The Central American (UNCAF) Cup, which kicked off last Thursday, has captured the imagination of FIFA.com's English and Spanish-speaking users. We received over 300 comments from all four corners of the globe in response to the request we made for predictions in our Have Your Say section last week. And figuring high on your list of favourites for the coveted regional crown were Costa Rica and host nation Honduras.
Not surprisingly, most fans went for the countries they support, not least Costa Rica's legion of admirers. Even so, Tico fans were quick to acknowledge this will be no easy tournament to win, with esmurillo5 writing, "I'm a Tico and my heart says Costa Rica but we don't have any outstanding players." Fellow countryman maunavarro had this to say, "Costa Rica are going to win because I think they're still the best team in the UNCAF region. Honduras have been doing really well but they don't know how to win the big games."
With the tournament taking place on home soil, Honduras fans were showing plenty of optimism. "There's no doubt the cup is going to Honduras," predicted pinpon860. "They've got what it takes to win: the best coaching team of all the sides taking part and the support of the Honduran people." "Honduras are the favourites even though they'll be putting out their B team," added DarwingM, another Catracho diehard. "They're currently playing the best football in all of Central America."
Predictions from around the planet
Many more users from all over the globe agreed that Costa Rica and Honduras are the teams to beat. "The favourites are Costa Rica and Honduras, but not because the strongest always win," commented samyr.l from Peru. "Football isn't just about statistics. It's about the way you play the game.
Honduras are the host nation and they'll be fighting hard. And though Costa Rica will also be going for it, they are sending a young team, so it's Honduras for me." Disagreeing with that assessment was Batigol777 from Argentina, who wrote, "I honestly think Costa Rica will win the UNCAF Cup because they're playing really well. I also think Honduras and El Salvador will have a fantastic tournament too, though."
Prayudhi gave their support to the hosts all the way from Indonesia. "Honduras will be the champions because they've got the support of their fans." Alexito from Spain was in agreement. "The favourites are Honduras as they're giving their World Cup qualification rivals a lot of headaches at the moment. If they can handle the pressure, I can't see anyone beating them."
Another side to be tipped by many were El Salvador. "As a proud Salvadoreño I'd love to see the team win the title," said Cuscatlan87. "Honduras and Costa Rica are the favourites of course, but nobody should underestimate El Salvador. We're getting better all the time. One user to agree with that view was bohendo from Scotland. "On paper Honduras and Costa Rica are the teams to beat but El Salvador are in with a chance too."
Also backing La Selecta was Menho2 based in Mexico. "I'd love to see El Salvador become champions because they've got a Mexican coach and more than anything because of how they're playing now. They're a competitive side and they deserve a trophy."
Nothing is for certain
However, a good few readers think there could be a shock or two, among them jorgeluis2, who wrote in from Nicaragua. "The favourites are Honduras, but I'm a good Nicaraguan and, while I know my team doesn't have a chance of winning, I'd love to see them and Belize spring a surprise."
Writing from Colombia, robinsonson had this to say, "Nothing is written in football and no team ever wins because of the shirt they're wearing or because they're favourites. You have to go out and play right from the first minute until the ref blows the final whistle. That's when the truth becomes clear."
To see all the comments simply click on the link in the right-hand column. And don't forget that FIFA.com will be asking you the users another question very soon. So make sure you log on and Have Your Say.