When the 2030 World Cup kicks off, it will mark 100 years since the first tournament kicked off in Uruguay. The competition was also won by Uruguay, who also picked up the 1934 edition, with Italy becoming the first European team to win one in 1938. That win for the Azzurri, 84 years ago, is the last time a new continent won a World Cup – and a look through ukonlinecasinoslist.com/ to find odds for this year shows that there is not expected to be a change in the South American/European dominance of the roll of honour. Indeed, since Italy’s 2006 triumph over France in the final, it’s been all Europe, all the way.
A question often asked by football purists is “Who will be the first team not from Europe or South America to win the World Cup?”. The answer is tricky: there are generally structural reasons why those two continents have dominated the running for more than ninety years. Watching this year’s tournament, it’s evidently not the case that teams from other continents lack the talent or even the professionalism to make it happen. So what might it take for the trophy to find its way to a new continent, and who might be the team to make it happen? Below, we look at the three main continents who haven’t got there yet, and muse on their chances.
One of the major reasons Europe is so dominant, both in club football and increasingly on the international stage, is that the sport is soaked with cash – to the extent that every football nation outside of the region sends far more players to Europe than go the opposite way. Financially, though, North America definitely has some power, and if the USA committed “whatever it takes” to winning a World Cup, it’s not too hard to see them making it. Alternatively, Mexico is a huge country with a solid football pedigree and manages to keep most of its players at home in the wealthy Liga MX. A quality crop of young players at the right time could see them lift the Henri Delaunay trophy in the near-ish future.
It’s often remarked upon that Pele once predicted an African nation would win the World Cup by 2000. He made that prediction in 1977, and his predictive powers have never been the best; he also reckoned that Nicky Butt would take the 2002 tournament by storm. African football lacks the money that other continents can throw at the idea of World Cup glory, but it does have perhaps the deepest pool of talent outside of the big two.
Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria, among others, have all had squads which would be envied by the vast majority of football nations. With many players from these nations now being developed from an early age at European clubs such as Barcelona, maybe we’ll see an African champion by or in 2030, but it’ll be tough.
Some of the most financially rich nations and football leagues at present are located in Asia, but incredible wealth and even home advantage guarantee nothing, as Qatar’s run this year has proved. South Korea reached the semi-finals in 2002, but might struggle to emulate that any time soon, while Japan perenially struggle for creativity and goals. Recently, China’s government has unveiled plans to win by 2050. Spoiler alert: it involves a lot of money and dedicated hard work. In truth, if they can develop players who can do the unexpected, along with hard-working runners (the latter being much easier to train), China may well be the best bet of all – they certainly have the population advantage over the competition.