Coach Sabella: Argentina a “contender” but not “favorite” to win World Cup

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

Any team boasting the talent of a Lionel Messi will always be in talks as a favorite to win just about any tournament.

For Argentina’s coach Alejandro Sabella, the Albiceleste should be in the conversation to win the World Cup, but he has other ideas as to whom the favorites are. That was his message after Argentina and Ecuador completed a scoreless match at MetLife last Friday.

“I think Argentina is a World Cup contender,” he acknowledged, adding “but I think the three favorites, in my opinion, are Brazil, Germany and Spain.”

According to the FIFA rankings, Argentina is third worldwide while Brazil trails at 11. The intangible, of course, is that this year’s World Cup is being hosted by Argentina’s most vibrant soccer rival. Brazil are also a five time World Cup winner and have never failed to qualify for the tournament.

Spain, of course, are the defending World Cup champions (ranked 1st worldwide) while Germany (ranked 2nd worldwide) has dominated on the international stage, benefiting from a rejuvenated Bundesliga.

Argentina is a two-time World Cup winner, last taking home the trophy in 1986.