After the 2013 UEFA Champions League semifinals, Germany has become the obvious choice to win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Typically, in world Soccer circles, the European countries get more respect and favoritism among critics than the South American countries. There are economical implications involved in this supposition, but the main reason for the European bias is because there are more talented club teams and leagues there than in South America.
It is a debate that has been around for quite some time and will continue for a long time.
In fact, the World Cup has only been won by European or South American countries. Out of 19 total World Cups, European countries have won 10 and South American countries have won nine. As for the runners-up, European countries also have the edge, 15-4.
In the latest FIFA world rankings from April 2013, there are seven European countries in the top 10, and 13 in the top 20. South America has three in the top 10 and five of the top 20. Only Mexico and the Ivory Coast are in the top 20 from outside of South America or Europe. The next rankings are due to be released on May 9th.
In Europe, Germany is a dominant country now in Soccer. The country’s two best clubs, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, will play for the Champions League title after dispatching the two best clubs from Spain, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Germany’s power grab over Spain in this year’s Champions League is significant because it marks a changing of the guard in club soccer.
Spain not only won the last World Cup in 2010, but surrounded the title with European championships in 2008 and 2012. In the last two European championships, Germany was a finalist and semi-finalist.
Germany has been building momentum for some time in the soccer world. Bayern Munich was a finalist in last year’s Champions League and in 2010.
The players getting paid the most by these Champions League teams, such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Franck Ribery or Arjen Robben may not be from the home country of their respective club teams, but many of the players are.
In World Cup qualifying, Germany leads its group by a bigger margin than any other European team.
In Europe, Germany appears to be the leader of the pack. The club teams and national team are trending up with the World Cup right around the corner.
Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com