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World Cup quarterfinals exclusive to Europe, South America


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For 47 consecutive months, experts proclaim emerging soccer nations are catching up with the traditional powers.

What experts? Who are the emerging soccer nations?

The best African sides I’ve seen in my lifetime were Cameroon in the 80s and early 90s, Nigeria in the 90s and Ghana in 2010. All have gone backwards. Ivory Coast had a decent side with the Toure brothers and Drogba but they couldn’t qualify this time around. Algeria were a flash in the pan.

Japan’s 2010 side was at least on par with and arguably better than this one. South Korea have treaded water for a long time. Australia have gone backwards since the Kewell/Viduka/Cahill/Neill days.

Costa Rica were a shadow of the side of 4 years ago and Panama were out of their depth. Mexico did okay but were not good enough against Brazil.

Coming into this World Cup, I read from a few ‘experts’ that Senegal and Egypt were sides to watch. The Asian teams were written off and I don’t remember Mexico being regarded as a threat.

I didn’t read about the gap closing and didn’t see it myself. I truly hoped to see an improvement but the ‘emerging’ sides just weren’t good enough. Unfortunately, that wasn’t a great shock.

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European but majority of the players originates from Africa, Middle east and North Africa....

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Well, North Africa is Africa...

And I fail to recognise any enormous contingent....

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... from the Middle East, I wanted to say.

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