The six-sided dice will soon be rolled as nations fight for glory at the Qatar World Cup.
Traditional ‘certainties’ are no longer that, as players are plucked from all parts of the globe and signed by the top glamour clubs, gaining experience they take back to their countries of birth.
So, while we normally expect the ‘usual suspects’ to fight it out, it may not be the case this year, as the fields have been levelled in superpower terms.
The last six World Cups have seen six different winners:
- 2018 France beat Croatia 4-2
- 2014 Germany beat Argentina 1-0
- 2010 Spain beat Netherlands 1-0
- 2006 Italy beat France 5-3 (penalties)
- 2002 Brazil beat Germany 2-0
- 1998 France beat Brazil 3-0
Six multiple champs have ruled world soccer:
To date, 21 World Cup finals tournaments have been contested, and six teams have been multiple winners:
- Brazil – the only team to have played in every tournament – has won five (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002).
- Germany has won four (1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014),
- As have Italy (1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006).
- Argentina (1978 and 1986),
- France (1998 and 2018),
- And Uruguay (1930 and 1950) each won two trophies.
The six best records for goals scored by individual players go to:
- Miroslav Klose (Germany), who scored 16 times in 24 appearances across four separate tournaments.
- Ronaldo (Brazil), who scored 15 goals in just 19 appearances across three tournaments.
- Gerd Müller (Germany), who managed to score 14 goals in just two World Cup tournaments.
- French striker Just Fontaine, who scored 13 goals in six matches at the 1958 tournament.
- Pelé (Brazil) ranks fifth for the most goals scored at World Cup finals, with his tally of 12 across four tournaments.
- Both German striker Jürgen Klinsmann (in three tournaments) and Hungarian legend Sándor Kocsis (1954) scored 11 goals.
- Six favourites for the punters:
While betting odds will differ from bookie to bookie and country to country, a cross-section of the favourite picks sees these as the big six choices: Brazil, Argentina, France, Spain, England and Germany
PS, don’t tell the Belgians or the Dutch.
#TacklingQatar2022: Manned by soccer fundi Dave Savides, the Corner Shop is the place to be for Soccer World Cup news. Savides, the long-time editor of the Zululand Observer, is tackling the coverage of the world’s greatest footie extravaganza for Caxton Local Media.
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