Tom Coast is a writer for Sport Witness. According to his Twitter bio, he’s “Half-French, half-English, with some Spanish. Focus on European football, mainly French”. You can find him and his work on his site - a nod to King Eric - SardineTrawler.com.
In case you’re not aware, our daily World Cup Quiz couldn’t be any simpler. Eight questions, eight answers, all football. Take it as read that we’ll have asked the questions before a ball has been kicked, so if they say England will win it and we’ve already been knocked out, don’t hold it against them…or then again, maybe you should.
Here we go…
1 - What was your first World Cup?
My first World Cup was France ’98. Not the worst first World Cup to remember when you’re half-French. Problem is, every World Cup since then has been a disappointment. Especially 2006. Let’s not talk about 2006.
2 - How far can England get?
England have a tough group. I think we can all agree on that. I’ll be surprised if they top it, but stranger things have happened in the World Cup. I think the quarters are a realistic target, especially with a 1st knockout round against either Colombia, Japan or Ivory Coast.
3 - Which player in the England squad should we be most excited about?
As a Manchester United fan, I feel obliged to say Danny Welbeck. Putting my allegiance aside, though, I will have to say Ross Barkley. So far, he’s made an instant impact whenever coming on and hopefully for England, he can keep on doing that throughout the tournament. I don’t think he’s experienced enough at international level to start games yet, but as an impact sub, he’ll probably worry a few defences and excited a few supporters.
4 - How do you plan to watch the tournament?
Whenever & wherever I can. I know I’m going to inevitably miss the odd game here and there, but I will do my best to watch every single one. Yes, even Iran vs Nigeria.
5 - Favourite ever World Cup player?
That’s easy. Zinedine Zidane. France ’98 and all that.
6 - Who will win the Golden Ball?
The easy answer here would be Messi, but I reckon this will be Neymar’s tournament. With Brazil on form, he can pretty much do anything.
7 - Who will win the Golden Boot?
This might seem like an odd (and maybe bias) choice, but I’m going to go for Benzema. France have an easier group than most, and they have shown recently that they are capable of beating teams comfortably once they get going. You don’t need to score that many goals nowadays to win it (last two scored 5). Backup option has to be Messi, though. If Argentina play like they can do, there’s no stopping the Barcelona star.
8 - Who will win the World Cup?
Brazil. They’re on home soil and have been in form. The dispatching of Spain in the Confederations Cup final showed everyone that they’re ready for this tournament and aren’t going to collapse under the pressure.