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WellnessWho Are You Rooting For To Win The FIFA World Cup 2018?

Who Are You Rooting For To Win The FIFA World Cup 2018?

Who Are You Rooting For To Win The FIFA World Cup 2018?
(Illustration: Bryan Lim)
By Aaron Pereira
June 29, 2018
The 2018 edition of the FIFA World Cup has been nothing short of thrilling - and saw plenty of plot twists and curled (foot)balls. What started with 32 teams is now down to 16, as we enter the knockout stages of the beautiful game. We speak to a number of football fans about the game in general and find out who they are hoping will win the World Cup. (Illustration: Bryan Lim)
Dato' Sri Desmond To - Official merchandiser for Manchester United
Dato' Sri Desmond To - Official merchandiser for Manchester United

Tell us a bit about your business.
Aladdin Group is among my most exciting as well as challenging business ventures. We operate and owns the first and only premium quality halal and toyyiban focused international e-market - and we saw no better an opportunity than to partner with Manchester United, which has a following of more than 600 million throughout the globe.

Which team do you support?
Spain; in my opinion they have managed to successfully integrated the silky technical skills of the South Americans with the robust and solid defensive discipline plus fluidity as well as tenacity common in European teams.

What do you think would be some of the highlights?
I foresee a lot more beautiful and memorable goals being scored and hope that the FIFA World Cup in Russia will provide many, many wonderful experiences for both the players and fans across the world.

Keshika Subbarao - Founder & creative director of Unorthodox Football
Keshika Subbarao - Founder & creative director of Unorthodox Football

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm a professional football coach under the England FA and international football scout. These days I also run my own football company, unorthodoxfootball.com and coach for ASA Malaysia.

Who are you rooting to win this World Cup?
It was initially Germany, but after their shocking exit, I'm now hoping on my next favourites, Portugal.

What do you think are the highlights of this tournament?
It was interesting to watch Egypt and Iceland. The former last qualified for the World Cup in 1990, and the latter were the smallest nation to ever qualify. Although both nations didn't manage to qualify, I believe they have made their people proud.

Share your thoughts on women’s participation in football.
Well, it has increased significantly over the years. Even Manchester United have a professional women’s team and applied to join the Women's Super League 2. However, more can be done, and with a growing interest worldwide and the sport proven to be profitable, it is in everyone’s interest to make it more accessible to women.

Morvin Tan - Football fan
Morvin Tan - Football fan

Which team are you be supporting?
Mexico, and previously also Iceland, mainly because both Los Angeles FC and Cardiff City players are in the starting line ups of both the countries.

Who is your favourite player?
Ronaldo, for sure. He's such a hardworking player who can strike fear in the defenders he's going up against.

Will you be watching any of the games live?
Yes, I've already watched a few of the group stage matches, the semi-finals, and of course, the final.

What is the best aspect of football?
The team work and team spirit that every team possess, and which sees even the ‘smallest’ and sometimes unassuming teams being able to beat the ‘giants’ of the game.

Dato' Ruben Gnanalingam - Owns a stake in English and American football teams
Dato' Ruben Gnanalingam - Owns a stake in English and American football teams

Tell us a bit about your involvement in the football scene.
I’ve an interest in both English side Queens Park Rangers as well as the American Los Angeles FC. In the local scene, I’m also involved in the National Football Development Programme, as QPR is a sponsor – and the goal is to develop a large pool of talent for Malaysian football.

Which team are you supporting?
I’ve always been a fan of Brazil, but I’m rooting for England too as I think they will be a dark horse.

Who is your favourite player?
I may be slightly biased, but I would say Carlos Vela who plays for Mexico, and not to mention also features in Los Angeles FC.

Any advice for the wife and children during the games?
Don’t stay up too late watching the games!

Shebby Singh - Football pundit and former national player
Shebby Singh - Football pundit and former national player

What do you think is a highlight for this World Cup so far?
Sadly, one of the 'highlights' is the quality of team defending. I think many teams have come to the games hellbent on defending and will defend well. I think this will be a World Cup for goalkeepers and defenders.

Who are you supporting?
Once again, I will be rooting for Argentina! It all started with Daniel Pasarella in 1978, a beautifully nasty defender and then Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi who have been beacons in the wonderful game of football.

What are your thoughts on the local football scene?
The Malaysian Super League so far has been good to watch simply because teams have been consistently inconsistent. Apart from JDT, the unexpected has been the norm, hence never a dull match. However, standards and the level of football remains frustrating.

Titus James Palani - Footballer, Malaysia Record holder for juggling the football (5680 times)
Titus James Palani - Footballer, Malaysia Record holder for juggling the football (5680 times)

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m currently playing in the French league, for a third division team called CS Meaux. It’s a rather small team, but they’ve a great youth development academy, which I also help out with.

Which is your favourite team?
Brazil, I truly love the Samba boys! The way they move on the pitch and dominate against their opponents is usually quite a sight.

Any plans to come back to Malaysia?
Not in the near future. I’m pretty settled there and am rather comfortable. My wife and I are also thinking of sending our daughter to school in France, once she’s old enough. Maybe some time way in the future I may consider returning.

Who is your favourite player?
For me it has to be Messi, I just enjoy seeing his graceful movement on the pitch, and his skilful ball control is extremely remarkable.

Tags

WellnessFIFA World Cup 2018FootballSoccerWorld Cup

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