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Fergie - WC is South American bound

Manchester United chief sticks with prediction

Last Updated: 25/06/10 9:31am

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Ferguson: South American fancy

Ferguson: South American fancy

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Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson remains convinced that a South American side will win the World Cup.

Ferguson predicted a country from that region would take the trophy in South Africa, and he has not changed his opinion since the start of the tournament.

Indeed, none of the five South American sides have lost so far and they could have a full contingent in the last 16.

"That was my prediction: that a South American team would win it, particularly Brazil. I always said Paraguay were a big danger. They don't lose goals and have strength and pace," Ferguson told Radio Riviera of Monaco, where he is currently holidaying.

"Chile have done well. Argentina have shown the most consistent form. But Brazil have always got that bit of magic. Just when you think it's not the Brazil of old they produce something because their players are brought up in this fantastic philosophy of enjoying themselves and expressing themselves on the football field.

"All Brazilian players have got that. They are big-game players. That's why I made them favourites.''

England chances

Ferguson, though, is not ruling out England's chances of glory but he says expectation levels have hurt the Three Lions.

"The whole country was adamant they were going to win the Cup and that's a terrible pressure to take on for players, none of whom have really got to a latter stage of a World Cup,'' he said.

"You have to go back to 1990 for the last time they were in a semi-final. They were unlucky to lose on penalty kicks to Germany. None of them have that experience of doing very well at a World Cup final. There are big, big expectations for these players and that's difficult to carry.

"Germany are a young team and that's an advantage for England,'' added Ferguson.

"Germany had a fantastic start, beating Australia, but showed when they lost to Serbia they are not infallible. Last night they squeezed through.

"There's nothing there that suggests it will be easier for Germany. It's a very difficult game.''

Ferguson was also quizzed about the actions of the French players, led by Manchester United's own Patrice Evra, as they refused to train following Nicolas Anelka's expulsion from the squad.

"I've texted him,'' said Ferguson. "He's going for a bit of a holiday.'

"We don't know all the circumstances, it's a bit disappointing. The last thing you should do is down tools.

"They may have valid reasons but sometimes you should put reasons behind you and think of the people who have come from all areas of the world to South Africa to support you.''

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