For some reason my dear Dutch-ruddering, er, I mean Dutch-loving friend Rob took my World Cup prediction very personally. I simply said that UEFA teams wouldn’t do as well as most people are expecting, mostly in response to nay-sayers arguing that team USA couldn’t progress in a group with Portugal and Germany. Tensions spilled over into social media. Rob called me out. Unfortunately for Rob, by the time he called me out for being wrong I was already right.
As a point of clarification, let me say Rob is one of the most awesome people I know. I love him like a brother. Like most brothers, Rob can be a real butthole to argue with. Exhibit A: Consider the following Facebook post.
You’ll notice the date, July 8th, shortly after Brazil got waxed 7-1 by Germany in the first semi-final. In Rob’s fantasy land, one brilliant German performance had apparently proven me wrong. Nevermind that we had just witnessed shocking first round exits from Italy, England, Portugal, and defending champs Spain. Nevermind that only 6 out of 13 UEFA teams advanced to the knockout round. 2014’s knock-out-round-qualifying rate of 46.2% tied UEFA’s worst-ever World Cup performance since the implementation of the current format in 1986. Contrast this to CONMEBOL’s 83.3% group stage success rate in 2014 (CONMEBOL advanced five out six teams, making us wonder where Rob came up with the idea that there were S. American teams that everyone knew would under-perform), the second best CONMEBOL performance in the same time frame. For context, UEFA’s average rate of second-round progression in all prior World Cups since 1986 is 66.3%. Rob must have anticipated the use of such statistics would annihilate his dumb argument, so he immediately engages in moving the goalposts to save face.
Oh, I see what you did there. Let’s ignore that UEFA as a whole performed poorly because A) some UEFA teams did well, and B) everyone knew in advance that certain UEFA teams were going to suck.
So there you have it. Everyone knew that Spain was less talented than they were in the last cycle, and that they wouldn’t progress regardless of host country. The only problem with Rob’s explanation is that it’s complete bullshit. Spain was one of the top four favorites entering the tournament. Other first round dropouts Portugal, Italy, and England were also in the top ten.
Rob’s obvious mistake here is that he refuses to recognize the value of home field advantage. Prior to 2014, zero European teams had won World Cups in South America, and only one South American team had won a World Cup in Europe. Home advantage extends beyond the host country and benefits the entire home continent. 68.4% of all World Cup winners have been host countries or countries located within the same continent as the host. Predicting that Europe wouldn’t do as well in South America is an absolute no-brainer. Only a complete turd would argue the point, especially after UEFA teams’ performances had already proved me right. What next, Rob? Are you going to say I’m wrong if I predict that UEFA teams will perform much better in Russia 2018?
In conclusion, Rob sucks and I was right. Help teach him a lesson by leaving a comment about how great Mexico is or how much Arjen Robben cheats. LOVE YOU ROB!!!!! ❤