When you consider that over 715 million people around the globe watched the 2006 World Cup soccer final between Italy and France, it’s never too early to discuss the premier international sporting event.
Italy won that match for its fourth World Cup title, one less than the leader Brazil. So it’s no surprise that Brazil is a 3-1 favorite at the Golden Nugget to capture a sixth World Cup crown. The Brazilians last won the World Cup in 2002, defeating Germany in the final.
The 2010 World Cup is slated for June 11-July 11 in South Africa. The 2014 site is Brazil with bids still out for 2018. The World Cup has been in existence since 1930, taking place every four years except for 1942 and 1946 when World War II intervened.
Soccer is the world’s most popular sport, but the international version of football has never won over the United States, whose version of football in the form of the Super Bowl and the BCS Championship dominates the American betting scene. In fact, the USA has never finished better than third in the World Cup and that was way back during the inaugural competition in 1930.
There have been 17 World Cup competitions with just seven nations winning – Brazil 5, Italy 4, Germany 3, Uruguay 2, Argentina 2, England 1 and France 1. Argentina is the second choice for 2010 at 4-1, followed by Italy, England and Germany all at 6-1. The Germans have finished third and second in the past two World Cup ties.
France, which has made two of the last three World Cup finals, is listed at 10-1 along with Netherlands. Portugal is 15-1, followed by the Czech Republic at 25-1. Ivory Coast, Russia and Mexico are 30-1 each. The United States, Turkey, Croatia, Cameroon and host South Africa are all 50-1.
Here is the Golden Nugget’s complete list of contenders:
6-1: Italy, England, Germany
10-1: France, Netherlands
25-1: Czech Republic
30-1: Ivory Coast, Mexico, Russia
50-1: USA, Croatia, South Africa, Cameroon, Turkey
75-1: Ghana, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Nigeria
100-1: Australia, Senegal, Ireland, Denmark, Greece, Colombia, South Korea, Japan, Poland, Uruguay, Serbia/Montenegro, Romania, Ecuador, Slovakia, Belgium, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Paraguay, Chile, Peru, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Austria, Norway, Iran, Venezuela, Scotland, Wales, China, Costa Rica, Togo, Latvia, Hungary, Angola, Trinidad & Tobago, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Finland, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Northern Ireland.
(All others are 50-1).