'I want a South American team to win World Cup' - Pekerman

The 64-year-old hopes that a team from South America will clinch the 2014 tournament on home soil and looked forward to an interesting group challenge for his Colombia team

Colombia coach Jose Pekerman is backing a South American team to win the upcoming World Cup in Brazil.

The Fifa showpiece will take place on the continent for the first time since Argentina hosted the competition in 1978, and Pekerman’s side are joined by Argentina, Ecuador, Uruguay, Chile and hosts Brazil as the six challengers from South America in 2014.

And the 64-year-old hopes that one of the six will lift the trophy at the Maracana on July 13, telling reporters in Brazil: “Our wish is that a South American [team] can win the World Cup.”

“It has always been helpful for South American teams to play here and we hope we can do it.”

Pekerman, who led his native Argentina to the quarter finals of the 2006 tournament, was cryptic on Colombia’s task at hand after Friday’s draw, which pits them against Greece, Japan and Cote d’Ivoire in Group C.

“We know it's going to be difficult,” he added. "Sometimes you even get a world champion eliminated in the groups so we didn't have any preference on the opponents.”

But the trainer, who has been in charge of Colombia since 2012, nevertheless looked forward to the contrasting styles of play in the group, with each team hailing from a different continent.

“Our group will be interesting because we have four different styles,” he continued.

“[There is] one very South American team like us and an Asian team like Japan with lots of players that play in Germany, an Italian coach and an incredible growth in the last few years.

“There’s Ivory Coast, who have more experience as they play their third World Cup and are also enjoying new players that adapted well to the team. As names go, Greece are probably not one of those teams to avoid, but they're still one of those teams you don't want to play.”

Colombia kick off their World Cup campaign with the Group C opener against Greece in Belo Horizonte on June 14.