One of the most compelling things about the FIFA World Cup is how competitive the top-tier teams are with each other.
It’s extremely rare for any team to have a clear-cut advantage over their rivals in winning the tournament.
Here’s a list of five teams that are capable of taking that title back home.
The South American nation is the most successful team in the history of the tournament with five titles.
Being the hosts of the last World Cup, the team were backed to win their sixth one. But, they were met with an indestructible force in Germany. Humiliated by a 7-1 defeat, Brazil is out to redeem themselves and restore the faith of the nation.
One of the reasons why they’re considered favourites is the sheer class and talent of their captain, Neymar.
The 25-year-old has already broken the record of the most expensive signing of all time this season. Now, he has his eye set to prove his worth in his nation on the pedestal he thinks it deserves.
They have a well-rounded squad for the Russia event, with the likes of Roberto Firmino, Gabriel Jesus, Philippe Coutinho and Casemiro who will have a big role to play. The veterans Thiago Silva and Marcelo are still up and running; hungry to win.
World Cup Titles: 5
The Defending Champions have been in devastating form for some time now and it will take a lot of their opponents to stop this team in their tracks.
Joachim Loew has been the coach of this team for 12 years now and should be credited for everything this team has achieved.
Germany possesses the record of being the only team to have at least reached the Quarter-Final stage since the 1954 tournament in Switzerland.
The team had a perfect qualification record winning all of their ten games.
However, Loew has shocked the world by leaving out winger Leroy Sane out of his side.
Sane won the Premier League with Manchester City and provided 15 assists along the way. This omission might come back to haunt Germany.
Regardless, they still have enough firepower to emulate the feats of the last tournament.
Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller, Marco Reus, Julian Draxler are noteworthy in their attacking abilities.
With one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Manuel Neuer leading the line, Die Mannschaft is a force to be reckoned with.
World Cup Titles: 4
Captain: Manuel Neuer
The 2010 FIFA World Cup champions had a nightmare of a title defence in 2014. After a dramatic 5-2 loss to the Netherlands in their opening game, the side succumbed to Chile as well. These defeats led to them being knocked out of the tournament from the group stage itself.
Meanwhile, Spain had an excellent qualifying as well, and this team again believes in its abilities.
Like Germany’s Manuel Neuer, Spain’s David de Gea is also one of the best goalkeepers in the world right now.
Also, the squad is extremely powerful. So much so, that they have an apt reserve player for every starting position. This is an asset for the team and for the manager who would want to tweak around the tactics and formations.
World Cup Titles: 1
Captain: Sergio Ramos
The European nation has once again become massive contenders in the international competitions.
After reaching the final of UEFA Euro 2016 which they hosted as well, France’s confidence will be high.
Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Corentin Tolisso and Ousmane Dembele the team has youthful prospects playing for big teams.
France has one of the most balanced squads in terms of the transition from attack to play. Their captain Hugo Lloris is also world-renowned for his shot-stopping ability.
This year just might be theirs if all of their players perform to their potential.
World Cup Titles: 1
Captain: Hugo Lloris
Till the time Lionel Messi is playing for Argentina, the country will have a shot at winning the competition.
The country had to face a heartbreak in the final of 2014 World Cup which they narrowly lost to Germany.
Messi was adjudged the Best Player of the Tournament, but it that tag wouldn’t mean much for him.
On paper, Argentina just might have the best-attacking team amongst all 32 teams.
Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala and Angel di Maria are there to support Messi to carry the burden to score goals.
Lucas Biglia, Ever Banega and Javier Mascherano will provide the much-needed stability in midfield as well.
World Cup Titles: 2
Captain: Lionel Messi