I enjoyed your interview with professor Dubois about the World Cup [Q&A, May-June 2010], but he neglected the fact that South America is the other major force in each World Cup and in soccer generally. When Dubois says, “in the final rounds, where the European teams plus Brazil basically play against each other,” he is leaving out Argentina, which has two championships and two second-place finishes, and Uruguay, with two championships and a total of five semifinal appearances.
In 2010, South America got four of its five qualified teams to the quarterfinals, or 80 percent, whereas Europe only qualified three of its thirteen qualified teams (23 percent) to the quarterfinal round. And while Europe was dominant in the finals this time around, South America has historically been successful in the late stages of the World Cup.
Out of all the World Cups played, ten titles have gone to Europe and nine to South America. (And South America only has ten countries in total and usually can only take four or five to the World Cup!) Unfortunately many people who read this article may ignore these facts and will think that Europe is the only powerhouse continent in soccer.
Juan Canal M.B.A. ’09 | Durham