This is arguably one of the most exciting and controversial World Cups in decades. We’ve seen some cracking play, incredible shots, a few extremely questionable calls as well as Suarez cement his reputation as FIFA’s least loveable vampire.

Whether you’re a footballer yourself, an armchair manager or just a footie fanatic, you’ve probably daydreamed about what it would be like to actually be playing to in the World Cup Finals. But daydreams aside, what are the chances of it actually happening?  It probably comes as no surprise but given the millions of players around the world aspiring to reach the World Cup every 4 years, to say your chances are slim would be an enormous understatement.  Indeed, many of the best players in the world never accomplish this highest pinnacle during the handful of shots one gets throughout their football career.  Even today, some of FIFA’s biggest stars like Ronaldo and Rooney are running out of time to write themselves into the history books.

An article recently published at Lottoland found that by using data from FIFA’s Big Count, an estimation of all the professional and semi-professional players worldwide today, your chances are about 1 in 11.5 million if you already have a contract.  Of course, that figure is not entirely accurate since your chances of winning the World Cup are also affected by many other factors, not the least of which is what country or countries you are eligible to play for.  Legends like George Best for Northern Ireland, Eric Cantona during a rough period in French football as well as Welshman Ryan Giggs never really had a shot at the World Cup due primarily to their place of birth.  Of course your chances of ever playing on a World Cup winning squad are still miniscule even if you’re Brazilian but they are infinitely higher than if you were born in Djibouti or the Turks and Caicos!  Being female is also a limiting factor, practically speaking, since no female players have every played in the competition (the data was filtered to remove female football players).  Finally, age is another limiting factor, if you’re still playing semi-pro football or the MVP of your after work league at 33 you might want to think about some alternative life goals.

With 1 in 11,500,000 odds you should definitely have a backup career in mind should the “football legend” path not turn out as planned.  However, if you’re an up and coming football prodigy who knows?  With the right mix of talent, hard work and a winning supporting cast maybe you’ll be there one day.  After all, who would have thought Costa Rica would have made it to the Quarterfinals?  Sometimes football fantasies do come true!