POST TIME: 14 June, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 14 June, 2018 02:15:12 PM
Former football stars list their World Cup favourites
MD Anwar Ullah

Former football stars list their World Cup favourites

With less than a week for the kick-off of the 2018 FiFA World Cup in Russia, former football stars in Bangladesh have geared to root for their favourite teams in arguably the greatest show in the world.
Though cautious in predicting an outright winner, the country’s football icons like Kazi Mohammed Salahuddin, Abdus Salam Murshedi, Sheikh Mohammed Aslam, Khondokar Wasim Iqbal, Arman Meah, Alfaz Ahmed, Wali Faisal and Mamunul Islam are not shy in naming some of the teams that have the best possibility to lift the trophy.

Abdus Salam Murshedi :






“I Am a diehard Brazil supporter”

The senior vice-president of the Bangladesh Foodball Federation, too did not name any particular team that will win the World Cup in Russia. “It is such a competition that you can’t name any one team. As for me, this time, five teams are favourites to win the trophy—Germany, Brazil, France, Argentina and Spain. I think Portugal and Belgium too have chances of going far in the tournament.”
A diehard Brazil supporter, Murshedi said: “I will be happy if Brazil are to win. But the quarterfinals and semi-finals will certainly see face-offs between these teams.”
The once popular star in the country’s football circuit recounted: “The first time I watched World Cup football live on TV in 1982, I was bowled over. I had the opportunity to enjoy the games on the ground during the 1994 World Cup in America and in 1998 in France.

Sheikh Mohammed Aslam :






“I will be happy if Brazil are to win”

One of the most exciting strikers in Bangladesh’s football history, is also a Brazil supporter. “I will be happy if Brazil are to win, given their ability and skill. Besides, France, Argentina and Germany too are among the top favourites and they will certainly make it to the semi-finals. But Brazil are ahead of all to win the cup,” he said.

Mamunul Islam :





“I am a supporter of Argentina”

Captain of the national team,  who is an Argentina fan, said: “The World Cup football will be very exciting, as some teams will play with huge prospects to go far and stars like Messi, Neymar, Ronaldo, Griezmann and Paul Pogba will play this year. I am a supporter of Argentina, but it will also be exciting to see how France, Germany, Brazil and Spain fare in the tournament.”

Kazi Salahuddin :






“I have been an ardent admirer of the playing style of the Dutch, Italians and and German football teams.”

The president of the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF), was a Netherlands fan. But he has now shifted support to Germany. Talking to The Independent, the living legend of Bangladesh football said: “I have been following World Cup football since I was a boy. But I was really hooked on to the game when I watched the repeat telecast on TV in 1966. Since then, I have been an ardent admirer of the playing style of the Dutch, Italians and and German football teams.”
On his change of heart from supporting Netherlands to being a Germany fan, he revealed: “It’s all due to my grandson. He is a German national and naturally a supporter of that country’s team.”
“Anyway, the Germans are the number one contender to win the trophy. But I think this time it will be a tough competition between four teams—Germany, Brazil, Argentina and Spain. If there are to be no clashes among them in the last 16 or the quarterfinals phase, they are most certainly going to be the four semi-finalists,” he added.
Salahuddin, however, refused to name a sure winner. “Really, it is more than difficult to ascertain or even to name a team that will win the cup. However, one can only have preferences as per your likings. So, I can only tell about these four teams, and any one among them can lift the cup,” he said.


Another former football star, said: “I am a fan of Argentina, but France, Brazil, Spain and Belgium have also bright chances to win the title.”


One of the senior members of the current national team, said: “I am a Brazil supporter, but I think Argentina, France and England too have
chances to win the cup.”


A star footballer during the late 1990s and early 2000s, is a Brazil fan. “I think that apart from Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Germany, France, Belgium and Portugal too are among the favourites to win the cup. This time, the competition is wide open,” he said.


One of most attractive footballers to have played for Bangladesh, is disappointed that his favourite team Netherlands could not qualify for the World Cup.
He is placing his bets on Germany this time. “The Germans are the number one team this time and hot favourites to win the cup. They are 100 per cent professional. They also have the ability to rally behind from any situation,” he said.