Since the first World Cup was held back in 1930 in Uruguay, there have been three more World Cup finals held in South America.
In those three tournaments, every time a team from the home continent claimed the trophy.
A team from Europe have only ever won the competition once in its history outside of their home continent, which was Spain claiming victory in South Africa last time out.
It has been difficult for the European teams to adapt to their surroundings on other continents, as their records at World Cup finals tournaments prove.
South American countries have won the tournament in Europe, Asia and Central America, Brazil winning the tournament on all three occasions.
The European countries seem to struggle with the humid conditions in South America. Although parts of Spain, Italy and Portugal for example can be hot, there is a different type of humidity in the South American countries.
It is no surprise given the European countries records at finals that two teams from the home continent, Brazil and Argentina have been made favourites to claim the trophy. However, if the competition was being held in Europe then the likes of Spain and Germany would likely be favourites.
The two European countries who are most likely to break the South American hoodoo are Spain and Germany. Both national teams have their particular style of play, but both like to play possession-based, attacking football.
Spain heads into the World Cup having won the last three major tournaments that they have participated in. The Spanish won Euro 2008 beating Germany, before becoming world champions in South Africa in 2010 with an extra-time win over Holland.
In Euro 2012, the Spanish once again triumph, this time trouncing Italy in the final 4-0. This achievement had never been done and Spain was lauded as one of the best team’s that the international game has ever seen.
Their Tiki-Taka style of play is similar to the one used by Spanish giants Barcelona, which during Pep Guardiola’s reign as boss brought the Catalan’s unprecedented silverware.
The style of play has been criticised in recent years, especially in 2013 when Barcelona were hammered by Bavarian giants Bayern Munich in the Champions League. However, it can still prove successful if played the right way.
The possession-based tactic can be used to devastating effect with the right players and used in the correct manner. Spain has the right players and have recently added soon-to-be Chelsea striker Diego Costa to their squad.
The Spanish are currently third favourites to win the trophy at odds of 13/2. Vicente del Bosque’s team cannot be written-off though, as they still have top players and the addition of Costa to their squad has given them an extra dimension up front.
Germany’s current crop of players are regarded as one of the finest that the country has ever produced. German football has undergone something of a renaissance in recent years, with the national team looking far more promising and the likes of Bayern and Dortmund performing well in the Champions League.
Joachim Low’s team have a very good squad of players, with the likes of Marco Reus, Mario Gotze and Toni Kroos all impressing in club football in recent seasons.
Their style of play is possession-based, but it is regarded as a quicker and more counter-attacking style than their Spanish counterparts. It successful took Bayern Munich to Champions League victory in 2013.
However, Bayern changed their style to more of a Tiki-Taka style of play courtesy of Pep Guardiola’s arrival in Munich and Spanish giants Real Madrid exploited the change by shocking Bayern 4-0 in the Champions League semi-final at the Allianz Arena.
One thing that strikes me about the Germany squad is the fact that the only recognised striker in it is veteran Miroslav Klose, which means Gotze, Lukas Podolski, Thomas Muller or Andre Schurrle may operate as false number nine, a system ironically used by the Spanish in the past.
There are other European teams that could challenge this summer. The likes of Belgium, Holland, Italy, France, Portugal and England all have quality players. However, none of them look stronger enough to go all the way and lift the trophy this summer.
I have to say I believe this World Cup finals could be one of the most open in years. Brazil and Argentina are not vintage international sides, but they do have individual players that can win games by themselves.
I do not see why this year the likes of Spain or Germany cannot end that South American hoodoo and win the tournament on South American soil for the first time.
Could a European country end World Cup hoodoo in Brazil?
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