Odds of European victory in the finals – FIFA WC 2014

The FIFA World Cup history clearly tells us that none of the European countries in their past seven attempts, has yet won a World Cup final game at the Americas. However, this record faces a serious threat of being broken during this year’s tournament at Brazil.

While games played in foreign grounds have long been a matter of struggle, the fast pacing globalization and technology advancement in the recent times in area of sports have not left any specific advantage to the teams playing on their home grounds, lately. Looking at the recent past, in the 2010 World Cup, 3 out of 4 of the semi-finalists were European teams and European teams have won 6 out of the last 7 Club World Cups.

It’s been lately observed that the South American players have migrated to Europe in large numbers, which simply means they might as well not feel significantly more at home while playing in Brazil than their European competitors. As far as the weather conditions are concerned, the Europeans are given warm-weather training to help them adapt to Brazil’s weather. While humidity can be somewhat of an issue in a couple of host cities, the temperatures can be mostly similar to a warm European summer.

Moreover, the European teams have been close to witness success in previous World Cups held in the Americas. For example Czechoslovakia was pretty close to winning the hosts Brazil in the final game of 1962 final, only to later face a 3-1 defeat. Argentina had a tough time defeating West Germany in the 1986 final held at Mexico. Netherlands also came to bagging the championship for 1978 against hosts Argentina in Buenos Aires.

With all these considerations the European teams stand at par with the South American teams for the odds of winning the title and breaking the record of “not yet winning the finals on the grounds at the Americas”.

Flashback into the 21st century FIFA World Cups

Let’s go into the flashback and dart a glance at all the 21st century World Cup events, organized by FIFA so far!

Final: June 30 2002: International Stadium, Yokohama

Full of surprises and uncertainties, this World Cup turned out to be one, with a difference – whether it was about Senegal beating France, France and Argentina departing early or the two co-hosts S. Korea and Japan reaching semis and the second round. In the finals, the hot favourites, Brazil and the hard to beat Germany played a close match with Ronaldo scoring two winning goals.

Final: July 9 2006: Olympic Stadium, Berlin
ITALY 1 FRANCE 1 (Italy won 5-3 on penalties)

This World Cup was marked with Ronaldo’s remarkable all-time scoring record of 15 goals that had beaten Gerd Mueller’s record of 14 goals, created in 1974. The final game was played between Zinedine Zidane’s France and the striking Italians, wherein Italy won the shootout 5-3 to claim their fourth World Cup.

Final: July 11 2010: Soccer City, Johannesburg

This World Cup was marked with a disappointing final game with the referee, Howard Webb handing out in all 14 yellow cards! Nevertheless, Spain recorded their fourth successive win (1-0) in a series of beating Portugal, Paraguay and Germany by the same score on their way to the final. Spain had now become the eighth different country to be crowned the world champions

Final: July 13 2014, Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro

Brazil will be hosting this World (for the first time since 1950). They are also the favorites to bag the crown a sixth time. The hopes are high, specially because they played excellent game and had beaten Spain (3-0) in the final game of last year’s Confederations Cup. The game held at Rio has brought in a great degree of optimism for crowning the championship to Brazil again.

Brazil will Observe National Holiday Whenever the National Team is On the Field

The 2014 FIFA World Cup which would be held at Brazil has already garnered a lot of attention as being the most extravagant and challenging tournament in the history of football. In a country where football is considered a religion, the government has declared that all public offices and the employees would be give a day off whenever the Brazilian team is slotted for playing. This is the first time ever that a government is willing to close offices for the sake of allowing ardent fans in the public offices to go and support the team. Such efforts by the Brazilian government have made it clear that the upcoming FIFA 14 tournament is going to be the Numero Uno priority for the host nation. So all international businesses who are currently engaged in business transactions with the country should consider taking this month off as the nation will be bustling with locals as well as international fans of the most beloved game in the region. Another important fact behind such preparations could be rooted in a sense of revenge as Brazil lost out to Uruguay in the finals of the 1950 world cup tournament. Apparently, this world cup event was also hosted by Brazil and the defeat went on to become the biggest upsets in the history of the game. It is pretty evident that the host nation wants to bring the gold home this time and the government is leaving no stone unturned to show their support for their team.

Is it Possible That the Matches in Brazil Could Be Fixed During FIFA ’14?

The recent claims of a possible match fixing which surfaced for the Nigeria vs. Scotland match have shocked the football fraternity as investigators are actively searching for traces that could confirm this claim. With the FIFA 2014 World Cup drawing so near, the organization is contemplating on the possibility of match fixing in the games which would be held at Brazil this year. The world cup has remained free of any proven accusations and holds the highest integrity with respect to the fairness of the matches. It is evident that the federation will not take any chances with respect to match fixing as it would not only affect the game’s reputation in the world cup events but it would also tarnish the clean image of FIFA.

In light of these claims, Ralf Mutschke, Fifa’s head of security, has refused to give the tournament a clean bill and he has also stated that he is aware of the matches that have the highest risk of being subjected to match fixing. He believes in the following “facts” which are probably assumptions.

The fixers have identified certain players and teams who are vulnerable enough to fall into their trap.
Fixers could be a threat even for warm up games.
The last round of group matches, involving teams with nothing to play for, are most in danger.
The players and referees have already been approached by the fixers.
The most preferred fix would be the number of goals scored in a match.
The fixers could attract players and referees to influence the Asian handicap and the over-under goals market (99% of Asian wagers are expected to be directed to this market).

The confirmation of these points cannot be done as of yet but the Chief of Security seems to believe in these claims. Until some official confirmation is received, these claims will be subjected to the whims of various conspiracy theorists and critics.

The journey of Brazuca in FIFA World Cup 2014

Brazuca is not just the official ball of FIFA world cup 2014, but it is the most iconic symbol of the World Cup. It is the 12th World Cup football created by sportswear giant, Adidas. The first ever of its kind and aptly named, Brazuca is equipped with six HD cameras to enable a 360 degree view of the action happening. The ball has shades of orange, blue and green to capture the spirit of Brazil and its passion of football, the stars on it essentially depict the Brazilian flair for the game.

The latest technology incorporates a new structural innovation. Brazuca holds a unique symmetry of six identical panels along a different surface structure to enable an improved grip, stability, touch, and aerodynamics on the ground. It also features the cutting edge innovation of custom-made image stabilisation software to .

In the run up to the Championship, Brazuca has been on a world tour capturing weekly series of films from a ‘ball’s eye view’ in the online documentary style. The ball travelled to countries around the world, including Spain, Germany and England. There, it joined the national football teams during their exercises and captured video footage while being kicked around by football stars such as Xavi Hernandez, Dani Alves, Cristian Tello, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm and David Villa. It was started late last year with an interactive movie – I am Brazuca. Now, the ball even has its own Twitter account @Brazuca.