Top 5 non-European teams to look for in the World Cup
The FIFA World Cup constantly provides some surprises and teams that aren't expected to succeed, and end up taking down some of the World's best squads, like Costa Rica in 2014. It is time to check out the 5 non-European teams that can challenge anyone, because of their collective work or their players' individual talent.
This list includes two unlikely challengers for the World Cup and three teams close to achieving the biggest trophy once again. The challengers will be named as the "why not?" group, whilst the other three are part of the serious contenders for the championship.
With an excellent coach, Argentinian Héctor Cúper, and Mohamed Salah's attacking abilities, it is hard not to put Egypt into the "why not?" group of teams with a shot to be great in Russia.
Salah comes off of the greatest season in his career at Liverpool under offensive genius Jurgen Klopp. Even though the "Reds" could not grab any trophy in the 2017/18 campaign, Salah was brilliant and earned an almost sure spot in the Ballon d'Or top 5, with serious consideration to take the prize home.
Salah suffered a tough blow to his season with a shoulder injury in the UEFA Champions League final versus Real Madrid, but he still is Egypt's main card.
With 44 goals and 16 assists in 52 games for Liverpool and five goals in six games for Egypt in the World Cup qualifiers, Salah is a weapon any team would like to have for the biggest tournament in football.
Egypt is a member of Group A alongside the hosts Russia, two-time winner Uruguay and Saudi Arabia.
Colombia stood out in Brazil four years ago by James Rodríguez's six magical goals. The South American squadron reached the quarterfinals for the first time in its history and still under José Pekerman and with a healthy Radamel Falcao, they want to continue the process and are another member of "why not?" group.
The keys to Colombia are on their offensive side; if James and Falcao are able to impose their will on opposing defenses, Colombia's rivals will run into trouble, but that's a big if.
James comes from his first season with Bayern Munich. Predictably, James and the Bavarian side won the Bundesliga with a comfortable advantage over their rivals, but could not advance to the most important stage of the UEFA Champions League in Kiev, after they ran into the current dynasty of Real Madrid once again.
Rodríguez's stats were pretty good. He started the year with his favorite coach, Carlo Ancelotti, but after the Italian was fired, James remained an important player in Munich under the command of Jupp Heynckes because of his talent and beautiful display in the center of the field.
James only scored 8 goals, his lowest count since the 2010/11 season, but he gave 14 assists, tying his second-best number of assists in one season.
Falcao, on the other hand, scored 24 goals in 36 games for AS Monaco, a team that he led, along with Kylian Mbappé, to the title of Ligue 1 in the 2016/17 season and the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.
The season 2017/18 was not the best collectively, with Monaco finishing 13 points behind PSG in the national tournament, while also fell in the stage of groups of the UCL.
Colombia will serve as part of group H with Poland, Senegal, and Japan.