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World Cup: A Numbers Game?

With less than 100 days away (and counting), the excitement of the World Cup is starting to come to fruition.  Questions arise in the minds of the millions of Football fans worldwide who anxiously await for the games to begin. How will Spain’s Tiki Taka style of play (led by Barca midfielders Xavi and Iniesta) fair against organized and athletic sides like Germany and England? Or will the Seleção and young Barcelona star Neymar bring the Cup back to Brazil for the first time since 2002.

It is difficult to say who will end up taking home the grandest prize in World Football, but odds makers have coined the Brazilians as favourites with 3 to 1 odds for winning it all. This would be the first time in nearly 16 years that a host country would be crowned champions of the World Cup. The last to do so was an immensely talented French side in 1998, led by central midfielder, Zinedine Zidane. In addition, Las Vegas has given Argentina and 4 time Ballon D’Or winner Lionel Messi 9/2 odds, making them second favourites at obtaining the Cup.

The odds do not favour The United States though, who have much to prove with odds makers giving them a measly 100/1 chance in winning the World Cup. So what can we as fans take away from all of this? Should we just hand the trophy to Brazil, Spain, or Argentina? No. This is the one event in all of sports where the world holds its breath and consistently witnesses the David’s take down the Goliath’s. We have seen countries like South Korea take down Spain and Italy in the 2002 World Cup. In addition, we saw Australia beat Serbia (who were contenders to win it all), as well as Slovakia take down Italy (who also were favoured to make a strong run in the tournament). So in the end, we truly cannot say which country will end up hoisting the 2014 World Cup, but what we do know, is that come Thursday, June 12, the world will be watching.

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