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It is biggest sporting event in the world, watched by billions, in a game played on every scrap of land on the planet. It is every boy's dream to win it. Yet just seven countries, from only two continents, ever have. Why? And, most importantly, how?

How to Win the World Cup takes apart all the previous 18 editions of football's pre-eminent competition to look at the sporting DNA as well as the vital statistics of winning teams. It debunks myths and turns accepted truths on their heads in search of the essence of victory. Home advantage helps, surely? Only once in the past three decades. Well, the best team wins, then; it's only seven matches, after all. Not since Brazil in 1970 - and don't ask a Dutchman.

By going beyond tactics and teams to examine factors as diverse as team spirit and the choice of captain, media hype and public expectation, the political climate and even the weather (luck, penalties and cheating play a part too, of course), Graham McColl has produced a World Cup book unlike any to have gone before it. And at the end of the day, he looks at what the 32 nations who have qualified for South Africa 2010 are bringing to the table, and if they have what it takes.

Do England have the recipe for success? Can they win the World Cup, for the first time in 44 years? You read it here first.

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