Anyone who says that past few weeks in Brazil hasn’t made the best tournament ever; they haven’t been watching it properly. There have been goals, upsets, more goals, and more upsets – we’ve already seen Costa Rica make the Quarter Final.
And Spurs stars are certainly making their presences felt. The Belgians are rocking so far having won every game in their group, setting themselves up with a fixture against the USA, whilst Brazil are managing to navigate their way through the competition on home soil, meaning there’s a significant chance a Lilywhites man could be coming home with a winner’s medal.
We take a look at the White Hart Lane superstars to shine so far…
Perhaps Paulinho’s biggest moment so far this summer was inspiring his teammates to shootout victory in Brazil’s Second Round tie against Chile. The midfielder gathered his side round in Belo Horizonte to gee them up as they aimed to secure themselves a place in the Quarter Final and eventually book their place in the Maracana on July 13th.
Home to one of the most well-known poker tournaments in the World, the infamous Carnival, and the Copacabana beach, one more Jules Rimet trophy would be the jewel in Rio’s crown. And if the man who started all of Brazil’s group games continues to galvanize Scolari’s boys, it’s a distinct possibility.
It’s been a mixed start for the Belgian defender so far in South America. He was dropped for Red Devil’s second game against the Russians after bringing down Sofiane Feghouli in the nation’s opener with Algeria, before scoring a late winner to secure top spot and avoid Germany in the next round.
He’ll be hoping to continue in that vein of form when he lines up against the United States on Tuesday as the so called ‘dark horses’ continue to quietly progress.
Rather than quietly progressing, France’s campaign has kicked off with a bang. A professional performance against Honduras, followed by a demolition of Switzerland has seen Didier Deschamps’ team catapulted towards the favourites list, with captain Hugo Lloris setting the example from the back.
Lloris’ future at Spurs isn’t set in stone as yet, with PSG rumoured to be interested in making a move for the keeper after he’s finished with the international side, and if he continues his good form, it may not be just the French champions interested.
Algeria became incredibly close to causing a major upset in Porto Alegre, taking Germany to extra time in a thrilling 2-1 encounter. Bentaleb was a key man in most of the North African side’s campaign.
He’s come a long way since just six months ago when he was plying his trade in the Spurs U-21s before Tim Sherwood thrust him into the first team – and he’s never looked back.
A tournament in Brazil will have no doubt provided vital experience for the 19-year-old, and we’ll look forward to seeing how he kicks on next season.
Another Belgian powerhouse, Dembele has helped provide the perfect combination of attack and defence this summer, with his quality sweeping up in front of the back four being vital in allowing the likes of Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, and Marouanne Fellaini being creative going forward.
They could be real contenders if they can see out a Second Round tie with the USA this evening, although the potential of facing Argentina in the Quarter Final could be a step too far.
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