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Jim Brown
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Postby Jim Brown » Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:57 pm

Looking further into the past World Cups, it's clear that while some European teams might struggle outside of Europe, and that clearly the European teams perform collectively better when it's held in Europe (see above), the European contingent has a very definite strength in depth no matter where it is played.

Of the continents reaching the sem-finals in World Cups, here how it turned out numerically:

2010 (Africa)
3 from Europe
1 from Americas

2006 (Europe)
4 from Europe

2002 (Asia)
2 from Europe
1 from Asia
1 from Americas

1998 (Europe)
3 from Europe
1 from Americas

1994 (Americas [USA])
3 from Europe
1 from Americas

1990 (Europe)
4 from Europe

1986 (Americas [Mexico])
3 from Europe
1 from Americas

1982 (Europe)
4 from Europe

1978 (Americas [Argentina])
No actual semi-finals, of the eight teams who made the second group stage:
5 from Europe
3 from Americas

So on only one occasion where there's been a semi-final stage, has the European contingent failed to have at least three of the four semi-finalists.

Clearly the Europeans are highly competitive anywhere, and very dominant in Europe (11 of the 12 semi-finalists the last three times it has been held in Europe) but of course when it comes to actually winning the World Cup, it is still only Brazil (except for Spain winning in Africa - still not at the stage where they are competing to win the World Cup), who have actually won a World Cup outside of their home continent.
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Postby whatarethechances » Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:49 pm

Nice stats ebookconverter.

I have to say I was starting to waver a bit on the Home Continent Advantage issue in the light of how the Group Stage has panned out this time. I was particularly interested in the way that HCA seems to have kicked in for the CONCACAF nations as well - despite the fact they are only playing near their home continent rather than on it - with only Honduras going home early and USA and, especially Costa Rica seeming to have benefitted.

Looking at the Last16 stage stats this time and comparing them to 2010 I can't help wondering if it is simply that the American teams generally are just getting better in relation to the European sides, regardless of where the matches are played?

Also. special mention is due to Algeria and Nigeria. This is first time that two African Nations have ever progressed beyond the Group Stage - something that should surely have been achieved on Home Continent four years ago? Can one of them make more history by becoming the first African team to reach the semi-finals?

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Postby Jim Brown » Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:22 pm

The African nations must have been disappointed in 2010, but all in all Africa as a nation hasn't really progressed as much as had been widely expected since before the turn of the millenium. Back then forecasts were being made that an African team would soon be in the final. It hasn't ever really looked likely - Ghana going out by penalties to Uruguay in South Africa four years ago is the best perfomance by an African nation.

Looking at the draw for the last 16

Brazil V Chile
Colombia V Uruguay
Netherlands V Mexico
Costa Rica V Greece

France V Nigeria
Germany V Algeria
Argentina V Switzerland
Belgium V United States

The top half of the draw looks to heavily favour teams for the Americas, and I suspect that the Dutch will have a big fight on their hands against a very confident Mexico. Greece could well come a cropper too. They only scored two goals in three group matches and Costa Rica defended remarkably well allowing only one goal in a group that contained Italy England and Uruguay.

The bottom half looks to give Germany and France decent chance to progress. Switzerland will surely not get past Argentina and the well-hyped Belgium, who looked to be the part in three good group wins have a tricky match against the USA who are playing well under Klinsmann and should not be underestimated.
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Postby davidg3907 » Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:16 am

One aspect that to my knowledge hasn't been mentioned but must have some bearing on the situation is SEEDING.

Not only does the host nation reach the finals without the need to qualify, they become one of the top seeds.

Of course this has no impact when the tournament is held in one of the top eight countries as they would be one of the top sees anyway.

However, in 2010 South Africa whose record in World Cups is hardly out of the top drawer would have been seeded in pot 1 pushing the 8th seeds into pot 2 with a similar knock on down the line.

This gives the host nations a better chance of reaching the knock out stages than would otherwise be the case.

For 2018 Russia will be deemed one of the top seeds despite their current ranking being dreadful before THIS World Cup and worse as a result of their efforts in it.

That inevitably makes that group already look very weak which in turn makes it easier for the host nation to qualify for the knock outs.

South Korea and Japan being top seeds meant only 6 of the 8 rightful top seeds went into pot 1. Should Qatar retain the vote for 2022 we will have the lowest ever ranked team in pot 1 when the group draw is made.

Exactly what overall effect this has is difficult to quantify - but it must certainly have one.
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Postby nors » Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:49 pm

Do we have stats where no team from their home continent (Europe or The Americas) made the Final?

I would have thought that this has never happened?

Which means that Argentina will win tonight?

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Postby davidg3907 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:14 pm

Strangely enough Nors in 2010 Spain beat Netherlands in the final.

A quick dose of revenge there ! :lol:

This was the first final anywhere outside Europe to be played between 2 European teams.

The first final was held in South America and is the only final not to involve a European side - although 1950 was settled by a final group stage involving European sides but was ultimately decided by Uruguay beating Brazil in the last match of the group.
Last edited by davidg3907 on Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby davidg3907 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:26 pm

Searching further back the 2002 joint venture between Japan and South Korea saw Brazil beat Germany.

A South American team has played a European side in all other finals played outside those two continents.
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Postby nors » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:36 pm

I meant a European team in a European World Cup and an American team in an American World Cup , i wondered whether that had happened and the significance for Argentina tonight? But it seems not.

Revenge for what?

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Postby davidg3907 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:01 pm

Netherlands got revenge for 2010 by beating Spain early in this years finals.

Germany haven't faced Brazil too often in World Cup Final stages.

Seeding has probably helped to ensure meetings are rare.

West Germany lost to Brazil in the Korea / Japan final and in 1974 German DR lost to Brazil earlier.

So this is only the third time.
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Postby davidg3907 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:10 pm

Having predicted pre-tournament that Germany would beat Brazil in the semi final and Argentina ( or whichever top European side beat them along the way ) in the final, I am hoping for an Argentina win tonight.

Germany v Argentina at 12/1 seemed very high at the time and in view of subsequent events looks even better value now.

My win market has been all green since Costa Rica missed their second penalty too so a fairly relaxing match is in store today.

90 minutes, extra time, penalties and a day less rest ( assuming the Germans can remember being in a match last night ) would suit me fine.
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