World Cup 2014 Predictions: Records in Danger of Being Broken in Brazil

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJune 2, 2014

SEVILLE, SPAIN - MAY 30:  Andres Iniesta (2ndL) of Spain celebrates wit his teammates after scoring his team's second goal during an international friendly match between Spain and Bolivia at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on May 30, 2014 in Seville, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Any World Cup is a presentation of unbridled opportunity and the chance to shine for every team and player in attendance, but there are some with more means to accomplish wonders than others.

This summer's tournament is no different in that several outfits make their way to Brazil knowing that they can write their names in the history books for decades to come, while certain players have very particular targets ahead of them.

Here, we look at several of those targets and discuss just what the chances are that records so rare will actually be broken in South America.


Spain Winning Four Consecutive Major Tournaments

SEVILLE, SPAIN - MAY 30:  Andres Iniesta of Spain scores his team's second goal during an international friendly match between Spain and Bolivia at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on May 30, 2014 in Seville, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

This is the big one. Spain come back to the World Cup finals platform as defending champions this time around and two years on from their triumph at Euro 2012, their third major international honour in succession.

No other side had done it then, and it remains the case now that no side has won four major trophies in a row—yet.

Following Saturday's announcement of the 23-man squad that will be representing La Furia Roja in Brazil, BBC Sport's Conor McNamara is certainly of the impression that this side can indeed do damage once again:

It's a major task for the Group B inhabitants, who first have to overcome the challenges of Chile, Netherlands and Australia before even thinking about the improbable but not impossible task of winning back-to-back World Cups, becoming just the third side ever to do so.


Miroslav Klose Overcoming Ronaldo's Run

At the ripe old age of 36, Miroslav Klose's involvement at this summer's World Cup will remain something of a mystery until Joachim Low lines his side up against their first opponents.

Michael Probst/Associated Press

However, should the helmsman choose to utilise the Lazio striker, he'll do so in the knowledge that he's giving Klose a chance at breaking Ronaldo's all-time record of 15 goals at World Cup finals.

Needing just two more to become the competition's highest-ever scorer, Klose is ready to leapfrog his Brazilian netting nemesis, telling

I assume I will be 100 per cent ready for the tournament. I feel good and I'm on the right path. The fitness coaches know me very well and they know exactly what I need, so everything is moving in the right direction.

For me, the main thing is to be fit and the most important thing is the team," he said. "I am convinced that when the team plays well, then the striker will also get his chances. But anyone who knows me is aware that the goal record is a target of mine.

It's difficult to blame the veteran when such a prestigious honour is on the line, and with Kevin Volland looking like his most likely competition for the sole striker spot in the team, it wouldn't be a shock to see Klose grab two more finishes with such stacked ammunition coming his way.


Europe Finally Conquering The Americas

In the four World Cups to have been held in South America thus far, no European team has ever managed to triumph on the continent. In fact, no European team has won in the seven tournaments to have been held in The Americas as a whole.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 30: Gary Cahill of England celebrates scoring their second goal with Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka and Danny Welbeck of England uring the international friendly match between England and Peru at Wembley Stadium on May 30, 2014 in Lo
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

However, teams like the aforementioned Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, France, England and now dark horses Belgium are all making their way to that part of the world with high hopes in view.

Of course climate and temperature will be a factor as ever, but with players now as physically adaptable as they've ever been, Europe's bastions perhaps stand a better chance of reversing the curse than ever; South Africa 2010 was a good example of how this very development is progressing.

With such a strong pool of representatives preparing for the high-altitude, high-temperature action in Brazil, Europe won't be getting ahead of itself before matters get underway, but it won't stop the giants of the continent from dreaming of breaking that barren run.