WORLD CUP OPINION: Locals are going for Brazil or Germany

Brazil's Neymar is the favourite choice for Player of the Tournament.
Brazil's Neymar is the favourite choice for Player of the Tournament.
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Have your say

The 2018 World Cup kicks off today and it’s a wide open competition judging by a poll involving Peterborough sports people.

We’ve got the views of 18 pundits from a wide cross-section of local sport and they’ve come up with no less than six likely winners.

Argentina's Lionel Messi.

Argentina's Lionel Messi.

Brazil have come out on top - but only just. There’s also strong support for Germany with France, Argentina, Spain and England the other countries to receive some backing.

The overwhelming favourite choice for ‘Player of the Tournament’ is Brazil’s Neymar while several believe Argentina’s Lionel Messi will have another good tournament. Harry Kane just gets the nod over Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford for ‘England’s Best Player’.

WORLD CUP PREDICTIONS

PHIL ADLAM

England's Marcus Rashford.

England's Marcus Rashford.

Peterborough United press officer

WINNERS: France. Lots of depth to their squad, a wonderful attack and Varane is one of the best defenders at the competition.

RUNNERS-UP: Brazil.

OTHER SEMI-FINALISTS: Spain and Germany.

England's Harry Kane.

England's Harry Kane.

TOURNAMENT’S STAR PLAYER: Kylian Mbappe (France). He will come of age on a worldwide stage.

TOP GOALSCORER: Antoine Griezmann (France).

HOW FAR WILL ENGLAND GET: Quarter-finals. We have played well of late, but haven’t beaten anyone of any real note.

ENGLAND’S BEST PLAYER: Marcus Rashford. He has to start. He can be the spark we need alongside Kane.

Darragh MacAnthony is going for Germany to win it.

Darragh MacAnthony is going for Germany to win it.

JIMMY DEAN

Peterborough Sports FC manager

WINNERS: Argentina because I back Lionel Messi to deliver. He’s the greatest player ever.

RUNNERS-UP: Germany .

OTHER SEMI-FINALISTS: Brazil & France.

TOURNAMENT’S STAR PLAYER: Messi. Player of the tournament last time and will be even better this time.

Andy Moore fancies Brazil.

Andy Moore fancies Brazil.

TOP GOALSCORER: Lionel Messi .

HOW FAR WILL ENGLAND GET: Quarter-finals. Even if Belgium beat us I still fancy us to be better than any of the potential opponents in group H.

ENGLAND’S BEST PLAYER: Harry Kane has to be the biggest goal threat, but if Raheem Sterling can sort his end product out he really can light up the World Cup.

DARRAGH MacANTHONY

Peterborough United chairman

WINNERS: Germany and France have the squads and I fancy Germany for obvious reasons.

RUNNERS-UP: Runners-up one of above or Brazil .

OTHER SEMI-FINALISTS: Last four would be Germany/France/Spain/Brazil .

TOURNAMENT’S STAR PLAYER: Neymar or Nabil Fekir, the French player Liverpool are trying to sign.

TOP GOALSCORER: Harry Kane/Lionel Messi/Neymar.

HOW FAR WILL ENGLAND GET: Quarter-finals with a chance of reaching the last four, but instead losing in extra-time or on penalties.

ENGLAND’S BEST PLAYER: Raheem Sterling.

JON KYNASTON

Peterborough Phantoms director of ice hockey

Winners: Argentina, a lot of firepower and importantly lots of experience.

Runners-up: Brazil.

Other semi-finalists: Germany, Belgium.

Tournament’s star player: It’s primed for Coutinho to shine.

Top goalscorer: Lukaku (Belgium).

How far will England get: Quarter-finals or even the semis. We don’t have a strong enough defence or keeper to go all the way.

England’s best player: If he gets playing time, Rashford. He has the ability to beat people and create chances, I don’t see any other England player with the ability to really do that at the moment.

JAMES WILLIAMS

Cambs county cricket captain and Wisbech all rounder

WINNERS: I think France. They have an incredibly strong squad and have all bases covered. If you look at the players they’ve left behind they have so much strength in depth.

RUNNERS-UP: Argentina.

OTHER SEMI-FINALISTS: Brazil and Belgium .

TOURNAMENT’S STAR PLAYER: Kylian Mbappe (France).

TOP GOALSCORER: Antione Griezmann (France).

HOW FAR WILL ENGLAND GET: Quarter-finals.

ENGLAND’S BEST PLAYER: Marcus Rashford.

ARCHIE BENNETT

Peterborough Rugby Club vice-chairman

Winners: Being a Scotsman, anyone but England. Brazil v Spain final with Brazil winning.

Runners-up: Spain.

Other semi-finalists: Germany and Argentina.

Tournament’s star player: Harry Kane, He will miss the deciding penalty against Germany in quarter-final ! On a serious note Neymar.

Top goalscorer: Neymar.

How far will England get: Last 16, maybe quarter-final. Never hear the end of it if they win it.

England’s best player: Obvious answer is Harry Kane but let’s go for Eric Dyer.

DAVID CLARKE

Peterborough Town Cricket Club skipper

WINNERS: Brazil as they have the most technically gifted team and many players who can turn a match in an instant.

RUNNERS-UP: Germany.

OTHER SEMI-FINALISTS: England and Argentina.

TOURNAMENT’S STAR PLAYER: Antione Griezmann (France).

TOP GOALSCORER: Lionel Messi (Argentina).

HOW FAR WILL ENGLAND GET: England will get to the semi-finals .

ENGLAND’S BEST PLAYER: Dele Alli.

KEN WADE

Top local fisherman and PT angling columnist

Winners: Germany. Just can’t see a team beating them, on paper they are strong in every department.

Runners-up: Brazil.

Other semi-finalists: Spain and France.

Tournament’s star player: Neymar.

Top goalscorer: Neymar.

How far will England get: Quarter-finals, with a bit of luck!

England’s best player: Raheem Sterling.

ANDY MOORE

Peterborough Lions Rugby Club chairman

Winners: Brazil, rugby’s equivalent of the All Blacks, best in the business plus they have best looking supporters!

Runners-up: Germany.

Other semi-finalists: England and Belgium.

Tournament’s star player: Hazard (Belgium).

Top goalscorer: Neymar (Brazil ).

How far will England get: Semi-finals.

England’s best player: Rashford.

DONOVAN CAPES

Outstanding young athlete with Nene Valley Harriers

Winners: Brazil as they are so confident with the ball and have attacking threats from everywhere.

Runners-up: Spain.

Other semi-finalists: Germany and Panama.

Tournament’s star player: Neymar .

Top goalscorer: Messi.

How far will England get: Quarter-finals.

England’s best player: Harry Kane.

HAZEL BURGESS

Peterborough Junior Alliance League secretary

Winners: Germany. They always do well in Europe in big competitions.

Runners-up: Brazil.

Other semi-finalists: Belgium and Spain.

Tournament’s star player: David De Gea (Spain).

Top goalscorer: Neymar.

How far will England get: Quarter-finals.

England’s best player: Delli Alli.

JON HARRISON

Netherton United FC’s quad-winning manager

WINNERS: Brazil to win because they play the best football and have some great individuals.

RUNNERS-UP: Spain.

OTHER SEMI-FINALISTS: England & Argentina.

TOURNAMENT’S STAR PLAYER: Neymar (Brazil).

TOP GOALSCORER: Neymar (Brazil).

HOW FAR WILL ENGLAND GET: Semi-finals as they seem to have a bit of self-belief now.

ENGLAND’S BEST PLAYER: Kane.

CELLO RENDA

Peterborough’s top professional boxer

WINNERS: Spain. They have got great experience in the side with players like Ramos, Pique, Busquets, Iniesta, Silva.

Runners-up: France.

Other semi-finalists: Brazil, Germany.

TOURNAMENT’S Star player: Messi.

TOP GOALSCORER: Neymar.

HOW FAR WILL ENGLAND GET: They will do well to get to the quarter-finals . They’re a very young side who will do better in the next World Cup.

ENGLAND’S BEST PLAYER: Harry Kane.

ANDREW HICKS

Chief instructor at Hicks Karate School

Winners: England. Got to have faith in your own team.

Runners-up: Germany. Be nice to beat them in the final.

Other semi-finalists: Brazil and Argentina. They’re always strong.

Tournament’s star player: Messi. Good team player and top personality on and off the pitch.

Top goalscorer: Messi . He’s the one to watch again.

How far will England get: All the way. Come on England!

England’s best player: Dele Alli. I’ve no doubt he will stand out.

JORDAN MARR

Phantoms ice hockey team netminder

Winners: Germany. Talent at every position, have a mix of young upcoming players and experienced veterans.

Runners-up: Brazil the second best team. Lots of flair but Germany tactically better.

Other Semi-Finalists: France and Belgium.

Tournament’s star Player: Antoine Griezmann.

Top Goalscorer: Griezmann or Thomas Muller.

HOW FAR WILL ENGLAND GET: Quarter-finals..

ENGLAND’S BEST PLAYER: Rashford.

CARL JOHNSON

Peterborough Panthers speedway team manager

WINNERS: France. I think they have the best attacking squad in the tournament. Vulnerable defensively if they play three at the back but will outscore anyone in the tournament.

RUNNERS-UP: Germany.

OTHER SEMI-FINALISTS: Brazil and Spain.

Tournament’s star Player: Griezmann of France.

TOP GOALSCORER: Muller (Germany).

HOW FAR WILL ENGLAND GET: Quarter-finals..

ENGLAND’S BEST PLAYER: Alli .

MARTIN ADAMS

Darts champ who admits he ‘knows naff all about football’.

Winners: England. Why? Because they are our national team.

RUNNERS-UP: Holland because I like the Dutch. (Unfortunately Martin, they’re not in it!)

OTHER SEMI-FINALISTS: Germany and Russia.

TOURNAMENT’S STAR PLAYER: Sorry but I don’t know anything about individual players.

HOW FAR WILL ENGLAND GET: The ‘Three Lions’ will roar all the way to the final and win it.

England’s best player: I don’t know any players.

BOB FRENCH

Sports Editor of the Peterborough Telegraph

Winners: France. Any team that can leave out Man Utd’s Anthony Martial must be pretty special .

RUNNERS-UP: Spain. Squad remains packed with quality.

OTHER SEMI-FINALISTS: Germany and Portugal.

TOURNAMENT’S STAR PLAYER: David De Gea.

TOP GOALSCORER: Cristiano Ronaldo.

HOW FAR WILL ENGLAND GET: Quarter-finals.

England’s best player: Marcus Rashford (Man Utd).

Cello Renda thinks Spain will win.

Cello Renda thinks Spain will win.

Jimmy Dean's choice is Argentina.

Jimmy Dean's choice is Argentina.

Ken Wade thinks Germany will win.

Ken Wade thinks Germany will win.