| The 2013 Brazil World Cup opens on June 13, and the three countries` national football teams that will play with Korea`s at the first round are saying their performance is living up to their own expectations. Marc Wilmots, coach of the Belgium national team (ranking 12th in FIFA) that is evaluated as the best, is humble. In contrast, Algerian coach Vahid Halilhodzic is confident despite adverse situation surrounding him.
Russian national team coach Fabio Capello who is Italian aims at entering at least the quarterfinals. The Russian team is the first team that the Korean national football team will play with. AFP said Tuesday Capello`s goal is at least the quarterfinals. Capello said that no one had expected his team to be No. 1 at the European preliminary league and that people will need to remember that his team made it. He forewarned a surprise. At the European preliminary league, the Russian national team beat the Portugal team led by leading scorer Cristiano Ronaldo to become No. 1 within F team. It entered the World Cup finals for the first time in 12 years since 2002.
Capello explained the reason why his team will be trained only in Russia before going to Brazil. He said that the Russian people attach great importance on spending time with their family and thus decided to prepare for the World Cup in Russia. Most of the players in the country`s football leagues are expected to play in final entry, and so the Russian team will stay in Russia for two warm-up matches and training excluding the match with Norwegian team in Norway (May 31), before going to Brazil on June 8. The Korean national football team will gather on May 12, will train in Miami starting from May 30 before arriving at Iguazu, Brazil, where its base camp is located, on June 11.
Coach Wilmots, at an interview with a German football magazine Kicker, said the Belgium team is a leading candidate who will pass the first round, adding it will be disappointing if they fail. Yet he spared himself citing unexpected variables in football games. The Belgium team is a dark horse and has the golden generation of players including Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City) and Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United). The team passed the European regional preliminary with no loss (eight wins, two ties for No. 1 in A team).
The Algerian team lags behind the other two teams that the Korean team will be playing with, but is very confident. Coach Halilhodzic told media that the Belgian and Russian teams are better when viewed objectively, but the weaker can always win the stronger. He said he is used to winning adding he would have left football if he considered himself as unable to accomplish something.
Halilhodzic was in conflict with the Algerian football association over contract renewal and more recently was mired in conflict with a player. When the coach called just some players playing at the Algerian league, one player complained about intensive training and criticized Halilhodzic through media. Despite adverse situation, Halilhodzic is still confident saying he has nothing to lose and will win.