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World Cup 2010: Executives Choose Favorites

Latin Business Chronicle asks prominent business executives to select their favorites for the World Cup.


What team will win the World Cup? Who will be the best player at the event? Latin Business Chronicle asked half a dozen prominent executives involved in Latin American business.


They represent different sectors and different geographies. Their companies are headquartered in countries like Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, while their personal origin spans countries like Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Spain.


Our panel includes:

  • Rodolpho Cardenuto, president and CEO of Latin America for SAP, Germany 
  • Alvaro Diago, Chief Operating Officer, Latin America and Caribbean, InterContinental Hotels Group, UK
  • Marcelo Modai, Colombia Country Manager, Standard Chartered Bank, UK
  • Claudio Muruzábal, CEO, Neoris, USA
  • Andres Ramirez,  Latin America president, Alberto Culver, USA
  • Jaime Vallés, Vice President, Cisco Latin America, USA




Latin Business Chronicle:
What team will win the World Cup?

Cardenuto: Brazil, of course… [for] obvious reason. [Cardenuto is Brazilian]


Diago: Brazil is always a favorite. Main reasons are that the talent available in the country is just amazing and every day we discover a new name on the Brazilian football scene. The team will be extremely motivated to succeed since the World Cup will be in Brazil in 2014, plus they finished leading the qualifying round for Latin America

Spain, has never won a cup and they have one of the most robust teams plus lots of hunger…

I have to vote for Argentina.  The team is not in good shape but I am sure they are going to emerge as a strong contender from the very beginning.

Brazil. They have a great team and great track record.

I believe that Spain after the Euro Cup has a solid chance. Personally this represents a lot given that I was born in, and my family is from, Spain. For obvious reasons if any Latin American team wins the World Cup it would represent a great moment for all of us. So in summary [if there’s] any Latam team or Spain [victory] I will be very happy.


Latin Business Chronicle: Who will be the best player at the event ?

Ronaldinho, the young one…

The player will be Kaka even though… he is not at his best with his team in Madrid. He is a very complete player who has always performed at his best with the national team. I believe that Kaka from Brazil and Christiano Ronaldo from Portugal and Messi from Argentina are the players to watch.


Modai: Messi, he is playing solidly at Barcelona and he will put up a strong show at the world cup…

Muruzábal:  As for the best player, it will go to Lionel Messi, from Argentina, currently playing for Barcelona. This is “his” world cup….

Lionel Messi, a young and outstanding player [that] has the age to show all his potential at the World Cup.

There are very good players from all over the world. …Given my personal interest for Latam or Spain [I choose] Messi, Kaka, Xavi, Iniesta. All of them will have a great World Cup, but I am sure as a region many good players from our geographies will shine and make us proud.

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