Based on historical data, no team from Europe has ever lifted the World Cup outside Europe. A country from the host continent eventually won every single World Cup except for Brazil in 1958 when they won in Sweden. When the first World Cup on Asian soil was held in 2002 in Korea and Japan, the eventual winner was not an Asian country but Brazil again. Asian countries were not ready to win yet, although S. Korea came close. These are the historical facts of the World Cup for the past 100 plus years. Eight years on, do you think an African country is actually ready to lift the World Cup on their home soil? Foolhardy are the ones who bet against history.
Our approach will be to bet on a South American country to lift the World Cup again outside of Europe, with some money put into an African country to do a first in history.
Analysis of Teams
Brazil has been winning too often and their odds are pretty low at 4.5, but still good. Some money must go to them.
Argentina is the dark horse. Not many people give them a chance because they have a certain eccentric Diego Maradona at their helm. They do have wonderfully talented players at their disposal and I just have this feeling that they will make all their critics eat their words by bonding together despite all their unwanted attention on Diego. Reminds me a bit of Italy at the last World Cup. The Italians had lots of trouble with team spirit, someone dying and so on. But they managed to use that as a bonding tool to get the team together to play effective football to win the World Cup.
England, as usual is over rated. Fabio Capello will only get them so far. History will not be kind to this talented lot of players. Gerard, Rooney, Lampard, Terry will have a good World Cup, but only up to the Semis again. I have a strange feeling that they will go out on penalties again. Guess who will miss the crucial spot kick?
My, famed Portugal will go out in round one this time. Too bad they are in the group of Death. They are too dependent on Ronaldo. I am afraid Carlos is not a Scolari this time round. Anyway, apart from Ronaldo, the other players are all mediocre.
I like the African teams. This World Cup might just be their one. Over the past World Cups they have shown the world that they are talented, skillful and capable of upsetting the best. Remember Roger Milla and the Indomitable Lions. Now with more high profile players in Europe and more importantly, with better technical coaches hired, and on their home soil, this could be the World Cup that new grounds are broken. The first African Nation to lift the World Cup on home soil? It will not be South Africa, not with Piennar type of players. The real caliber players are with Ivory Coast and even Ghana. Players like Drogba, Toure, Kalou, Essien are great players with great experience. They might just take the next great leap for African players.
As for Asian teams, I think they have had their go. It is neither their time nor place to bring in another great performance this time round. Teams underestimated their abilities in 2002. They won’t make the same mistakes again.
Spain. Sigh…. They have the lowest odds. Though talented, they will come up short against the South Americans. Winning the European Championship is one thing. Winning the World Cup against Brazil and Argentina is another. Furthermore, they are not in Europe. Good luck to them.
Germany and Italy? Their era is over. Look at their leagues at the moment. Hard to imagine them coming out with winners away from Europe.
Group Winners and Runners-Up Proposal (1 denotes group winner, 2 denotes runners-up) (Refer to http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/standings/index.html for Groupings)
A1 – France A2 – Uruguay B1 – Argentina B2 – Nigeria C1 – England C2 – Algeria D1 – Germany D2 – Ghana E1 – Holland E2 – Cameroon F1 – Italy F2 – Paraguay G1 – Brazil G2 – Ivory Coast H1 – Spain H2 – Chile
Playoffs Proposal ( http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/matches/kostage.html )
Second Round Fixtures Quarter-Finals Semi-Finals Final/3rd-4th
France v Nigeria Nigeria Ghana England v Ghana Ghana
Holland v Paraguay Holland Brazil Brazil v Chile Brazil
Germany v Algeria Germany Argentina Argentina v Uruguay Argentina
Italy v Cameroon Italy Ivory Coast Spain v Ivory Coast Ivory Coast