CRO-ING FOR GOLD: Modric will look to reprodcue his Real Madrid form when he leads out his country Quarter-Finals (2014)
16 Jose Pekerman Radamel Falcao. The former Manchester United and Chelsea forward (below) is back on form with Monaco, racing past the 20-goal mark in each of the last two seasons. Falcao’s career has been blighted by injuries but the striker, 32, is still his country’s most experienced player with 71 caps. Last 16 They have witnessed players being shot for scoring own goals and a goalkeeper inventing the ‘Scorpion Kick’ – dull they are not. Colombia reached the Quarter-Finals in Brazil four years ago and should progress past the group stage again. Last 16 (2002, 2010)
61 Akira Nishino Shinji Okazaki. The Leicester City forward (below) is Japan’s poster boy and third all-time highest scorer with 50 goals in 112 matches. Group The Samurai Blues are one of the most successful teams in Asia, qualifying for the last six World Cups and winning a record four Asian Cups. The players have a passion few can match and stars like Southampton defender Maya Yoshida have great experience. Third (1974, 1982)
8 Nawalka Robert Lewandowski. A target for both Manchester United and Chelsea, the World Cup finals could be the perfect stage for the Bayern Munich forward to show why he’s in such demand. With arguably the weakest group in the tournament, Poland and Lewandowski should thrive. Last 16 Poland have a habit of upsetting the odds and are certainly good enough to win their group. Quarter-Finals (2002)
28 Aliou Cisse Sadio Mane. He has just finished a wonderful, goalscoring season with Liverpool but you wonder how much the Champions League Final defeat to Real Madrid has taken out of him. On his day Mane is a joy, a quicksilver striker with a great shot, and on the biggest stage this could be his moment to shine. Group This is only their second World Cup and they managed to reach the last eight in 2002. But Senegal’s overall record is poor and they will need Mane at his best to change history.
Verdict: World Cup final appearances: Best performance: World ranking: Coach: One to watch: Prediction: World Cup final appearances: Best performance: World ranking: Coach: One to watch: Verdict: Prediction: World Cup final appearances: Best...
Prediction: Verdict: World Cup final appearances: Best performance: