No European side has won the soccer world championships in South America and since England won the tournament in 1966 two other host nations have lifted the trophy after the festival of soccer. The football World Cup is the most watched sports event around the globe and bookmakers in Europe and Asia will offer a full range of markets both pre-game and in-play.
The football tournament played every four years will be the biggest sports event ever in terms of worldwide gambling. In most countries all the 64 matches will be shown live on terrestrial television. The kick-off times are punter friendly in Europe and all the major betting countries will be taking part.
Brazil have won the World Cup five times and the country is the spiritual home of the game. England may be the country of association football’s birth but Brazil play the game better than anyone else. The passion and love for the sport will put huge pressure on the national team and nothing but becoming world champions again will be seen as success.
Brazil have a functional rather than outstanding team. Most of their players are now playing in the main European leagues, including Neymar the great young hope of Brazilian soccer. He made a big money move from Santos to Barcelona last summer but after a great start to his career at Camp Nou his form has dipped.
At the time of writing Neymar has scored 30 goals in 47 appearances for the national team. He was brilliant in the Confederations Cup in Brazil last summer and also played well in the Olympics in 2012. He needs to recapture his best form with Barcelona to give himself and the host country the best chance of winning the World Cup.
From a betting perspective Argentina make more appeal. The climate in Brazil will not be an issue and they look good enough to win the competition from the continent of South America. In Lionel Messi they have the second best player in the world, after Cristiano Ronaldo, and Sergio Aguero is not far behind in terms of ability.
Argentina traditionally have s solid midfield and defence and given a superstar up front have done well in previous World Cups. They won the tournament in their own country in 1978 and Diego Maradona inspired them to other world championships eight years later.
The 1986 World Cup in Mexico will always remembered for Maradona’a ability. In the quarter finals against England the Hand of God allowed Maradona to score the first goal but what followed was the best goal ever scored in the history of the game. Maradona was at his peak in 1986 and no other player has ever had such a significant impact on the outcome of the World Cup.
Germany look the most likely side from Europe to win the World Cup this summer. The nucleus of their squad comes from Bayern Munich, the best club side in Europe and possibly the world. Munich won the Champions League last season and are now well placed to become the first side to win that competition in two successive years.
Italy are always competitive in the world championships and often produce players that emerge on the world stage when it matters most. Holland are not the side of old that played in the final in 2010 and the hype over Belgium is now reflected in the price. England need a good start against Italy and could do better than their odds suggest. France have a world class player in Frank Ribery but perhaps not enough quality elsewhere to be genuine contenders.
Spain have won the last two European Championships and global soccer tournament and no nation has won four major international tournaments in a row. They won the World Cup four years ago after winning all four elimination matches 1-0. The side is similar to the class of 2010 but then four years older and perhaps now in decline.
The Spanish national side is made up mainly of players from Barcelona and Real Madrid. The coach has managed to blend players from these two great rivals into a trophy wining squad. However, Barcelona are now in decline and the 2014 event could be one tournament too far so Argentina and Germany have the best prospects in Brazil this summer.