Is the World Cup getting boring?

June 29, 2010

Yesterday someone asked me who was winning the World Cup. Obviously this required a lengthy answer to explain that no one was really "Ëœwinning' at the moment, but that there were soon to be only 8 teams left. The conversation the developed as follows: "Who was in the last final?" "Italy and France" "And the one before that?" "Germany and Brazil" "And before that?" "France and Brazil" "And before that?" "Brazil and Italy, then before that West Germany and Argentina, and before that West Germany and Argentina, and before that Italy and West Germany..." "So who'll be in it this year?" "Argentina and Brazil" "Isn't it getting a bit boring? It's always the same teams." I soon realized that you had to go back to 1978 to find a finalist that wasn't Brazil, Argentina, France, Italy or (West) Germany. That was the Dutch (also in 1974) and prior to that, England in 1966. Of the 18 World Cups, the finalists have been: Brazil and (West) Germany -- 7 finals each Italy -- 6 finals Argentina -- 4 finals Uruguay, the Netherlands, France, Czechoslovakia, Hungary -- 2 finals each England, Sweden -- 1 final Looking back at this, the English and Swedish finalists were due to playing at home, and the team with 2 finals each reflect "Ëœgolden eras' between 1930-1962 or, for the Dutch, the "ËœTotal Football' team of Cruyff, Krol and Neeskens, and for France, the Zidane era. So maybe the World Cup is boring? I always want to see a new winner, so I'm now supporting everyone except Argentina, Germany and Brazil (Uruguay get a pass because they've not been this far in the tournament for 40 years, and haven't been in a final for 50). Unless the Netherlands, Spain or Portugal can do anything about it, I still see the final as Brazil versus Argentina (which would be a great match, I admit!)
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