Blake Snow

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8 things World Cup winners have in common

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The World Cup starts anew this week in Brazil. If the past is any indication, there’s an 83% chance Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Germany, and/or the Netherlands will make the final. What do these countries have that others don’t?

“Of the factors that contribute, none is, necessarily, a prerequisite,” writes Gabriele Marcotti for ESPN. “But the more of the seven ingredients below you have in your shopping cart, the more likely you are to win a World Cup.” 

According to Marcotti, your country needs to be well populated, have a lot of registered players, have an effective “farm” system to identify new talent, and enjoy a moderate climate. It also should be soccer crazy, respect global play strategies, have a large GDP, and a low opportunity cost for not playing soccer (i.e. an education or other sports offer a better way out of poverty or road to fame and money).

In other words, the U.S. lacks much of the above and will likely remain perpetual underdogs when it comes to winning the world’s largest sporting event. Of the eight listed traits, ‘Murica has only three (well populated, moderate climate, and large GDP). I’ll still be cheering, though.

Go, USA!

See also: The exact moment I fell in love with soccer