Five Reasons Why Brazil Won't Win the World Cup and Five Reasons Why England Could

Predictions, right or wrong go hand in hand with the World Cup like some beautifully ironic couple you see walking down the street. At first glance, the awkwardly short man who’s pulled a 5’8 blond model strikes a questionable chord with your intellect.

You immediately resort to predicting and analyzing (if you’re honest with yourself) how you can land said women and how short man has figured out the secret. Your thoughts escape all rationality as you assume he’s either A. loaded and she’s with him for his money, or B. he’s loaded somewhere else. This pairing of short man, tall beautiful woman can’t possibly be in the realm of what humans understand to be factual or legit. Because, in fact (but not really) you are better looking, more funny, more charming and can offer her way more than George Costanza every could. Are our football clubs or nations compared so differently?

You continue to predict, to analyze, to formulate, to hypothesize until the couple wanders past you and out of your eyesight until you’ll ultimately never see them again. This unfortunate mental discourse occurs in our minds and with ourselves in situations ranging from birds to sporting events to why the cute bartender seems to always ignore you when ordering another round. Why? – you ask yourself. Realistically yet not satisfyingly answered: it’s what we do.

In football, everyone’s an expert, everyone’s a pundit. Why do we force ourselves to make such brash predictions and conduct analysis concerning the outcome of matches and tournaments when the eventual result can be a variable so minute and insignificant, it could never be planned, prepared or expected?

As we inch closer and ever closer to June excitement and thoughts of glory, we just can’t help trying to convince ourselves that our country can overcome anyone in their line of sight and why our rivals will ultimately fail. Is it simply our lack of faith in our own that provokes us to tear down those around us? (We’re taller and better looking than the short man) Must we see it in writing to convince ourselves and our fellow like-minded friends that YES! we can do it? We may never really know the intricacies of the mind, but until we land that 5’8 blond model, or until our country wins the World Cup, we’ll have to continue our insignificant little predictions (England, be the George Costanza).

There’s always one favorite when a World Cup approaches that usually begins with the letter B. This country is usually followed by 2 or 3 teams that “could win it”, which is then followed by 3 or 4 that have an “outside chance”. Mostly the phrase “with a little luck” proceeds these countries’ chances for world domination. By the eve of the opening match, all 32 nations seem to have a fortuitous or whimsical shot at glory which clearly means we know not of what we speak and we’re no closer to correctly predicting a winner than we were four years ago.

Brazil of course will exit their group most likely as winners. A fantastic crash and burn of first round elimination most likely won’t be seen in mine or any others lifetime. Yet their ability to conquer the world for a sixth time seems oddly impossible in 2010. Here’s a few reason why:

1. Weather – The much maligned and much talked about South African winter will be in full effect come June and will likely give a slight advantage to the European countries who are used to and comfortable playing in cold conditions. Brazil did in fact win last summer’s Confederations Cup playing under the same conditions, but it was a tournament of less games and lesser competition. Look for the chilly weather to change the style of the Brazilians play and unfortunately force those skimpy-top-wearing female Brazilian fans to cover up a little more.

2. Not Enough Brazilian Outfield Players Playing for Top European Clubs – With the exception of a few, the majority of the recently named Brazil squad aren’t playing club football in the top 15 European clubs. Maicon and Lucio represent Inter Milan, Dani Alves from Barcelona, Kaka with Real Madrid and a few Roma players thrown in are surround by representatives from across Europe and South America such as Cruzerio, Benfica, Panathinaikos, Galatasaray, Flamengo, Santos, Wolfsburg, Fiorentina and Villarreal. All solid clubs domestically, yet not tested on a major European stage. Will the domestic season they’ve just come off of prepare them for battle against the world’s best?

3. Kaká – The once talismanic figure of Brazil and best player on the planet, Kaka has been a quiet shell of his former self since moving from Milan to Madrid scoring only 8 goals and contributing 7 assists in La Liga with los Blancos this season. Has the 28 year old already lost his searing pace that saw him conquer Europe with AC Milan in 2007 and put fear in the hearts of defenders the world over? Brazil will need Kaka at his pacey and creative best if they are to overcome an equally as strong midfield and win the World Cup. I don’t see Kaka having a major impact at this tournament based on his form for club and believe his best days are already behind him. Kaka’s drop in form will be a loss to Brazil who naturally thrive on his quick passing and link up play with strikers from midfield.

4. Dunga Doesn’t Seem Confident – Brazil produce some of the best and most naturally talented footballers on the planet and thus have a huge talent pool to pick from. Dunga left out three of the (arguably) most talented of the lot in Ronaldinho, Alexandre Pato and Adriano. The three players combined have 73 goals scored for Brazil between them. Also, going against the grain, Dunga has already picked his final 23 man squad to go to South Africa with 7 waiting in the wings as last minute replacements as opposed to picking a 30 man squad to start with and trimming it down like other nations. Does his over confidence breed recklessness? Why leave out the brilliant Pato and experience of Adriano and Ronaldinho? Questions that will soon be answered when Brazil take the field in June.

5. Who is the Star on this Brazil Team? – Don’t get me wrong, this is a darn good squad. Brazil will always compete on the international stage, but in my opinion, this Brazilian squad lacks a natural leader who will take the enormous weight of expectations off that of the other players and take the hopes and desires of a nation as his own burden. Brazil’s best player is quite possibly Dani Alves at right back who may not even start as he’s recently been second choice to Maicon. Robinho has been in great form at Santos scoring goals left and right, but we all know his rock star tour of the Brazilian league and his subsequent terrorizing of center backs in Brazil won’t prepare him for the staunch and physical defenses of European countries (see under his high-tailing it out of England for home).

Kaka has been out of form, the midfield is solid yet not striking fear in opponents, central defense will be class and I’m sure Luis Fabiano will score goals. However, there remains a large ? around the ability of this Brazil squad to congeal and put together a World Cup winning run this time around in the cold and competitive South Africa.

5 Reasons Why England Could Win the World Cup

1. Weather – As adversely as the cold conditions in South Africa could hinder teams who thrive in warm weather, it will benefit those who thrive in cold. Look for England, Germany, France and others to have no problem adjusting to the winter as they play the majority of their domestic seasons in harsh winters and will enjoy a tournament without the physically demanding warm temperatures. As silly as it sounds, weather could play an interesting factor as the tournament progresses on.

2. Wayne Rooney and the Emergence of a Natural Leader – As Brazil looks for a natural attacking leader, England have one chomping at the bit and ready to carry the hopes and dreams of an entire nation on his shoulders. Not prone to succumbing to pressure in recent years, Rooney makes players around him better and is sure to be match fit and in top form after the short, but much needed rest he’s been on in recent weeks. Four years better, smarter and more mature than his moment of madness-not 100% match fit appearance at the 2006 Cup, England’s success or failure will ultimately depend on Rooney’s ability to create for those around him and score goals himself. Look for Wayne to have a breakout World Cup performance and take England deep into the tournament.

3. England Players are Peaking or Reaching Match Fitness at the Right Time – Chelsea FC just completed a domestic league and cup double with an English spine of John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole contributing off the bench. All will be involved for the national team with other players from Manchester United (runners up), Tottenham Hotspur (fourth) and Aston Villa (sixth) surrounding the Chelsea players who enter the World Cup with all the confidence in the world. Ledley King and Rio Ferdinand seem to have put the worst of their injury concerns behind them and at the right time for their country.

4. England Players are Tried and Tested Against the World’s Best – The debate may never be settled, but England’s Premier League is widely considered to be the strongest domestic league in the world where the top footballing talent come to work. Take for example this weekend’s FA Cup Final that witnessed a battle of first against twentieth. Relegated Portsmouth gave Chelsea a truly good game where Pompey realistically could have taken the lead or won and remained in the game until the final whistle blew. All of England’s final 23 man squad will apply their trade in the Premier League and most have seen Champions League football in their career. Their experience playing against the best footballers in the world will come in handy when the World Cup starts in June. The England players are physical, strong and know how to see out competitive, close fought matches.

5. The Brilliant Fabio Capello – When it comes to tactics, discipline and instilling confidence in your players, England have an advantage in the talent of an Italian master. Capello has won trophies everywhere he’s been and will not stand for lackluster or sorry performances from his players. He’s eliminated distractions while getting better results from a group of England players who failed to qualify for the last major tournament, Euro 2008. England’s success at the World Cup will be set up by Capello and executed by the players. The formations, tactics and substitutions you see from England this summer won’t be circumstances of coincidence, they’ll be well thought out, calculated movements from a brilliant manager like those on a chess board.

Regardless of what happens, I feel this tournament will be one of the best, most watched and most analyzed tournaments in World Cup history. If anything I say is correct, it will most definitely be my favorite.

41 thoughts on “Five Reasons Why Brazil Won't Win the World Cup and Five Reasons Why England Could”

  1. besides winning a first world cup in sweden, it seems brazil always win it outside of europe. they won it in chile, mexico, usa & korea-japan. those are my four reasons why brazil will win it cause it’s in south africa. oh by the way i don’t like brazil. stars and stripes forever.

  2. England won’t win it cause they are the biggest bottlers in the world. Other than Wayne Rooney, nobody on that team has enough heart to rise against the tough times they will face during the knockout stage.

  3. Are you an England fan or what? If star power is all that matters then Spain have got the World Cup in the bag already. Don’t underestimate Kaka either. He might not be on form but that’s mostly down to his injuries and being played out of positon. The Brazilian team plays for Kaka whereas at Real, Kaka’s just another player. As for stars in the Brazil team, they might not have the individual quality of the English but they play a much better collective game and are probably joint favourites for the World Cup with Spain. Even the Dutch have more indivual quality than the Brazilians as do France but is there any doubt to who’s better? As good as the English players are, they play awful together so I don’t think you should get your hopes up.

  4. Oh Dear, as some who is 5′ 9″ – I don’t get your bizarre “short man” concept. Couldn’t you have used “ugly” or the trusted “old”?

    England may win it, Brazil may not, but not for any of the reasons you mentioned, except for your point on the Managers. The weather shouldn’t be much of a factor, it may be cool, a slight chill even but the European based players are used to playing in real winters. Kaka has had a quiet season with Real but he is capable of switching it on for Brazil. As for the Premier League being the best argument. Best at what? entertainment or skill? Even if that’s the case, it’s nothing compared to playing international football at the highest level.

  5. England are the favorites this go round maybe co-favorites with Spain. Germany, Brazil and Argentina have inexperienced managers and Italy has gotten old. England’s entire team plays in the world’s best league and Rooney is the best forward in the world right now. The competitive level English players face is above everyone else. The group is easy. The USA is a pushover even though Dempsey is a good player. The rest are below average Premier League players or play in worse leagues. Algeria has a strong player in Belhadj and Bougarra of Rangers also, but they do not have forwards or depth. Too many players playing in the slow French league. Then Slovenia has hardly any first division players. They are a pushover. We saw how weak they were at Wembley last year. I think nine points for sure.

    Then we get a weak Germany or Ghana in round two, and perhaps Argentina or Nigeria in the quarters. We should beat all of them. Germany is always rough and physical but they do not have enough players playing at a high level. Only Ballack is in the Premier League and he may be hurt. Argentina is weaker than ever before because of the coaching of Maradona.

    The semifinals is where it will get interesting. We may get beat there by Brazil or Spain but Capello has the record and the knowledge to beat anyone.

    1. You sound like that overconfident England fan that believes that anyone who doesn’t play in the EPL is shit and thinks everything is sorted out on paper. You could probably write for one of the tabloids.

      1. its called the Epl for a reason; English perception league;
        lets see the major faults with england; no GK(this is a biggy)
        terry and ferdinand look bad, rios looking old and terry will spin like a top with simple ball work(see militos goal)
        you have no great wide players(donavan and dempsey are better)
        you have rooney and who playing up top, wayne isnt even 100%
        weak german squad HA what are you drunk; inexperienced coach, he went to the euro finals and lost by a goal
        and if you really think england is better than brazil you need to open your eyes my ignorant xenophobic friend

        1. 1. If you don’t think Lennon, Walcott and Cole are great wide players, you need to wake up. All three have proven themselves on the international stage.

          2. England actually do have a few decent goalkeepers, and anyway, this whole idea that you can’t win the World Cup without a world class keeper is foolish. Both France and Brazil have won World Cups with mediocre goalkeepers.

          3. Nothing remy said was xenophobic, you’re projecting.

    2. We should beat all of them. Germany is always rough and physical but they do not have enough players playing at a high level. Only Ballack is in the Premier League and he may be hurt

      Do you want a list of the German Internationals in the Champions League final? Maybe you could provide us with a list of the England International participating in that same match?

      1. Brett, Walcott has proven himself as a wide player internationally? You need to put down the pipe fella.

        Oh Kartik, welcome back, I see that you are making little sense as usual – Germany has supposedly been in decline since 94′ yet they’ve always managed to finish ahead of England the last WC 6 cups.

  6. I wish you were right remy, but have you ever watched England play in the World Cup?
    They are notoriously slow starters and always struggle against any well organized team in the opening match (Ireland 1990, Sweden 2002) regardless of what the on-paper match up looks like. They seldom score enough goals, which is particularly troubling given the weakness at goalkeeper. I would expect a difficult group C followed by the inevitable courageous defeat on penalties, or after being reduced to 10 men, or both.

  7. Funny. I watched Kaka at last summer’s confed cup. He was the best player in the tournament. Past his prime? Really? Wishful thinking by someone who’s clearly not a big fan of Brazil.

  8. The USA always has good goalies. Donovan and Dempsey are both good players. And they usually play much better than their talent would indicate. Slovenia knocked off Russia. Algeria knocked off Egypt. England should win their group as they are the best of the sides but England has a long history of implosions. Germany or Ghana should await. Ghana is one of the two most dangerous sides in Africa if Essien is healthy. Germany plays at a much higher level in World Cups, here is their record in the WC since they got readmitted to FIFA:

    1954 Champions
    1958 Fourth place
    1962 Quarter-finals
    1966 Runners-up
    1970 Third place
    1974 Champions
    1978 Second Round
    1982 Runners-up
    1986 Runners-up
    1990 Champions
    1994 Quarter-finals
    1998 Quarter-finals
    2002 Runners-up
    2006 Third place

    A dangerous Netherlands, Brazil, & Spain should still be lurking as well.
    Italy, S Korea, Cote D’Ivoire, Portugal, France, Serbia, Paraguay, and Argentina, and Ghana all have the quality to beat any side on a good day. Greece won the Euros six scant years ago. Uruguay and Mexico are under rated. England could make it the final, they could win it but you make it out to be much too easy.

  9. England’s Premier League is widely considered to be the strongest domestic league in the world where the top footballing talent come to work.

    By this standard, the US has a better chance of winning it all than Brazil does. Four likely starters and a backup keeper were regular or rotation players in the Premier League this season: Howard, Spector, Dempsey, Altidore, Hahnemann. There’s also Onyewu, DeMerit, Beasley, Holden, Donovan and the other backup keeper Guzan who have some EPL experience, however minimal.

    Is that what you’re saying?

    1. The obvious difference being that the England players are some of the very best players in the EPL, whereas the American players you mentioned, not so much.

  10. It’s always hard to make a good prediction when it comes to the world cup its a very difficult competition and performing at the top caliber in the world cup is something very few players in the history of the sport can attest to.

    I know my fellow England fans won’t like hearing this but the truth of the matter is the England players are generally quite awful, they play like they don’t give a toss. If you look at our past England performances how many players have broken their back to get that last goal or how many England players have ran till their knees fall off and put every ounce into a game?

    Simply put the team acts like they couldn’t care less. Everytime they go up against a team that can push them they wilt. Theres no spirit, heart or creativity in most England performances. If it goes like it usually does this will what will happen.

    1: England play really well in the first few stages as they have easier games. They trash their opponents and and then hope rises.

    2: They get further into the competition high on hope and then they go up against a team that just has more heart and creativity. There is nobody egging them on, nobody commanding the line and shouting at them telling them to get their gear in ass. There is no stand out target man that can score as long as he a ball at his feet.

    The reason I have hope this year:

    1: Wayne Rooney. Give him gim balls or set up him going forward and hes almost guarunteed to score. World Class goalies will make his job more difficult but you give that man enough opportunities and he will reward you with goals. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HIM. A team is a lot bigger than one player but if they use him in the correct way he will probably score more than anbody else in the WC. My only concern with Rooney is injuries. Rooney has done a lot more active playing this season and hes been off form for half of it, hopefully the same won’t happen to him in the WC but we will have to see.

    2: Rio Ferdinand as captain. Rio Ferdinand has whipped United into form for the last three years as Captain. He is quite an aggressive player and when things aren’t going right hes quick to put you in your place by approaching you and letting his displeasure by known. If he has that same sort of “ringship” people will fall in line when he gives them a piece of his mind. Even Rooney and Ronaldo had fallouts with Ferdinand the last few years. He used to approach them and shout them down very publicly on the pitch and they would hang their heads and listen to everything he said. He really is a good leader which is what England don’t have.

  11. Brazil had a lot of off-the-field issues in the last World Cup which cost them. They do not have those this time around and face facts…they have the most talent and plenty of experience

    England has no goal-keeper and still is a good team but not great. Throw in injuries and it really is not that realistic to expect them to even make the Semi’s

  12. About the weather. It will not be a problem for day matches, 7:30 am here(1:30 pm in S.A.) or the 10am (4pm in S.A.) as day temperatures should be in the 50’s or sometimes in the low 60’s in most wc cities except Durban where it will be in the 70’s or low 80’s. The 2:30 pm matches (8:30pm in S.A.) are the ones where the temperature in most cities will be in the high 40’s except Durban where it will be in the 60’s. Players based in Europe should have little problem with the temperature and that includes a sizeable number in the Brazilian squad. The bigger problem for some players will be adjusting to the higher altitudes in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Rustenburg and Polokwane. Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban are at sea level.

    1. I wouldn’t put much faith in a Brazilian’s club form. In his class yes, but not form. Brazil has the best medical and technical staff in the world for football. They are decades ahead of countries like England regarding the rejuvenation of their footballers.

  13. So the first reason is the weather??? Give me a break!
    Did you know how many of the 23 Brazilian players come from European clubs? Only 20! So you’re saying that that’s the first reason why they won’t be able to deal with the cold from South Africa??? I am sorry but I had to stop reading your article right there.

  14. Not to long ago England failed to qualify for Austria Switzerland Eurocup. Now let’s look at the difference shall we? Brazil won the last Copa America Final with their team C versus a star packed Lionel Messi Argentina with all the top starters and they recently won the Fifa Confederations championship in “South Africa” Your analysis is flawed. Brazil can win it all. England historically just doesn’t do well in World Cup competitions or Euros. We shall see.

  15. Who the hell are you? Brazil has more stars than any other nation in this world and will continue to do so for the rest of all of our lives. All your reasons are purely idiotic and I can’t believe people actually read posts that you have written.

    Enjoy your day. Enjoy watching Brazil win the World Cup.

  16. I agree with the weather counter argument from Rod T, most South American players have acclamatised to the European/SA winter conditions as they are based in Europe. The emphasis for this Brazillian team is team play, tactical awareness and discipline, so once again the emphasis on Kaka by the writer is irrelevant. If you win as many titles and friendly matches (against England, Italy*2,Argenitna to name a few) as Brazil have since Dunga took over and you are not confident as per the articles insinuation then perhaps you must go and coach on another planet. Dunga has laid a solid successful platform and he has demonstrated his ‘confidence’ in it by not allowing anybody to undermine it including Ronaldinho.

    As for England their coach is not experienced at international level. The players do not have that individual brilliance that is normally reserved for WC champions e.g Cannavaro in 2006, Brazil Ronaldo in 2002, Zidane in 1998, Lothar Matthaeus in 1990 and of course Maradona in 1986. Wayne Rooney has the potential and if England players can exploit that and support him in both creating for him and shouldering the scoring burden then England have a 50% chance. I say 50% because a proper analysis will also include the other compettors. Portugal, Argentina, Spain, Holland and Brazil all have the individual and collective brilliance to beat England in a single KO match can the same be said of England who have fallen against 3 from the above list in the last three WC’s?. If one were to factor this in then England’s chances would surely drop to about 40%.

    To win the World Cup a team needs to peak individually and collectively. Key defensive and offensive decisions have to be made by players throughout all the KO games (cause let’s face it this is when the WC really begins). This requires skill and discipline as well as confidence and a strong mentality. A team also needs an individual attacking player who peaks to his best e.g. look at Croatia in 98 with Davor Suker and Bulgaria in 1994 with Stoichov, they went very far because of the brilliance of these players and the confidence they were able to exert ofer the rest of their teamates (Granted these teams did not win but this has to be read with my list of winners above).

    My personal choice of a winner would be Argentina they have the players in defence e.g. Walter Samuel, Gabrial Heinze, midfield – Javier Mascherano, and in attack Messi, Higuain etc. The only thing is that as much as he was a brilliant player Maradona is just simply not meant to be a coach. Any coach would never have left out Javier Zanneti, Esteban Cambiasso, Gabrial Milito and Diego Milito (lets face it Maradona prefers Martin Palermo to Diego Milito).

  17. WHY BRAZIL……….

    I think brazil and spain will play the final and brazil will win the cup ………the reason is that almost all of the brazil players are hard working and the goal scorer fabiano is in good form . Brazil is the team for good attacking players


    The whole of england players are not playing well .They are an average playing capacity . only waine rooney is in a good form . you may search the
    history u know that england is not win any cup recently.All of the players are play the previous world cup…

    SO THINK…………………

  18. I vehemently disagree with PRITHVI and here is why: Messi is the top goalscorer in Spain with 34 goals, Europe and Champions League with 8 goals, Higuain is the second top scorer in Spain with 27 goals, Milito second top scorer in Italy with 22 goals, Tevez is the fourth top goalscorer in England with 22 goals, and I did not bother to look up the goals for Robinho, Kaka and Luis Fabiano because Kaka does not score that many goals, Robinho is scoring in the Brazillian league which is inferioir to the leagues in Europe and Luis Fabiano has not been so prolific for Sevilla and spent a large part of the season out with injury. SO THINK about the stats.

  19. OK , i’m brazilian .We now this team is not so good as the 2002 one .No ronaldinho gaúcho :( Dunga is crazy…

    Brazil did well today .Not as he used to play but we won.
    Now England ….. AWFUL games.
    Rooney and nothing are very close .He didnt play well until now.
    I dont agree with your predictions

    Gogogo Brazil

  20. Now it’s all over for England,They are out of WC …now wt will u say idiot ??????hahaha…..just wait n see brazil gonna win WC for sixth time

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