Plenty of talk about this summer's World Cup finals in Brazil has been surrounding those South American teams, who have undoubtedly exceeded expectations.
Half of the last 16 teams were from the Americas this summer, with Central American teams Mexico and USA among the surprise contenders in the first knockout round of the competition, and Costa Rica surpassing all expectations and reaching the quarter-final stage for the first time.
South American promise
South American teams have been significantly more impressive. With Argentina in the final, hosts Brazil getting knocked-out a stage before and Colombia, Uruguay and Chile all proceeding to the knockout stages of the competition, Very few could argue that The Americas have been nothing short of exceptional in this summer's finals.
However, although American success came at the expense of some European teams, most notable Spain, Italy and England, the European leagues have still been seen to dominate in terms of representation.
Top leagues still dominate
The English Premier League, Italian Serie A and German Bundesliga have consistently been the most represented leagues though every round of the competition, with the Premier league dominating until the semi-finals, having almost a quarter of players in the second knockout round.
The reason for this is, although the most talented and skilful players come from around the globe, Europe is where the money is, meaning a more attractive lifestyle for these players is offered the more notable leagues in England, Spain, Germany, Italy and Portugal.
Therefore, despite the early eliminations of Spain, Italy and England, the top European leagues were still heavily represented, with almost half of Argentina's 23 man squad playing in either La Liga or Serie A.
English, Spanish and Italian players may look to blame the strains and challenges of their domestic leagues as the primary reason for being eliminated at such and early stage of the competition. But as we have just seen, many of their club teammates have remained in South America and challenged for the most glorious prize in world football, despite receiving the same domestic treatment as our national heroes.
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