Looking at potential World Cup winners outside of hosts Brazil is hard. There are two-time World cup winners Argentina and Uruguay, but outside of them there are few with strong enough credentials to suggest that any of CONMEBOL’s other representatives can spring a surprise.
That is until you look a little closer at some of the squads of those currently leading the qualification standings. Colombia, although having never made it past the round of 16 that they reached in 1990, have one of the best international teams on paper right now. Ecuador and Venezuela also have some outstanding talent and promising young prospects just breaking onto the international scene.
Admittedly it is difficult to see either la Tri or la Vinotinto making it past the group stages despite their talent, but Colombia in particular are intriguing given their current pool of talent. Chile are ruled out having momentarily just replaced Claudio Borghi with Jorge Sampaoli although they do sit level on points with Uruguay in the current qualification standings.
Although it is still a bit too early to tell, here are the main non-Brazilian South American sides who could make waves should they make it to Brazil.