As I do every four years, here is the results by conference of the World Cup. South America brought five teams this year and all of them qualified to the last sixteen for an astonishing efficiency of 100%. Africa brought 6 teams for a World Cup in its soil, but only one qualified to the last sixteen for an efficiency of 16.67%. Asia brought five teams and only 2 passed to the next round and only 2 qualified, for an efficiency of 40%. North America brought three teams and two qualified, for an efficiency of 66.67%. Oceania brought only one team (Australia moved to Asia for some reason) and it didn't pass, efficiency of 0% for them. Finally, Europe had thirteen teams and six passed to the last sixteen, for an efficiency of 46%. So, South America with its perfect record is on top, followed by North America and Asia. Europe did poorly. I argued before that this means the way teams are going to the World Cup is unfair, as continent like Africa are over represented and Europe, with a similar record to South America, has way too many teams. Now, I am not so sure. Let me explain. I think I was looking at this backward. The reason South America does well, is because qualifying to the World Cup is so hard. Not only Argentina and Brazil have to pay a lot of attention to keep qualifying, let's faces teams like Italy, France, England, and even Germany, would not have qualified in their present form in South America, but the other teams that qualify have to be very good. Just look at what they leave behind, teams like Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, countries with a tradition of football as high as any european country. They are left out in a cruel battle where only the best survive. While in Europe, who can say if the Czech Republic isn't better than France and Italy? They had a tough qualifying and were eliminated by Slovakia, not coincidentally one of the European teams that got through. Europe is not sending their best teams, their qualifying is too easy for the majority of the big teams, and it shows, they get to the World Cup diminished and fail to pass for the second round, not only small teams, but giants like France and my loved Italy. They have to reform their qualifying if they want to improve. Africa was improving until it became easier to qualify. There is no way to make South America qualifying easy, and I don't want FIFA to mess with it. Leave us with the toughest qualifying, that produces the best teams, the best conference, and the best overall result in the world. It is our sport. You want to see the best, come here. Comebol (the South American Conference) should exploit this commercially, selling the games the world over, insisting in the amazing performance, not only of our champions, but of the lesser teams that have performed so well.
June 16, 2010, 2:44 pm
The first games of the World Cup 2010 have all been completed and I have written squat about it. It is not for lack of interest, I have watched a lot of games. The defeat of Spain today was a tragedy, but being the favorite seems to be bad luck in the World Cup. Again we have a World Cup in a continent without Championships. I guess Brazil should win, but Germany looks strong. Not much hope for Italy to repeat. The team seems to lack players, but hopefully it will advance to the second round, it belongs to an easy group, and then the story may change. I would love Maradona's Argentina to win, but my guess is that the corrupt bosses at FIFA would hate that and will block it if necessary. I know what you think about Maradona, but I would rather have a flawed hero rather than a false one. Maradona is the best football player I've seen, not only for what he does in court, but how he inspires teams. He got Napoly out of a rot to win everything there is, went to win a World Cup with a great Argentinian side, and was blocked from winning a second one in Italy 90 by FIFA (What penalty? He touched the ball, with a much diminished team. Then, in the biggest scandal of all, was blocked again in the US, when FIFA realized that he could still inspire a team. He is inspiring them now, so watch out. I don't know how much I will write, but I promise I will redo the stats of what percentage of teams from each conference passes through to the round of 16. What do you think of the Vuvuzelas.
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