Writing for AllAfrica.com, Nick Said is wondering aloud if an African team will reach the Final Four in the FIFA 2014 World Cup. Brazilian soccer (football) legend Pelé famously stated in the late 1970s that an African team would win the World Cup by the year 2000. This has yet to happen.
Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Nigeria and Algeria all played in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and will play again in the 2014 World Cup.
Ghana’s showing at the 2010 World Cup (semi-finals) proves that the much talked about gap between Africa and the rest of the soccer (football) world has closed dramatically in the last two decades. The semi-finals is not new for African teams, but appearing in the Final Four of the World Cup would be a trailblazing fete.
“It is difficult to know which African side has the best chance. Ghana has perhaps the most complete squad and is in the hardest group by far, while Cote d’Ivoire have an array of attacking talent but are less productive in defense.
Cameroon has individual stars but little team cohesion, and Nigeria are skillful but can be a little lightweight. Algeria always look the part on paper but struggle to make it count on the grass.
Each will have an eye on a piece of history though, buoyed by Ghana’s showing at the 2010 finals when they were one Luis Suarez handball away from the semi-finals.”
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Read more of this article at AllAfrica.com.