As much as every England fan would love to see Steven Gerrard or Glen Johnson emulate Liverpool legend Roger Hunt by hoisting the World Cup this summer, the reality is that it is Liverpool’s foreign contingent that are more likely to return to these shores with a World Cup medal in time for the next Premier League season, at least according to bookmaker Paddy Power.
Spain are the 4/1 favourites to win the World Cup in South Africa. If the Spanish follow-up their European Championships win in 2008 with victory on the biggest stage of them all, there could well be several Liverpool connections to thank. Fernando Torres’ goals have by no means dried up and he could well propel Spain to their first World Cup final. In addition, Pepe Reina will be a key part of the Spain squad, as should the ex-Anfield pair of Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa, both currently plying their trade for Real Madrid. There is also a possibility that Albert Riera will represent Spain, although the winger is as popular on Merseyside right now as Tom Hicks' next of kin and is likely to be playing elsewhere some time soon.
Argentina are 8/1 fourth favourites to win the World Cup and so Liverpool enforcer Javier Mascherano is another who could return to the club with a World Cup winners medal. The last Liverpool player to feature in a World Cup final, Dietmar Hamann, was from the same mould as Mascherano and the Argentinean will hope to go one better than Hamann managed in 2002.
With teammates of the calibre of Gonzalo Higuain, Lionel Messi, Juan Veron, Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero, Argentina certainly boast some of the world’s best talent, but in maverick boss Diego Maradona they are surely a car crash waiting to happen.
Holland are a 14/1 chance to finally win the World Cup and Liverpool inside forwards Dirk Kuyt and Ryan Babel may well be key to their chances. Daniel Agger is a vital part of the Denmark team looking to progress from Holland’s group, whilst Martin Skrtel will proudly represent 250/1 outsiders Slovakia in their first ever World Cup finals.
- Written for LFChistory.net