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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 07:30, July 06, 2006
Europeans to match S. Americans in soccer World Cups
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With the exit of Brazil from the 2006 World Cup, the equilibrium between South American and Western Europe has been restored.

Europe is now set for its ninth World Cup victory, matching South America's nine. Since 1962 World Cup victories have alternated between the two continents. This pattern was broken only twice: Italy won two Cups in succession -- 1934 and 1938 -- and so did Brazil -- in 1958 and 1962.

Europe's victories have all taken place on home ground; indeed, in the 10 World Cups held in Europe, Europeans only lost one: the 1958 Sweden Cup, won by Brazil.

South American teams, however, have won at home, but also on neutral ground -- three times in northern America and one in Asia -- and even once in Europe.

Three South American teams share all the World Cup glory: Brazil with five; Argentina with two, and Uruguay with two; but the eight European victories are shared among four teams: Italy with three, Germany with three, England with one and France with one.

While it seems that playing in Europe is essential for a European team's victory, playing in one's home nation does not have the same effect.

Germany's semi-final loss to Italy means it now joins Italy and Brazil, on the list of great footballing nations who have lost at home. Only one-third of World Cup champions lifted the trophy in front of a home crowd.

But though Europe can look forward to celebrating on July 10, it may prove to be the last such for some time. The 2010 tournament is already set for South Africa, and it looks likely to be held in South America in 2014.

It is bad news for Europeans who believe in such trends.

Source: Xinhua


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