For women who love football, and for men who love it when women know the football game. – Thanks to the dominance of France, Italy, Spain and Germany in the past decade, it had became a myth that European teams would always dominate the World Cup games from Group stage all the way to the Finals. Many pundits called it the end of an era for likes of Brazil and Argentina and would call for reduction of FIFA World Cup quotas from North American, Central and South American teams in favour of more spots for European teams.

Yet, as World Cup 2014 came to a close, North, Central and South American teams( called American Continent) incredibly matched their European counterparts in terms of their presence in Quarter Finals, Semifinals and the Final. That is while, European teams always enjoy the advantage of having 13 continental quotas for World Cup, while American Continent teams combined have only 8 representatives at each World Cup.

As shown in the chart, the progress report of European continental teams are compared with American continent teams in the span of 8 years(or 3 World Cup Rounds).



• There is a downward trend line by European teams in their recent World Cup appearances. For instance, there used to be 6 European teams in Quarter Finals of World Cup 2006, but in 2014 it was reduced to 4. Also in 2006 and 2010, it was an all European Final but that has been diminished to one European team in the Final of 2014 World Cup games.

• There is an upward trend line by American Continent teams in their recent World Cup appearances. Despite having much fewer representatives than Europeans in World Cup, American teams managed to have 4 teams in Quarter Finals of World Cup 2014, improved from 2 in 2006. Also for the first time in the last three World Cup rounds, in 2014, there was a South American team in the Final.

• In terms of success rate to the Final stage of World Cup, for the first time since 2006, American teams’ success rate match that of European teams; In World Cup 2014, 1 in 4 American teams in Quarter Finals, managed to make it to the Final match, or 25% success rate. That rate matches European teams’ success rate in 2014.

Considering all stats above, one could make the case for a fair World Cup quota allocation by FIFA, so that American teams receive more quotas for the next World Cup games, and declining continental teams such as Europeans receive fewer quotas. Sorry for the delayed blog post but just like many of you I have been constantly glued to TV to watch all World Cup games, as well as writing World Cup match preview articles for Soccer Without limit.

As the group games came to an end, lets look at interesting stat that was published today on Yahoo Sports and the data were compiled by Forbes. In the next few days, I’ll conduct some analytical articles on Group stage games that saw leading teams such as Spain, Italy and England crash out so early in the tournament:

Imaged coach

World Cup’s three highest paid coaches have been eliminated while the lowest paid man delights everyone

Yahoo Sports -

The group stage of the 2014 World Cup has concluded and half of the 32 teams have gone home — including those assembled by the tournament’s three highest paid managers. Meanwhile, the team led by the tournament’s lowest paid manager is not only still in it, but he has arguably become the tournament’s breakout star.

Here’s the full list of what every World Cup manager is making this year as compiled by Forbes.



After resigning from the England job in 2012, Fabio Capello took up the Russia post and led it to the top of its 2014 World Cup qualifying group — edging out Portugal. At the start of this year, he was given a fat new contract that won’t run out until after Russia hosts the 2018 World Cup. This year alone the five-time Serie A winner (as a manager) and two-time La Liga winner is making $11.2 million, which is nearly double what his England successor, Roy Hodgson, is making ($5.9 million).


Though Capello did manage to outdo Hodgson in Brazil — last in the group with two draws and one loss as opposed to last in the group with one loss and two draws — it wasn’t quite the return on investment Russia likely expected. Especially in a manageable group that also included Belgium, Algeria and South Korea.

At least the third highest paid manager, Italy’s Cesare Prandelli, offered to resign immediately after his side was eliminated. And he even got a win (against England)!

All together, only half of the top 10 best paid managers at this World Cup navigated their teams through to the knockout stage. But pulling up the rear of the list is Mexico’s Miguel Herrera, who celebrated his way into the hearts of fans everywhere while leading a once hopeless El Tri through an undefeated group stage for the bargain price of $209,810.

Herrera’s situation is a bit different though. He was appointed as an emergency interim manager last October when Mexico was on the verge of completely missing out on qualification. Once that horror was narrowly avoided, he signed on through the end of the World Cup, so his salary isn’t for the full year. It seems likely that the Mexican federation would be willing to give him anything he wants after what he’s done so far, but even if he doesn’t get a pay increase, he can always subsidize his income with his ska lip syncing. Somehow. – As a passionate football fan in Toronto, with so many different communities living in Toronto, I was confused which bar or pub in particular is suitable for each game; Until I found this article, published today by BlogTo:


World Cup soccer in Toronto is going to be huge this summer. The tournament kicks off Thursday afternoon at 4:00pm with hosts Brazil playing Croatia at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paolo. Over the next month, 32 countries will battle it out for the ultimate sporting prize: a chance to hoist the famous green and gold trophy and the all-important right to be insufferable for the next four years.

Even casual soccer fans will find something to like this year. Brazil is just an hour ahead of Toronto, so kick off times are bar and patio friendly–no midnight wake-up calls or 5:00am starts.

If you’re wondering what happened to Canada, the team finished third in their North, Central America, and Caribbean qualifying group behind the mighty Honduras and Panama, therefore failing to proceed to the next round. But, don’t fret. Who needs Canada when there are so many other great countries to support. Here is our guide to watching the 2014 World Cup in Toronto.


If partisan crowds aren’t your thing, there is a dizzying selection of quality places to catch a game this summer in Toronto. The Queen and Beaver, though listed here as a place for England fans to cheer on their team, is also a good neutral option. Likewise, Cafe Diplomatico on College might be famous for its Italian affiliation, but the bar will be showing all games this tournament and is a good option for fans of European teams throughout the tournament.

As the name implies, the Football Factory at Queen and Bathurst is also a solid bet. The place will be overflowing with clamouring football-sorry, soccer-fans so arrive early and grab a spot on the patio. On Roncesvalles, local stalwart The Dizzy will be packed with delirious fans. Midtown soccer fans will want to hit up Scallywag’s, which always sports a rabid fan base (expect English and Brazilian fans).

Also see our list of the best sports bars in Toronto.


The CBC is setting up three viewing lounges at the Eaton Centre: at Trinity Way, at the Urban Eatery, and on the third level near the Queen Street bridge. The areas will be open for all matches that coincide with mall hours. The atrium of the CBC building on Front Street is also playing host to viewing parties throughout the tourney–”three storeys of LED screens.”

On Adelaide St. W., Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse is hosting a slew of several World Cup viewing parties. The venue is promising to remain neutral, but there’s a good chance it will lean Brazilian as the tournament goes on. Games will be shown on LED TVs on the open-air third floor and there will be drink promotions and other entertainment.

During the third place consolation game and the World Cup final, CIBC, the CBC, and Budweiser are teaming up for a Brazilian-themed festival at Front and John streets. On Saturday, bands Alysha Barilla, Jordan John, and Shad will perform with a Brazilian band. Sunday sees the broadcast of the final and a concert from featuring Maestro. Drink in the Budweiser beer garden, yell in CIBC’s “cheer booth,” and take part in Adidas giveaways.

In Newmarket, Upper Canada Mall will be showing all of the games that fall within shopping hours on large flat screen TVs surrounded by lounge seating.

Not exactly public, but if you want to watch the game outside in the sun on a huge screen, Cabana Pool Bar will be screening games on a 21ft LED screen. They also plan to host a Brazilian beach party on Saturday, June 21.



  • The Duke of Gloucester - 649 Yonge St.
  • Queen and Beaver - 35 Elm St.
  • The Dog and Bear – 1001 Queen St.
  • The Duke of Kent – 2315 Yonge St.
  • The Bristol – 1087 Queen St. W.
  • Queen Victoria Pub – 2240 Midland Rd.


  • Cafe Diplomatico – 594 College St.
  • Bar Italia – 582 College St.
  • Vivid Pizzeria – 1068 St. Clair Ave. W
  • Nino D’Aversa Bakery - 1 Toro Rd.


  • Bairrada Churrasqueira – 1000 College St.
  • Lifetime Sports Bar - 818 College St.
  • Kingsview Sports Bar – 1675 Dundas St. W
  • Bigodes Sports Cafe – 209 Geary Ave.


  • Brazilian Star – 1242 Dundas St. W.
  • Rio 40 – 1256 St. Clair Ave. W.
  • Lula Lounge – 1585 Dundas St. W.
  • Copacabana Steakhouse – 150 Eglinton Ave.


  • Betty’s – 24 King St. E.
  • School Bakery Café - 70 Fraser Ave.


  • Café Frappe – 519 Danforth Ave.
  • The Fox and Fiddle – 535 Danforth Ave.


  • The Rushton - 740 St. Clair Ave. W.
  • The Fox’s Den – 1075 Bay St.


  • The Musket - 40 Advance Rd.
  • Das Gasthaus


  • El Rincon – 653 St Clair Ave. W.
  • Milagro – 5 Mercer St.
  • La Mexicana


  • Sports Centre Café – 49 St. Clair Ave. W.
  • Tranzac Club – 292 Brunswick Ave.


  • Monaghan’s - 1289 Marlborough Ct., Oakville


  • Yauca’s Lounge - 755 Dovercourt Rd.


  • Fox and the Fiddle – 280 Bloor St. W.


  • La Rosa Chilena – 760 Wilson Ave.


  • Colombia Mia – 3038 Hurontario St., Mississauga

Côte d’Ivoire

  • The Harlem Underground - 745 Queen St. W.


  • Football Factory - 164 Bathurst St.

Costa Rica

  • El Rancho - 430 College St.


  • Club Uruguay - 101 Freshway Dr., Concord


  • El-Tipico Ecuatoriano – 2312 Keele St.


  • Latin Fiesta - 1002 St. Clair W.


  • St. Tropez - 315 King St. W.


  • Sky Ranch Restaurant - 2473 Dufferin St.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Rakia Bar - 1402 Queen St. E.


  • Banu - 777 Queen St. W.


  • The Suya Spot – 12 Bradstock Rd.


  • Panafest Sports Bar - 2708 Jane St.


  • The Office Pub - 117 John St.


  • Café Casablanca – 1393 Danforth Ave.


  • The Football Factory – 164 Bathurst St.

Korea Republic

  • South Korean Canadian Cultural Association – 1133 Leslie St.


  • Troika Vodka Boutique - 95 King St. E.


  • Hemingways – 142 Cumberland St.
  • Real Sports Bar – 15 York St.
  • Rally Sports Bar – 1660 O’Connor Dr.
  • The Loose Moose – 146 Front St.

Source: – I came across this great news piece tonight by Variety. This is a very useful mobile app you can download on your iPhone or Android phone that will stream all 2014 World Cup games Live. Isn’t that incredible?!


Keen to follow the World Cup while on the move? There’s an app for that.

Univision, which holds the exclusive U.S. Spanish-language broadcast rights to the World Cup for 2014 launched an enhanced sports app that offers soccer fans access to live streaming coverage of all the games with in-match, real time highlights and stats, video highlights, skeds, individual club news, rosters and more. Downloadable from both iTunes and Android platforms, the app offers an interactive live soccer experience that can be personalized, connecting users to each other via Twitter and Facebook.

“This will be the biggest, broadest and most high-tech World Cup coverage ever for Univision with 64 matches live across television and digital platforms,” said Juan Carlos Rodriguez, president of Univision Deportes.

Univision will be pulling out all the stops before ceding the rights to rival Telemundo, which reportedly ponied up $600 million for exclusive U.S. Spanish-language broadcast rights to the next two men’s World Cups in 2018 and 2022 as well as the 2015 and 2019 Women’s World Cups and other international tournaments.

This is more than double the $325 million that Univision paid to broadcast the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Fox outbid ESPN for the English-language U.S. broadcast rights for the same periods.

In a conference call with investors during its first-quarter results announcement in April, Univision president and CEO Randy Falco said that it expected to break even on its World Cup coverage over the course of 2014 with revenue streaming in during the second and third quarters.

“I can’t speak to specifics on financials but I can tell you that from a ratings perspective and a sales perspective, this World Cup will be by far the most successful sporting experience that we’ve had on our air,” said Rodriguez.

In 2010, Univision attracted more than double the number of viewers than ESPN for the opening match of the World Cup, and went on to set new Spanish-language ratings records throughout the games — with tune-in audiences reaching up to 8.7 million viewers despite the time difference with South Africa.

Source: – Less than a week left until 2014 World Cup games in Brazil, final squads of thirty two teams are now set, so it is time to dig down and analyse which team has the oldest average age, and which one carries the youngest group of players.

As shown in the chart below, Argentina squad has the oldest average age of 28.92, while Ghana has the youngest squad with average age of 25.44.


Top 5 oldest squads are:

  1. Argentina
  2. Honduras
  3. Uruguay
  4. Portugal
  5. Greece

Top 5 youngest squads are:

  1. Ghana
  2. Belgium
  3. Nigeria
  4. Switzerland
  5. South Korea

You may ask who the youngest player of 2014 World Cup games is? Cameroon’s Fabrice Olinga is the youngest of all 736 players at the competition. The oldest player of the competition? That would be Colombia goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon, who is 42 and will turn 43 during the competition. -This is my published article on SWOL on Top 5 players who were snubbed from 2014 World Cup games. What do you think of these omissions? Were they wise decisions by their national team managers? Or will they regret it at the end of 2014 World Cup games?

SWOL-By Niloufar Momeni | May 29, 2014


It would be hard pill to swallow for professional players, who try their best throughout entire season for their clubs to achieve personal and team success, play their best for their national teams’ World Cup qualifiers and when it comes to World Cup final squad call-up, they get snubbed.

That is the scenario for these five top players who have lost the trust and belief of their national team coaches and will miss out on the most prestigious global football tournament.

1.  Landon Donovan: Landon Donovan is the latest top player who was snubbed by Klinsman, the USA’s National Team manager. This move will likely mark the end of national team career for the 32-years old striker.

2.  Carlos Tevez: Apparently being Juventus’s top scorer in his debut season at Serie-A was not enough to persuade Argentina’s national team coach that he can do the same scoring spree at World Cup stage.

3.  Samir Nasri: Despite his consistent performance at the EPL Champions, Manchester City, his controversial role in players’ protest in the last France national team’s world Cup camp, cost him 2014 World Cup spot under Deschamps.

4.  Kaka: The Brazilian attacking midfielder has had his share of omission from World Cup squads. However, considering tight competition in Brazil’s squad, and AC Milan’s disappointing season, Brazil manager looked elsewhere to fill Kaka’s spot, and this move could potentially end Kaka’s national team career.

5.  Philippe Coutinho: Another surprise omission from Brazil squad includes Coutinho. Despite dazzling performance for Liverpool this season, ironically Philippe Coutinho was omitted from Brazil’s final squad. A disappointing move, but the 21-years old has long future to look forward. As we gear for 2014 World Cup games, top clubs are also in rush to sign their target signings ahead of World Cup games. Specially the fact that in terms of financial terms, if a player shines in World Cup games, his prospects and price will skyrocket. So it makes financial sense to secure a deal with a talented player now, than waiting to the end of Summer.

So here is my published article on SWOL (soccer without limit) on Barcelona’s top Summer targets:

Barcelona squad

Barcelona Squad

By Niloufar Momeni

It is that time of the year again that top clubs gear up to rejuvenate their squad and winning the race against competitors to land their new signings. This time is no different, especially that top clubs such as Barcelona and Manchester United have new managers on board and their new managers are keen to land their preferred players ahead of the World Cup.

Luis Enrique, former Celta Vigo and Barcelona B manager, was named the new Barcelona manager on a two year contract.

So far one signing has been made to find a strong goalkeeping replacement for the outgoing Victor Valdes and Jose Manuel Pinto: This week, upon his arrival, Luis Enrique secured the services of 22-year old German International Marc-Andre Ter Stegen from Borussia Monchengladbach.

Lionel Messi also put pen on paper and signed an improved contract with Barcelona.

However, just like Barcelona fans, Luis Enrique knows well that he needs to overhaul his defensive options to replace retiring Carlos Puyol and Dani Alves, with the latter all but set to leave for PSG this summer. Based on reports, Luis Enrique is eyeing these players during the summer transfer market to fix Barcelona’s defensive flaws.

1.  Jeremy Mathieu: Luis Enrique reportedly is a great admirer of Valencia’s Jeremy Mathieu, and has asked Barcelona to sign the French defender ahead of next season.

2.  One goalkeeper among: Valencia’s Diego Alves, Malaga’s Willy Caballero, Levante’s Keylor Navas, and Liverpool’s Pepe Reina.

3.  Aymeric Laporte: Athletic Bilbao, central of defense.

4.  Inigo Martinez: Real Sociedad. Centre of defense.

5.  Marcos Rojo: FC Barcelona are leading the race to land Argentine defender Marcos Rojo who is also wanted by Liverpool, according to reports in Spain.

6.  David Luiz: Barcelona are prepared to offer former Arsenal midfielder Alex Song to Chelsea as part of a bid for David Luiz. The Spanish club are set to battle with Bayern Munich and Paris St-Germain over Luiz, who is expected to be allowed to leave Stamford Bridge.

In addition to potential signings above, there are few players returning from loan spelsl as well: Rafinha who is set to return from Celta Vigo, and Gerard Delofeu who returns to play for his former Barca B team boss.

To fund above signings, Barcelona’s new manager is reportedly set to offload several players and these players are rumoured to be shown the door this Summer: Alex Song, Cesc Fabregas, Alexis Sanchez, Pedro, Cristian Tello, Adriano, Ibrahim Afellay and Isaac Cuenca.

From the looks of it, there will be a whole new Barcelona squad ahead of next season. And no one can argue it is not needed.

Original article published at

Barcelona’s Top Summer Targets Include Chelsea Star
Barcelona’s Top Summer Targets Include Chelsea Star

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