Paddy Power

Paddy Power

July 11, 2010 05:00 ET

Spain Favourites to Lift Their First World Cup

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - July 11, 2010) - It has been a World Cup of twists and turns, and as we head to Johannesburg for Sunday's final, one thing is sure: a new name will be added to the illustrious list of World Champions – whatever the outcome.

We have seen a real changing of the guard in European football. The great World Cup powerhouses – England, France and Italy – underperformed and arrived home in disgrace whilst the form teams – Spain and the Netherlands – have reached the Johannesburg showpiece.

How things have changed in a matter of a few days. When the last sixteen kicked off it was odds on that we would have a South American winner with all five CONMEBOL teams qualifying for the knockout stages and four of them featuring in the quarter finals. However, unexpected defeats for both Brazil and Argentina left Uruguay as the sole South American representatives, and their dreams of a third title were extinguished by the Dutch in an exciting semi-final.

Now, Spain play the Netherlands in Sunday's final.

Paddy Power, the leading Irish bookmaker who offers a wide range of football bets said, "The Netherlands were the canny choice before the tournament and punters backed the Dutch in to 9/1 before kick-off. And, after their Euro 2008 triumph, Spain have been our favourites for months and kicked off the tournament as a 4/1 chance."

Considering that the World Cup has always been won by a team from the host continent or Brazil (depending on how accurate you want to be with the geography of Argentina's win in Mexico in 1986), this long-standing truism about the World Cup will also be shattered on Sunday. Even though eighty years of World Cup statistics pointed to a Brazilian or African winner in 2010, it was 4/11 before kick-off that a UEFA team would win the tournament.

The 2010 World Cup might not have been a vintage tournament – the first couple of weeks featured a series of some of the worst matches many commentators had ever seen – but as the competition has progressed it has become increasingly intriguing, if not of the highest quality. The likes of Argentina, Germany and Chile played some great attacking football, whilst Uruguay, South Korea, Paraguay and the Netherlands have showed what can be achieved with a great team ethic. And who can ignore the African contribution? – the thickness of a crossbar costing Ghana the chance of becoming the first African World Cup semi-finalists.

Paddy Power, the football betting expert, added, "It was 6/5 before the tournament that we would have a 'first time' World Cup winner. Anyone who took those odds is already celebrating a profit, and whatever happens on Sunday in Soccer City, an eighth nation will join the footballing elite. Spain are 8/15 to lift the trophy, with Netherlands 6/4 to make it third time lucky in the World Cup Final."

About Paddy Power

Paddy Power is Ireland's biggest and most successful bookmaker.

Founded in 1988 by the merger of three existing Irish high street bookmakers, Paddy Power takes an unconventional approach to betting and gaming believing them to be firmly rooted in the leisure and entertainment space.

As such its mission is to make 'risk-based entertainment' more accessible and fun. It offers customers an unparalleled betting experience that is great value; great fun and has the best service.

Through this strategy the company has developed a strong reputation as "The Punter Friendly Bookmaker" and has become renowned for its unique "Money Back Specials".

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