In the history of the World Cup, the bipolar status of Europe and South America is unshakable. At present, all the World Cup champions come from these two regions, while teams from other continents, not to mention winning the championship, have not even stepped on the final venue yet. Relatively speaking, Asia and Africa are relatively close. There are more countries in both continents, and the number of World Cup places is similar. Africa has five and Asia has 4.5. That is to say, if Asian teams are lucky, winning the transcontinental play-offs will make the number of Asian and African teams in the World Cup the same.
So, who has the better World Cup performance in Asia and Africa in history?
Of course, we don’t need to calculate the total score or total goal data of all Asian teams and African teams in history, just look at the results of key nodes. Specifically, look at the teams on two continents, the number of times the group advanced, and the best results.
In these two aspects, Asia and Africa actually tied.
Historically, both Asian teams and African teams have been promoted 11 times. Of course, it needs to be said here that Asia in football refers to the AFC, so Australia is also counted as an Asian team.
Let’s list the specific situation below. In the history of the World Cup, African teams promoted by the group included Morocco in 1986, Cameroon in 1990, Nigeria in 1994, Nigeria in 1998, Senegal in 2002, Ghana in 2006, Ghana in 10 years, Nigeria and Algeria in 14 years and Senegal and Morocco in 22 years. A total of 11 times.
As for Asian teams, Japan has four times, South Korea has three times, North Korea and Saudi Arabia each once, and Australia twice. It happened to be 11 times. I am ashamed to say that this data, if Australia did not join the AFC from Oceania, then Asian teams actually lagged behind African teams.
Let’s look at the best results. Originally, South Korea reached the semi-finals in the 2002 World Cup and won the fourth place, which was once the unattainable achievement of second-rate teams such as Asia and Africa. But FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and Morocco have also achieved this. And to tell the truth, Morocco, the fourth place, is more convincing than South Korea in those days. Everyone knows this, and there is no need to start talking about it.
Therefore, in terms of the best results of the World Cup, Asia and Africa also tied.
So, which side of the world cup is better? There is a data that Africa is dominant, and with this data, we can say that African teams have higher ceilings and stronger ability to work miracles than Asian teams.
In fact, the data of the previous group promotion times is very general. After all, reaching the top 16 and reaching the top four are both group qualifying, but the gap between these two results is not small. So we might as well break it down again-the number of times we scored in the top eight.
In this regard, Africa is far better than Asia. Because Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 10 years all reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup, and the number of quarterfinals was three times. What about Asia? It is still zero.
It should be noted that in the 1966 World Cup, North Korea reached the quarter-finals, but at that time, the World Cup was only 16 teams. Therefore, the quarter-finals of North Korea should be strictly called the first round of the knockout round, but it is actually the same level as the next sixteen. You know, Cameroon, Senegal and Ghana reached the second round of the knockout round, so North Korea, the quarter-finals, is not included in this data.
In today’s scale, reaching the quarter-finals means that the group will go further than the group. If it’s a miracle to beat the Asian and African teams into the knockout stage, then the miracle of the quarter-finals is certainly higher than the miracle of the quarter-finals. In fact, if we take away the controversial semi-final result of South Korea in 2002, we will find that the upper limit of Asian teams in the World Cup is not high, and the best result so far is the first round of elimination. So at this point, there is still a gap between Asian teams and African teams.
Of course, judging from FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022’s performance, Asian teams seem to be better than African teams. I hope there will be an Asian team in the future that can break through the long-standing ceiling.