The NFL is by every estimation and measurement the #1 sports league in the US, and the NFL’s athletes are some of the most recognizable figures in modern sport. For that reason, I’ve chosen the NFL as the league from which to draw comparisons. I will attempt to draw a correlation between NFL stars and players from the teams in the Group of Death. You can click on the name of the player to get a look at their skills/goals.
Ghana are much like the Seahawks of Seattle. They are an upstart team compared to the others, but since they’ve come onto the scene, they have enjoyed success at all levels of competition. They are brash and fast-paced, and they have an avid fan-base with an affinity for loud colors.
- Kevin-Prince Boateng is Ghana’s Richard Sherman. He is a strong presence across the field and isn’t afraid to mouth off. Although Sherman is a defensive player and Boateng is an offensive minded player, both share a love for flair and a penchant for hotheadedness.
- Asamoah Gyan is Ghana’s version of Percy Harvin. Gyan has blazing speed and amazing positional awareness. His quick movement make him a headache for defenders trying to keep track of him and shut him down.
- Michael Essien is the Ghanaian Russell Wilson. He offers stout leadership behind his line and makes decisions in a split second that drive the team forward. He wasn’t expected to even make this team due to age and has been underestimated at times, much like Russell Wilson.
- James Kwesi Appiah would be Ghana’s Pete Carroll. He is a new but proven coach that has brought a new approach to his team and their identity. Unlike Carroll, Appiah played for his team before coaching it, but both men have gained traction in the locker room by winning.
Portugal are a a top-notch team with plenty of talent, but they feature a leader that stands head and shoulders above most competition. The whole organization is run by a former player with experience on the biggest stage, and they are perennially in contention with the best. Portugal sounds an awful lot like the Denver Broncos with Peyton Manning.
- Christiano Ronaldo is Portugal’s version of Peyton Manning. They both stand head and shoulders above everyone else in terms of talent, and they are both the main focus of the offense. Unlike Peyton Manning’s “down home” nature and humble attitude, Christiano is pompous to the point that he opened a museum…for himself. Manning will likely find his way to the NFL Hall of Fame, but CR7 couldn’t wait to get enshrined.
- Nani is the Portuguese Wes Welker. They both love to find open space, and they both use their smaller stature to find wrinkles in a defense that they can exploit.
- Pepe is Portugal’s Von Miller. Pepe’s defensive play is key to allowing Ronaldo and Nani the chances to attack, much like Von Miller helping to get Manning and Welker back on the field. Both men also have a tendency to play a bit dirty and have been vocal that they won’t change how they play.
- Paulo Bento is to Portugal what John Elway is to the Broncos. They are both former players that have experience in the trenches and have the adoration of their fans and players. Bento faced the US in the 2002 World Cup in Korea, with the US coming out on top 3-2.
Germany is the closest thing to a sure bet you can get when it comes to making a deep run in the World Cup. The Patriots rarely miss out on post-season play and have made it to 7 Super Bowls since 2000 (winning 3 of them). Germany have made it to the knock out round in every World Cup they’ve been a part of and have won it 3 times. Neither team have won it all recently, but they are both always a dangerous team to face with real talent and excellent coaching.
- Miroslav Klose is the German Tom Brady. Both he and Brady came onto the scene and have broken records no one ever thought they would even touch. Like Brady, Klose came into a game as a substitution and went on to take over the starting job. The rest is, as they say, history.
- Bastian Schwienstieger is Germany’s version of Stephen Gostkowski. He is as consistent as you could possibly hope for and has the propensity to come through in the clutch. Much like a kicker, Schwienstieger doesn’t always get the acclaim for his role on the team, but he has proven to be one of the best at what he does.
- Marco Reus, Germany’s Robb Gronkowski. Both Reus and Gronk put up offensive numbers at an impressive rate thanks to amazing talent around them, but both men still have a competitiveness that drives them to have breakout games on top of already great numbers. Both men also have notoriously odd senses of humor and exemplify the “bro” attitude and way of life, with polarizing effects.
- Jogi Loew is a German variation of Bill Belicheck. Both men are enigmatic and sometimes coy with the media, but they have the utmost respect from their players. They expect excellence and reward their players with loyalty and honesty. Both men are brilliant tacticians that aren’t afraid to step on toes in order to win.
The next part of the Guide to the World Cup(Coming Soon!) will focus on the US Team and the key players that you are going to see take the field against the stiff competition mentioned above. It will include videos of the players skills/goals and maybe even some interviews. You’ll also get more information on the series of “warm-up” matches that will lead up to the World Cup!