World Cup: Get set for attractive, attacking football

World Cup: Get set for attractive, attacking football
Brazil's national soccer team player Neymar plays futevolei, a combination of volleyball and soccer, during a training session in Teresopolis, near Rio de Janeiro May 30, 2014.

In 1982, he scored the goal that earned Northern Ireland a famous World Cup Finals victory over hosts Spain.

Fast forward 32 years, and Gerry Armstrong is expecting La Roja to once again slip up on football's biggest stage.

"This is an ageing side," he said of the reigning champions. "Guys like Xavi Hernandez and Xabi Alonso are great players - but they may well be past their best.

"The biggest question is whether Fernando Torres can get the goals, but even then, they'll only get as far as the quarter-finals. Semis? Maybe, depending on who they come up against."

The 60-year-old was speaking to The Straits Times ahead of his arrival in Singapore as part of SingTel mio TV's punditry team for this month's World Cup.

Anchored by Richard Lenton, the broadcaster's coverage will also feature expert analysis by former England defender Paul Parker and former Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean.

They will be joined by two men who will be familiar to local fans - former Singapore midfielder John Wilkinson and former striker Alistair Edwards, who played a starring role for the Lions in the 1990s Malaysia Cup era.

"We've got a great team; a good combination of managers, players and former World Cup stars," said Armstrong, whose international record reads 12 goals in 63 appearances. "I'm certain our coverage is going to be a success."

The former striker, who counts Tottenham Hotspur, West Bromwich Albion and Mallorca among the clubs he played for, expects Brazil or Argentina to extend their European rivals' wait for a first success on South American soil.

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