There are more South American teams than European teams in the World Cup second round. That hasn't happened in decades. What's going on?
Ivan Sekretarev/AP Photo
Sao Paulo, Brazil
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.
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.
But Argentina? Unbeaten and irresistible.