Grassroots Coaching

Who will win the World Cup?

Who knows? We can probably guess who will not win it. North Korea, Australia, New Zealand etc, will enjoy themselves, cause a shock or two, but won’t win the World Cup.

Since 1950 there have been only 7 countries who have won the World Cup, Brazil have won it 5 times – ’58, ’62, ’70,’94 and 2002 Germany 3 – ’54, ’74 and 1990, Italy ’82 and 1996 and Argentina ‘78 and 1986 twice, with France 1998, England 1966 and Uruguay 1950 once each.

So from these 7 countries, we can probably rule out Uruguay, which leaves 6. There are two notable absentees from this elite group, Spain and Holland.

Given the World Cup is in an African country, maybe one of the African nations can provide a shock, perhaps Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Cameroon or Ghana. I feel sure that one of these African countries will reach the quarter finals, but probably no further.

In my opinion, the winner will come from this group of 8 teams. Six from Europe, Germany, England, France, Italy, Spain and Holland, with two from South America, Brazil and Argentina.

This is where luck and form come into the equation. For example, if Rooney gets injured can England then win the World Cup, or indeed if Messi gets injured for Argentina, can they?

If key players stay fit and on form, then Argentina and England are going to go close. But, looking at the overall make up of the squads, then there are two standout teams for me. Spain, who broke their major tournament bogey by winning the 2008 UEFA European Championship and Brazil, who have the pedigree, the know how and the squad.

My money is on Spain. They have arguably, the best squad, are the form team, have the confidence of UEFA 2008 behind them, play a great brand of offensive and defensive football and have two World Class strikers in Torres and Villa.

At 7/2 they are favourites to win the World Cup and the odds aren’t great, but the bookmakers rarely get it wrong!

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