May 12, 2006
Random World Cup Facts: Angola
Times Qualified: 1 (2006)
Top Current Political Issue: The Angolan government is in the process of inviting foreign investment in their rapidly growing oil sector. The average Angolan has not benefitted from foreign investment in the past, so Western observers are hoping the current process of bidding has a level of transparency.
Other Facts: Angola became a hot spot of the Cold War in 1975 when the fascist Portugese rulers were overthrown and civil war broke out. With Cuba and the Soviet Union supporting one side and the United States and South Africa supporting the other, it took 27 years before peace was achieved.
The Team: Like Togo, this is Angola's first World Cup appearance. A good amount of Angola's players ply their trade in the lower reaches of the Portugese league.
Players to Watch: With so little known about Angola it is difficult to point out who to watch. Even so, I can really only find one worth noting. Mantorras (Benfica) was part of the team that knocked Manchester United out of the Champions League in December. Even though he only scored three league goals in a difficult campaign, he is considered one of Angola's best players.
Chances: Even though they are in one of the World Cup's weakest groups, it is hard to see them getting anything out of this. The clash with Portugal may be one of the matches to watch in the tournament though.
Prediction: 4th in group with a good shot at "winning" the wooden spoon.