leadership. Along with that however is the fact that Ivory Coast has age going against them: Toure is 31, Drogba 36 and defender Didier Zokora is 33, making them old men in footballing terms. They reached the world cup by beating Senegal 4-2 on aggregate in a two-legged play-off after winning a group containing Morocco, Tanzania and Gambia.

Algeria – Ever since the fateful match where Majid Bougherra scored the amazing goal against Burkina Faso that saw Algeria qualify to the world cup, Algerians have been following their national team with admiration, and loyalty. But not many other countries see them as stiff competition, which can work as an advantage because with the bar so low, the Algerians are almost assured to surprise, if not with their potential results then at least with their invigorated squad and refreshed style of play.

Now, tell me, who is your favorite African team? 

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