As the final whistle blew in Montivideo last week, a 0-0 scoreline between Uruguay and Jordan was enough to see the South American champions ease past the visitors to become the thirty-second and final nation to qualify for World Cup 2014 in Brazil.
cristo redentor watches patiently as the big dance approaches next summer.
The 20th edition of the tournament, Brazil 2014 will be the first in South America since Argentina hosted in 1978. It will also be the second time the “Greatest Show on Earth” returns to the sport’s — with apologies to the Catalonian sympathizers out there — spiritual home. The Seleção have not only (until recently anyway) been the flag bearers of the way the beautiful game should be played, but they’ve also been the most successful nation in terms of international championships, having won the tournament a record five times. Whether or not they’ll win their sixth title at home remains to be seen. But if they do manage to do so, they’ll become the seventh nation to do so on home soil.
So with the final field of 32 for Brazil now finally set, I rounded up twenty unique stats about the twentieth World Cup finals to get us all in the mood.
1 – World Cup appearance now for the lone debutantes of this World Cup, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
2 – Straight World Cups that have been held outside of Europe, a first for the tournament.
3 – Names proposed to name Adidas’ official ball for the tournament, including Bossa Nova, Carnavalesca and the winner… Brazuca. I promise I’m not making that up.
4 – Nations that qualified from the CONCACAF region — Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, United States — as well as the AFC region — Australia, Iran, Japan, South Korea.