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Why are South American teams dominating this World Cup?

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Ivan Sekretarev/AP Photo

(Read caption) Brazil's Luis Fabiano, front right, runs in celebration alongside Kaka after scoring the team's second goal during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Brazil and Chile at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa on June 28.

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Half of the teams in the the final eight of World Cup 2010 are from South America.

Why?

There are many theories about the dominance of South American teams in this World Cup, but few indisputable facts.

When Marcelo Bielsa, as studious a soccer coach as ever lived, was asked why South America had more teams in the second round than Europe for the first time in decades, the Chilean coach responded: "I don't really know. I simply prefer to say nothing because I don't know what to say."

Indeed. Football is often inexplicable.

IN PICTURES: Top 2010 World Cup controversies

An Italian colleague has a theory that this World Cup is a reflection of the new world order. It is the Cup where the economically depressed and decadent Europeans (and Asians) were beaten by the growing and exuberant Latins.

Italy? Terrible. France? A disgrace. England? Ha ha ha. Greece? Rubbish.

But Argentina? Unbeaten and irresistible.

Brazil? The favorites and deservedly so.

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