Much has been said of the success of South American teams in this World Cup and with good reason. Now, after all Round of 16 matches are over and we know all the matchups for the quarter finals, it’s safe to say that regardless of what happens next or who ends up lifting the Cup on July 11th it’s been a great year and a great tournament for South America.
All five South American teams competing in the tournament made it out of the group stages. Four of those teams also finished first in their respective groups, and every quarter finals game has a South American representative, the first time that has ever happened in a World Cup. That means there could be an all-South American semi-finals and/or an all-South American final.
Paraguay already made history by reaching the quarter-finals for the first time, and Uruguay hadn’t made it this far in a World Cup since 1970. Chile is the only South American team that is already out of the Cup, but they have a lot to be proud of after showing a lot of exciting football.
I hope this is no World Cup “fluke” and South American football futbol is back at the world stage to stay. And the timing couldn’t be better: after an absence of more than 30 years, the next World Cup will be played in South America.
Now back to counting the minutes until Saturday at 10:00am ET, when Argentina will take on Germany, and to hoping we will have one all-Spanish-spoken semi-final between Argentina and either Spain or Paraguay.