(Guest Article by Jason Richards; USS Sports Machine) – It is hard to believe that the 2018 World Cup is little more than a year away? It seems like just yesterday that Brazil was suffering the worst spanking of their lives from the German Stormtroopers. Brazil 2014 was a heck of a party that will not likely be matched by the Russians off the pitch. On the pitch though, this next World Cup should be quite exciting.
As usual, there will be a number of Latin American teams in the mix for the World Cup.
Here is a look at the top three Latin American teams with the best chance of winning the 2018 World Cup.
Their ignominious defeat on their home soil undoubtedly has left a bitter taste in the Brazilians’ mouths. Although they are currently ranked number two in the world, Brazil sits at the the top of the CONMEBOL standings with 27 points through 12 games.
Their next closest completion is Uruguay, who are four points back.
If Brazil can manage to stay on top of the standings at the end of qualifying, they should get a top seed and an easy path out of group play at the World Cup. A top seed also allows Brazil to play lower-seeded teams all the way to the semifinals.
If any Argentina fans are reading this, they are likely fuming at their position in second place on this list. The reason that they sit this low is because Brazil has an important advantage at this point for the 2018 World Cup. Brazil has a burning desire to right themselves as the best football team in the world. Their embarrassment will fuel their performance in Russia.
Even though Argentina is the number one team in the world according to the FIFA rankings, they would not automatically qualify for the 2018 World Cup with their current fifth-place position in the CONMEBOL standings. They would have to play the Oceania champion for a spot in the 2018 World Cup. Argentina will undoubtedly make it in.
The question is if Lionel Messi will finally lift the ultimate trophy to seal his distinction in the eyes of many as the best player in the history of the game.
These days, Chile takes a backseat to no other team in Latin America. The Chileans have won the last two Copa America tournaments, and their squad features some of the fiercest competitors on the planet.
When you have a player the caliber of Alexis Sanchez on your roster, there is never a team that you cannot be competitive with.
Chile is currently fourth place in the CONMEBOL standings, which would qualify them for the 2018 World Cup. Once they are in the tournament, they are the team that no one wants to play. They tackle like madmen, sliding all over the place and slopping up the game. They have a playmaker in Sanchez who can score in a heartbeat. They are a dangerous team who has shown in their recent Copa America performances that they have a lot of heart in a tournament setting.
JASON RICHARDS is Co-Founder and an Editor of USS Sports Machine.
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