A survey of what fans expect to see from the upcoming World Cup reveals a staggering level of homersim here in the United States.
People in 19 countries offered opinions on who they expected to see win, who they wanted to see lose and how interested they were in World Cup 2014, kicking off Thursday in Brazil. According to the survey by YouGov, fans of almost every nation saw the host nation as the favorite; the exceptions were superpowers Spain and Argentina, which were picked by fans in their respective home countries. Spain is the highest ranked team in the latest world ranking, while Argentina, which features perhaps the world’s best goal scorer in Lionel Messi, is ranked fifth.
The only other team expected by any responding nation to win the World Cup is the United States, which some regard as too highly ranked by FIFA at 13 in the world. A plurality of U.S. respondents – 13 percent – picked the Stars and Stripes to win it all. Brazil was the second most common response by Americans surveyed. In order to even make it out of the opening round, the U.S. will have to get past the team that eliminated them in 2010, Ghana, as well as superpowers Germany and Portugal. It’s a tall task.
Just last week the American Coach Jurgen Klinsmann said it’s “unrealistic” to think his squad can win it all.
If the Americans do fail, that will please fans in Russia, Italy, Australia and Mexico, where fans all said the Americans are the team they would most like to see fail. The only other nation where the U.S. team was most despised? Right here in America, where five percent of fans said they will be rooting against the home team. Perhaps some of those responses are from the 60 percent of survey takers in the U.S. who say they have no interest in soccer, the highest rate of any nation in the survey.