One of Brazil's famous football players, Robinho, told reporters this week that he hopes to return from South Africa with the World Cup title. His fans at home do not just hope he brings home the title; they expect it. In fact, Brazilians expressed more confidence in their country's chance to win the World Cup than any other population with a team in the tournament. Before the games even began, three-out-of-four Brazilians thought their team would win it all.
Try telling that to the Spaniards. More than half of the people polled in Spain said their team would win the championship. These findings come from the Pew Global Attitudes Survey, which is a poll of 24,000 people in 22 countries that was conducted in April and May. Results were were released Thursday, nearly a week into World Cup play.
Some populations were not-so-confident in their teams' abilities.
Only one-in-25 Japanese surveyed think Japan would take the title.
Americans and South Koreans also reported rather low expectations, with only about one-in-ten thinking their national teams would win the World Cup.
But low expectations of winning have not dampened South Koreans' fervor for the World Cup. Before the tournament began, about eight-in-ten South Koreans polled said they were looking forward to the World Cup, making them the population that is most enthusiastic about the tournament. Actually, South Koreans tied with Nigerians on the enthusiasm scale. Seventy-nine percent of people polled in South Korea and 79% percent of people polled in Nigeria said they were excited about the games.
Of the 22 nations surveyed, Americans were among the least enthusiastic about the World Cup, with only about one-in-four saying they were excited about the event.
That might come as a surprise to fans at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg Friday, where crowds of people with red, white and blue top hats, some with American flags hanging down from their vuvuzelas, cheered on the U.S.A. as the American team came from behind to tie 2 and 2 with Slovenia.