Once every four years, the entire globe is treated to the incredible football World Cup. This year it kicks off on the 12th of June. The 2014 World Cup is almost here and we can’t wait to watch the competition unfold over the coming weeks. With so many countries involved it’s little wonder why this is one of the world’s most-watched sporting events.
The top pick to take home the trophy this year is Brazil. The five time winning team is faced with their best opportunity to win it all again for a number of different reasons. First off, Brazil has been playing very strongly for the past few years, and there’s no sign that they’ll be slowing down anytime soon. Brazil has one of the most experienced teams in the game and proven themselves as the team to watch by winning last year’s Confederations Cup (which saw Brazil defeat Spain, the most recent World Cup champions). Lastly, Brazil has a home-field advantage as the hosts of this year’s event. Those are just some of the reasons why practically all the leading bookmakers peg the South-American squad as the 3/1 odds-on-favorite.
Argentina, Germany, and Spain round off the list of favorites of this year’s World Cup. Argentina is second to Brazil when it comes to odds, as the team is listed at 5/1. Many believe that the final will be a matchup between Argentina and Brazil since the former is on the opposite side of the draw to the favorites Brazil. Germany is listed at 6/1, while the defending World Cup champ, Spain, is at 7/1. It must be noted that European squads are usually not favored when playing in South-American countries because as history dictates, no team outside of the American continent has ever won the prestigious tournament when it has been held in South, North, or Central America. Travel woes are said to be behind this statistic and historically have affected teams travelling a significant distance for matches, to this part of the world.
Another hot topic leading up to the World Cup is who will be the highest scorer throughout the tournament. There are three keys players which stand out when considering this question — Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Cristiano Ronaldo. Lionel Messi is the bookmakers’ odds-on-favorite because, as is widely known, he is regarded by many to be the sport’s finest player. Being the top scorer in the qualifying rounds only reinforces both the fans and bookmakers faith in his ability. Neymar is almost as strong a candidate for the scoring title as Messi thanks to his impressive strike percentage. Bookmakers peg the Brazilian at 14/1. And then of course, there’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Bookmakers have him at 20/1, but you can never count out CR7 as he is still widely regarded by many as one of football’s elite; and a better player than Messi by some big names in the sport.
We’re all working off odds and predictions here; but what we can be sure of is that the World Cup is now ever so close and none of us fans will be able to take our eyes off the action over the coming month. It’s been four years in the making and the opening kick-off at the 2014 Brazilian World Cup can’t come soon enough.