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World Cup 2018: 3 underrated teams that can change the course of the tournament

Hardik Sharma
2.84K   //    10 Jun 2018, 21:11 IST


It's less than a week to go for the WC 2018 to kick off.

Highly regarded as one of the biggest sporting events on the planet, it cannot be termed as just a football tournament but an occasion where every fan keeps his or her club affiliation aside for a month to pull on their national team's colours and root for their favourite players.

History reveals only European and Latin American countries have won the tournament so far. This shows the quality of the sport in the region and there's no doubt that the two continents have introduced the finest players in the sport.

Although top footballing nations are always considered as favourites to win the tournament, we cannot deny the fact that the World Cup has never failed to be unpredictable.

Last World Cup finalists, Argentina and Germany will have immense support this time around as well. Brazil, Spain, France and Belgium have balanced plus star-studded squads and will be the strongest contenders in their respective groups, but the possibility of an underdog defying all odds to advance further than expected in the competition cannot be neglected.

Let's take a look at three teams who could take the tournament by storm and turn out to be the dark horses at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

#3 Columbia

Colombia v Uruguay: Round of 16 - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
Colombia v Uruguay: Round of 16 - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

In the chaos of big names, nobody is batting an eye on how Colombia reached the quarter-final of the previous World Cup after defeating Uruguay in the round of 16. Colombia were eliminated in the quarter-finals after losing to Brazil 2-1 in a competitive game.

Colombian star James Rodriguez gave an outstanding performance winning the golden boot in the 2014 World Cup, but this time, a more experienced James Rodriguez, who is in good form will be a real threat to the opponents of Colombia.

The attacking midfielder proved himself on numerous occasions post his transfer to Real Madrid after the last World Cup and then to Bayern Munich, where his play making skills earned him a spot in the starting lineup. He has made 23 appearances in the Bundesliga for Bayern, scoring 7 goals and providing 11 assists. The Colombian has shown versatility in his playing position throughout the season but attacking midfield has been his favourable position.

Colombia's strength is in their counter attack. Juan Cuadrado's pace and vision while making runs from the flanks are some key points to note. They have a reasonably tight defence with FC Barcelona's young signing Yerry Mina playing as a centre back.

Colombia's highly experienced and treasured captain Radamel Falcao might be playing his last World Cup. A serious knee injury ruled him out of the 2014 tournament in Brazil but his return to the tournament four years later have raised the hopes of millions of Colombians.

Another strong point of the team is its chemistry. As most of the players in the squad have known each other since a long time, it might make them even more lethal if Colombia's coach Jose Pekerman uses the team's potential effectively.

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Hardik Sharma
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