In honor of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil being less than 100 days away, I present an analysis of the strength of the W.C. Groups based on the latest FIFA World Rankings. The term ‘Group of Death’ has historically been given to the toughest draw, a group where teams outside of the top two are expected to have easily advanced if put in a different group. We do have a clear ‘Group of Death’ this World Cup and coming out on the shortest end of all the sticks is none other than my nation, the good ol’ US of A.
While not the “deathiest” of Groups of Death in history, this year’s is certainly rough with two top 5s together and two other strong soccer nations. And USA ends up as the highest ranked team with two higher teams in its group. So, come on stars and stripes! And congrats Korea for being far and away the worst team included and yet having one of the easiest paths to advance!
But aside from the “grupo de morte”, what about names for the rest of the groups? Below is the W.C. group, the (total number of) rankings of its teams, and a new Group Name.
GROUP G (56) GERMANY 2 PORTUGAL 4 USA 13 GHANA 37 Group of Death
GROUP D (65) URUGUAY 7 ITALY 8 ENGLAND 15 COSTA RICA 35 Group of Near-Mortal Wounding
GROUP B (78) SPAIN 1 NETHERLANDS 10 CHILE 14 AUSTRALIA 53 Group of Severe Uncertainty
GROUP E (88) SWITZERLAND 6 FRANCE 18 ECUADOR 24 HONDURAS 40 Group of Ho-Hum
GROUP C (90) COLOMBIA 5 GREECE 12 IVORY COAST 23 JAPAN 50 Group of Cake
GROUP A (92) BRAZIL 9 CROATIA 16 MEXICO 21 CAMEROON 46 Group of Look Mom, I’m on TV!
GROUP F (105) ARGENTINA 3 BOSNIA 17 IRAN 38 NIGERIA 47 Group of Kittens and Ice Cream
GROUP H (120) BELGIUM 11 ALGERIA 26 RUSSIA 22 KOREA 61 Group of We Probably Rigged the Draw