WC 2014: Can any European team equal Brazil's unique 1958 record?

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Brasilia, June 20: World Cup football is all about Europe versus Latin America. Of the 19 editions of the World Cup held so far, the Europeans have won 10 while nine crowns have been bagged by the Latin Americans.

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European teams have won the title when World Cups have been held in Europe while the Latin Americans have never allowed the cup to cross the Atlantic whenever the tournament has been held on its western side.

However, this system has one exception. Brazil are the only team in the world who have won a title on the European soil. It was in 1958 when the South Americans trounced hosts Sweden 5-2 in the finals to win their first crown. Pele had scored 5 out of Brazil's 10 goals in the semifinal and the final that year.

No European team has ever won a World Cup title on the Latin American soil

No European team has found an answer to Brazil's rare achievement till date. The last time an European team had played in the final of a World Cup held in the Western Hemisphere was in 1994 when Italy had gone down to Brazil in a penalty shoot-out. It was also the last time that World Cup was held in the American continent.

In 2014, when World Cup returned to the Western Hemisphere, a number of big European teams crashed out in the first round itself, including defenders Spain and 1966 champions England. Italy also did not look convincing as they went down to Costa Rica, placed 25 places below them in the world rankings, in their very second game. Portugal, too, had a horrendous beginning to their campaign as they were hammered 4-0 by the Germans. Of the big European names, only Germany, the Netherlands and France had a good beginning to their campaign.

The Latin American teams were, on the other hand, displaying impressive football. Apart from Brazil and Argentina, teams like Chile (who sent defenders Spain packing), Costa Rica, Colombia, Uruguay, Mexico and USA were also performing exceedingly well.

For Europe, it wouldn't be an easy task.

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