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Thiago on World Cup: “Anything can happen”

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Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcántara believes that anything is possible for the upcoming World Cup in Russia, but believes that Germany are the favourites

The central midfielder is expected to make Julen Lopetegui’s final squad for the Spanish national team this summer and, despite Spain’s status as one of the pre-tournament favourites, Thiago believes that it would unwise to rule out an underdog causing a surprise.

“There are some clear favourites, but luck always plays a big part. World Cups always come down to the little details. Turkey reached the semis a few years back and so did South Korea. Anything can happen,” Thiago told FIFA (via the Bundesliga website).

“Right now, I’d go for Germany because they’re the defending champions, and Brazil, Argentina, and France. You can put Spain in there too, obviously.”

Thiago has been an integral part of Lopetegui’s plans for Spain with the 27 year-old having played in 15 of their past 18 matches and is expected to be part of the manager’s final squad selection.

The former Barcelona player believes that both Belgium and Colombia can prove themselves to be threats at the World Cup: “Belgium are a dark horse for me, not just for the players they’ve got, but because of the way they play as well. They play really good football and I think you can even include them among the favourites,”

“Colombia could do well too because they’ve got some great players.”

While the generation that guided Spain to glory in both Euro 2008 and the 2012 World Cup appears to have reached it’s end, Thiago is hopeful that the newer generations that includes himself, David de Gea, Isco and Koke, will be able to replicate the success their country enjoyed in the past.

“We’re excited about the way we’ve been playing and the wins we’ve had, and I think we can dream about big things,” said Thiago.

“We’re dreaming about going as far as we can, competing at the highest level, and showing what we can do. We know where we are. We know we knocked out a team like Italy and we know that we’ve played some big teams in friendlies and beaten them in style. I think the results are going to come our way, though I don’t like to get ahead of myself and predict what’s going to happen.”