With all 32 qualified nations for the FIFA World Cup decided, Discount Football Kits has perused the list to bring you five alternative teams worth watching.

You know all about the hosts Brazil, the titans of Argentina and the perennial underperformers in England—what about the lesser-known teams that are well worth a glance?


Those who hadn’t seen Chile prior to their win at Wembley on Friday will have been shocked at their outrageous fluency and confidence on the ball.

When they want to keep it and control the tempo they can, but when they want to attack they do so with incisive runs and killer balls. Jorge Sampaoli’s side are a seriously accomplished bunch, and no manager will be looking forward to coming up against this physical and technical machine.

They will play some of, if not the, most entertaining football in the finals next year, and they just so happen to be this writer’s dark horse pick to win the entire tournament.


Croatia, under Niko Kovac, are a much-improved entity in comparison to the shambles Igor Stimac produced throughout qualifying. They’re now playing good football, using their peripherals correctly and improving themselves with every game.

The thing to watch here is Kovac’s tactical flexibility and subsequent varied use of his three classy central midfielders: Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic and Ivan Rakitic.

Barring perhaps Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic they are the three best players in the team, and their manager is beginning to move them around on a game-by-game basis to get the best out of them and subsequently nullify opponents.


Much to the Nigerian Football Federation’s disgust, Stephen Keshi is crafting a new-age Super Eagles side by leaving out many experienced, veteran players.

The likes of Joseph Yobo and Obafemi Martins are non-factors under the man who led this country to 2013 Africa Cup of Nations glory, with Ahmed Musa, Victor Moses and Emmanuel Emenike three of many youngsters who’ve been drafted in and given a shot.

John Obi Mikel is still the lynchpin who holds it all together, but he’s joined by promising youngsters in Ogenyi Onazo and Sunday Mba in central midfield.

Expectations aren’t too high for Nigeria, but they could well surprise one or two should the young group click. Alternatively, if the NFF decide enough is enough, there could be off-pitch dramatics like never before.



Mexico stumbled through to the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals courtesy of a 9-3 aggregate play-off win over lowly New Zealand.

Jose Manuel de la Torre was fired just before the play-offs began having underwhelmed throughout qualification, and this side under new coach Miguel Herrera look an attractive, entertaining proposal.

The All Whites were not even close to a fair test, but there’s a freedom about the players now who before appeared shackled and stunted. Herrera uses a curious 5-3-2 formation with flying full-backs and his preferred striker, Oribe Peralta, is in stunning form.


The furthest Ecuador have ever gotten in the World Cup is the Round of 16 (in 2006), but its entertainment you should watch them for, not success.

When they’re flying forward there are few who look more dangerous, taking an up-tempo approach and storming in on goal en masse. Jefferson Montero and Antonio Valencia are two of their key attacking outlets, and they set a tone of relentless running and vertical penetration for the rest of the side.

When they can’t switch gears and roar forward, though, they often find themselves in dire trouble. They don’t possess the technical ability to slow things down and exert control, so inevitably come under the cosh under better opponents.

No matter who they play its exciting, and each game promises goals.

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