Former England international, John Barnes, believes Brazil will win the World Cup, despite rating Spain as ‘the best team in the world’.
The Liverpool legend, who now works as a pundit for SuperSport has told Eurosport in an interview that he expects the World Cup will dominated by South American teams.
“I think Brazil will win it. They are one of the best teams, are the home side, know the conditions, and have improved a lot recently, as have several South American sides,” he said.
“Spain for me remain the best team in the world, but do they have the same desire and drive as Brazil now they’ve won it all? Maybe not, especially as Brazil will be helped by their fans.
In general the South American teams are stronger these days, with Chile particular impressing me. They beat England 2-0 at Wembley, and Colombia also beat Belgium away. Argentina arguably haven’t improved, but they are still a top side of course.
“Uruguay are a very good side and they’re not even in South America’s top four, having had to qualify through a play-off. Bearing in mind many of the European teams aren’t so strong at the moment, it’s hard to look past South Americans in South America.”
His home country can only reach past the quarter-final – where they are likely to meet Spain or Brazil – with a dose of luck, according to Barnes.
“If we do get out of the group, we obviously have a great chance of reaching the quarters given it would be one of Colombia, Ivory Coast, Greece or Japan in the second round. But in the quarters you are likely looking at Brazil or Spain!
“Can we beat them? Yes, on our day. But as I said it will need exceptional performances, and a healthy dose of luck. But realistically the quarter finals would be a good target.”
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