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Can South America's finest wrestle the World Cup from Europe?

Tuesday 12th June 2018

There is not much longer to wait now. The Fifa World Cup is almost here. In two days' time, hosts Russia will kick-off proceedings against Saudi Arabia. 

Although the World Cup is a 32-nation global event, the Europeans have dominated in recent years. On the last three occasions, the trophy has been passed from Italy to Spain before finding its way to Germany.  

In 2014, Die Mannschaft showed their superiority in the semi-final, dismantling Brazil 7-1. Selacao were caught off guard on home soil, leading to utter humiliation. 

The last time the World Cup failed to land in Europe was 2002. Brazil triumphed over the Germans in Yokohama, Japan. 

In Russia, European teams are among the strong favourites. Expect Germany to mount a solid title defence. Joachim Low's men have what it takes to win consecutive World Cups. France, Spain, Belgium and England are also all in with a chance.   

Europe shows no sign of releasing its grip on the trophy. Only an ambitious team with huge spirit can challenge the status quo. Africa isn't in the race. No African side has ever reached the semi-finals. Asia and North, Central America, meanwhile, both have decent World Cup experience. Neither's representatives pose a serious threat this summer, however.

That leaves South America to face the difficult task alone. Of the five teams, Brazil and Argentina are the two most formidable.

Selecao bounced back stronger after their disastrous 2014 tournament. As the most successful side in World Cup history, they have sights set on lifting the trophy for the sixth time. Their record, though, is under severe threat. Germany hold just one fewer title.   

Moreover, Brazil haven't made a big impact on the World Cup since triumphing in 2002. Is the time right to end their 16-year hiatus? 

Selecao no longer rely too heavily on Neymar. Top talent such as Marcelo, Willian, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Gabriel Jesus have all performed superbly in recent times. Tite's team are well-drilled, too. They can definitely go all the way in Russia.  

Similar to how Neymar will lead Brazil's charge, Lionel Messi carries Argentinian hopes. Chile, Italy and the Netherlands all missed out on World Cup qualification. If not for the Barcelona attacker's hat-trick against Ecuador, La Albiceleste could have been another big-name absentee.    

Messi must now finish what he started. The 30-year-old has never won a major international trophy. Performing at his full potential will mean that jinx can be broken this summer. 

Besides Messi, Argentina possess immense talent in Paulo Dybala, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria, and Gonzalo Higuain. If they all bring their club form, La Albiceleste will prove a real handful for any opponent. 

Each of the four attackers, however, often fail to shine on the international stage. Argentina's reliance on Messi goes too far. Without him, they are nothing more than an average outfit. Jorge Sampaoli was hired to find a solution. There has been no improvement up to now.   

To some, Messi is a God. If so, even Gods need angels. Dybala, Aguero and Higuain must all step up to the role. Offering the Barca maestro adequate support will ensure Argentina make a deep run in Russia.  

A South American team hasn't lifted the World Cup on European soil since 1958. With Germany currently in possession, the time has come for Europe's dominance to end. 

Although a tough challenge, it's one both Brazil and Argentina are ready to accept. Each possesses the necessary quality to wrestle the World Cup from its European stranglehold. 

Kenzy Muller

Kenzy Muller- A 20yrs old diehard Arsenal fan. Patiently waiting to see Arsenal at the zenith of European football.

I love and enjoy writing, watching, reading and kicking a football.

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