The World Cup is by far the biggest event in the annual football calendar. The tournament regularly draws the interest of both football fans and the general public. As you would expect, there is no end to the surrounding punditry and speculation. Now, the Manchester United manager himself has weighed in on the World Cup predictions.
Like the rest of us, Jose Mourinho will be watching this year’s World Cup with a careful gaze. While most of us are focused on enjoying the game, Mourinho will be looking for signs of how the pedigree of some of Manchester United’s most promising stars, Ashley Young, Paul Pogba, Phil Jones, and Romely Lukaku, among others, might change depending on their world cup performance.
Mourinho already feels that he has a good enough grasp on the landscape of international football to make a judgement on who will make it to the semi-finals. Speaking to RT Sport, the never boring Manchester United manager named Germany, Portugal, Brazil, and Argentina as his predicted World Cup semi-finalists.
Among the bookies favourites to win this year’s World Cup, Brazil, Spain, and current champions Germany seem to be leading the pack. Mourinho reckons that England have what it takes to reach the quarter finals, where, according to the manager, they can expect to face off against Brazil. To get a clearer picture of who else the bookies are expecting to deliver a solid performance this World Cup, take a look at the World Cup odds at nordicbet.com.
Representing Manchester United
Mourinho’s interest in the World Cup will go beyond wanting the best for his club’s home team; he will also be closely watching a number of key Manchester United players who will be playing in the World Cup. On the England team alone, Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Marcus Rashford, and Jesse Lingard, will all be drawing their manager’s gaze.
Mourinho was less enthusiastic about the chances of his home nation, Portugal. However, he still predicted that the Portuguese side would push ahead further into the tournament than in previous years. Ideally, he hopes, they will overcome both Uruguay and France to reach the last eight of the competition.
Another match up that Mourinho is predicting, and looking forward to, is an epic clash between Spain and Argentina for a place in the final eight of the competition. In addition, he is envisioning Lionel Messi striking the decisive blow.
Having led both Chelsea and Real Madrid previously, Mourinho has extensive experience with many of the sport’s best players from around the world. So, his opinion on the current state of international football carries a lot of weight.
England will be facing Belgium, Tunisia, and Panama in the group stages of the competition. Most analysts would agree that they stand a good chance here. This opening group stage should give the entire England squad the opportunity to show what they are capable of. With so much raw talent at the club, it will be interesting to see which of Manchester United’s regular squad members manage to distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack.