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(Guardian)   The Guardian ranks the 32 World Cup finalists, gets as far as #9 before collapsing in agony clutching their knee and blaming it on the Tories   (theguardian.com) divider line 48
    More: Interesting, World Cup, Algeria, Spain, England, knees, leg fracture, Men's major golf championships, Uruguay  
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1613 clicks; posted to Sports » on 21 Nov 2013 at 8:22 AM (34 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



48 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-11-21 08:33:52 AM
Remember Americans, our official line is that we don't want to do well at the World Cup so the rest of the world won't hate us even more than they already do.

/Unless you're the sort that doesn't give a rat's ass about the World Cup, in which care you're probably wondering why they aren't just passing the ball
 
2013-11-21 08:45:47 AM
Argentina has looked great over the past couple of years.

Its amazing what getting a real coach can do.
 
2013-11-21 08:53:32 AM
I have been rooting for the Dutch my entire life and this year is no different.  Go Holland!

/no idea why
 
2013-11-21 09:09:18 AM
I know almost everyone here hates Ronaldo, but wouldn't he qualify as a "top-class striker"?
 
2013-11-21 09:39:45 AM

TheLopper: I know almost everyone here hates Ronaldo, but wouldn't he qualify as a "top-class striker"?


If you saw the 2nd leg this week vs. Sweden, you'd have to call him a "top-class striker".  Though he had some GREAT passes to set him up.  That second half was just masterful, and it had the added bonus of putting Ibra out of the WC too.
 
2013-11-21 09:44:10 AM

TheLopper: I know almost everyone here hates Ronaldo, but wouldn't he qualify as a "top-class striker"?


Cristiano's more of a winger with a gift for scoring. He doesn't do well as a striker, as Real Madrid's attempts at making him a "9" showed.
 
2013-11-21 09:45:11 AM

Gunny Highway: I have been rooting for the Dutch my entire life and this year is no different.  Go Holland!

/no idea why


I've read Holland is one of the most popular national teams in the world... no clue why. Maybe it's the orange.

Either way, Hup Holland Hup!!!
 
2013-11-21 10:03:54 AM

Princip's Sandwich: TheLopper: I know almost everyone here hates Ronaldo, but wouldn't he qualify as a "top-class striker"?

Cristiano's more of a winger with a gift for scoring. He doesn't do well as a striker, as Real Madrid's attempts at making him a "9" showed.


Well that makes a little more sense.
 
2013-11-21 10:12:43 AM
Am I missing something? Is there a particular reason why the US is not on this list of 2014 qualified WC teams, despite actually owning a WC berth?
 
2013-11-21 10:13:32 AM

redmid17: Am I missing something? Is there a particular reason why the US is not on this list of 2014 qualified WC teams, despite actually owning a WC berth?


fark never mind. Skipped over a few accidentally and ctril+f for United, not USA. Need moar coffee
 
2013-11-21 10:13:59 AM

digistil: Gunny Highway: I have been rooting for the Dutch my entire life and this year is no different.  Go Holland!

/no idea why

I've read Holland is one of the most popular national teams in the world... no clue why. Maybe it's the orange.

Either way, Hup Holland Hup!!!


It's because they have mostly played attractive and easy to watch football and have never won the World Cup.
 
2013-11-21 10:14:08 AM
England is too damn high
 
2013-11-21 10:17:08 AM
Give me Belgium next summer.  Their squad is top class, deep and full of players that make you say, "He's Belgian?"  Sneaky good squad and I think they make the finals.

/not Belgian
//Long time and eternally suffering Three Lions fan
///The Americans will do well too
 
2013-11-21 10:17:38 AM

Norfolking Chance: digistil: Gunny Highway: I have been rooting for the Dutch my entire life and this year is no different.  Go Holland!

/no idea why

I've read Holland is one of the most popular national teams in the world... no clue why. Maybe it's the orange.

Either way, Hup Holland Hup!!!

It's because they have mostly played attractive and easy to watch football and have never won the World Cup.


Heartbreak nation. I don't think any other national team's gone to the final 3 times and failed each time.
 
2013-11-21 10:18:38 AM

Norfolking Chance: digistil: Gunny Highway: I have been rooting for the Dutch my entire life and this year is no different.  Go Holland!

/no idea why

I've read Holland is one of the most popular national teams in the world... no clue why. Maybe it's the orange.

Either way, Hup Holland Hup!!!

It's because they have mostly played attractive and easy to watch football and have never won the World Cup.


I think it was the orange jerseys and them being the underdogs against Brazil in the first WC I watched.
 
2013-11-21 10:26:47 AM
My prediction is that Germany dominates, Spain disappoints, many "lagrimas" will be shed in South America as they all fail to deliver. USA will lose in the 2nd round to Ghana. Koman Khoulibaly will make his majestic return to the global soccer scene
 
2013-11-21 10:37:49 AM

HaywoodJablonski: My prediction is that Germany dominates, Spain disappoints, many "lagrimas" will be shed in South America as they all fail to deliver. USA will lose in the 2nd round to Ghana. Koman Khoulibaly will make his majestic return to the global soccer scene


I dunno about Spain. They've been pretty good at stepping it up for major tournaments the past 6 years. Everyone expected them to flounder after flunking out of the 2009 Confederations Cup and then losing to the Swiss, but they pulled it off. I don't think they're a pre-ordained finalist, but I think they'd make the semifinals.
 
2013-11-21 10:38:40 AM

Lost Thought 00: England is too damn high


The English press overrating the English men's team? Inconceivable.

You know who's underrated, and who I think is going to deal some damage? Belgium. They're freaking loaded, and their defensive backs might be the best 4 in the world.
 
2013-11-21 10:59:20 AM
The US is going to get a terrible draw. It's not some sort of conspiracy, but they are one of the best two teams in their pool of North America/Asia.
They are going to draw one team from (Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, Argentina, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Belgium)
They are going to draw one team from (Bosnia, Portugal, England, Italy, France, Croatia, Russia, Greece)
They are going to draw one team from (Chile, France, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ecuador)

I'd say there's about a 10% of them getting a draw with a favorable chance of making it out of their group.
I'd say an average draw would be something like Belgium, Russia, Cameroon, US. That's still an incredibly tough draw for the US.

They could easily draw something like Germany, Portugal, Chile, US... Which would be absoultely brutal

Their pool is, (US, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Iran, Costa Rica, Honduras, Australia). I'd imagine no one would want to draw the US, Japan or Mexico out of that group.
 
2013-11-21 11:25:10 AM
WHAR GRAF WHAR?
 
2013-11-21 11:33:40 AM
The writer for the US entry made a mistake. The US beat Jamaica away during the hexagonal round of qualifying.
/The US will have a tough draw, unfortunately
 
2013-11-21 11:52:43 AM

Gonz: Lost Thought 00: England is too damn high

The English press overrating the English men's team? Inconceivable.

You know who's underrated, and who I think is going to deal some damage? Belgium. They're freaking loaded, and their defensive backs might be the best 4 in the world.


England being 13th is actually the right place based on results in other World Cups and current qualifying. Now saying they will get to the quaters/semi's without massive luck is overegging it.
 
2013-11-21 11:53:00 AM
Really France, the team that had to make a record comeback to get in is listed that high?  I would expect English homers but this is just silly.  France is below Bosnia-Herzegovina and Greece (and the US) in the FIFA rankings and I don't think has shown much this year until the end of qualifying.  Maybe they can continue their run but I expect a disappointing ending on their part.
 
2013-11-21 12:12:37 PM

Norfolking Chance: digistil: Gunny Highway: I have been rooting for the Dutch my entire life and this year is no different.  Go Holland!

/no idea why

I've read Holland is one of the most popular national teams in the world... no clue why. Maybe it's the orange.

Either way, Hup Holland Hup!!!

It's because they have mostly played attractive and easy to watch football and have never won the World Cup.


Yes, attractive indeed.

guycodeblog.mtv.com

/Wrong sport, don't care.
//hot.
 
2013-11-21 12:31:04 PM

Lost Thought 00: England is too damn high


This.


/England supporter
//England 'till I die.
 
2013-11-21 12:33:34 PM
Football Manager 14 has consistently shown me that Belgium will win it all so I'm throwing it all on them.
 
2013-11-21 12:38:57 PM
Belgium seems to be the hipster choice. I see them making it to the semis.

England & USA both scrape through group play and lose to a perceived "weaker" opponent in the 2nd round.

Messi wins his first WC
 
2013-11-21 12:49:29 PM

LucklessWonder: Belgium seems to be the hipster choice. I see them making it to the semis.

England & USA both scrape through group play and lose to a perceived "weaker" opponent in the 2nd round.

Messi wins his first WC


If Argentina really wants to win, they can't play all pretty with flowing passes like they've been doing in the past few years. They need to really buckle down and get Messi.
 
2013-11-21 12:58:17 PM

Calvin Butterball: The writer for the US entry made a mistake. The US beat Jamaica away during the hexagonal round of qualifying.
/The US will have a tough draw, unfortunately


We lost in Jamaica in 2012 before the Hex. We didn't look good going into the Hex, at all. And Mexico looked like they could win the whole thing. What a difference a year made.
 
2013-11-21 01:08:12 PM

JohnHall: The US is going to get a terrible draw. It's not some sort of conspiracy, but they are one of the best two teams in their pool of North America/Asia.
They are going to draw one team from (Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, Argentina, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Belgium)
They are going to draw one team from (Bosnia, Portugal, England, Italy, France, Croatia, Russia, Greece)
They are going to draw one team from (Chile, France, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ecuador)

I'd say there's about a 10% of them getting a draw with a favorable chance of making it out of their group.
I'd say an average draw would be something like Belgium, Russia, Cameroon, US. That's still an incredibly tough draw for the US.

They could easily draw something like Germany, Portugal, Chile, US... Which would be absoultely brutal

Their pool is, (US, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Iran, Costa Rica, Honduras, Australia). I'd imagine no one would want to draw the US, Japan or Mexico out of that group.


You said France twice.

You're completely right, though.  The group of death is rarely about the top pots, it's about the bottom pots.  And nobody wants to draw the US out of the fourth pot.  The third pot is pretty strong too with about a 50% chance of drawing Chile, France, Ivory Coast, or Ghana.  Ideally, we'd draw one of the bottom four African teams and one of the bottom four European teams, but there's only a 25% chance of that.
 
2013-11-21 01:08:22 PM

Norfolking Chance: Gonz: Lost Thought 00: England is too damn high

The English press overrating the English men's team? Inconceivable.

You know who's underrated, and who I think is going to deal some damage? Belgium. They're freaking loaded, and their defensive backs might be the best 4 in the world.

England being 13th is actually the right place based on results in other World Cups and current qualifying. Now saying they will get to the quaters/semi's without massive luck is overegging it.


Who's England's keeper in Brazil? Somebody completely inexperienced in playing on that stage? Or Joe Hart?
 
2013-11-21 01:19:41 PM

Gonz: Norfolking Chance: Gonz: Lost Thought 00: England is too damn high

The English press overrating the English men's team? Inconceivable.

You know who's underrated, and who I think is going to deal some damage? Belgium. They're freaking loaded, and their defensive backs might be the best 4 in the world.

England being 13th is actually the right place based on results in other World Cups and current qualifying. Now saying they will get to the quaters/semi's without massive luck is overegging it.

Who's England's keeper in Brazil? Somebody completely inexperienced in playing on that stage? Or Joe Hart?


i.telegraph.co.uk
i.telegraph.co.uk
Does it really matter?
 
2013-11-21 02:26:41 PM
America is going to draw Uruguay, Italy, and Chile, pull and upset and advance to the quarterfinals where they will lose to Ghana.
 
2013-11-21 03:12:47 PM

Lunchlady: America is going to draw Uruguay, Italy, and Chile, pull and upset and advance to the quarterfinals where they will lose to Ghana.


Can't have two South American teams in the same group.

Got a nasty feeling it'll be Brazil, Ghana, and the Netherlands in our group. If that's the case, ill be crying in the corner throughout the entire tournament
 
2013-11-21 03:34:54 PM

JohnHall: The US is going to get a terrible draw.


Can you (or anyone else) explain how draws work?  Is it not completely random.

I love the World Cup, but I'll admit I'm completely ignorant on most things soccer.
 
2013-11-21 03:47:23 PM

downstairs: JohnHall: The US is going to get a terrible draw.

Can you (or anyone else) explain how draws work?  Is it not completely random.

I love the World Cup, but I'll admit I'm completely ignorant on most things soccer.


The teams are first sorted into four buckets. The first is the host nation and the top seven teams by FIFA's rankings (eight this year because Brazil). The other three are sorted geographically. Each group is filled with one team randomly selected from each bucket.
 
2013-11-21 03:54:48 PM

downstairs: JohnHall: The US is going to get a terrible draw.

Can you (or anyone else) explain how draws work?  Is it not completely random.

I love the World Cup, but I'll admit I'm completely ignorant on most things soccer.


It's not completely random.  The top seven teams by FIFA's world rankings and the host country are all put together into one pot.  This is to keep them from being drawn against each other.

The other three pots are generally separated by geography, in an attempt to keep multiple teams from the same region from facing each other in the group stage.  Generally this means that Europe gets one pot (for its teams not in the first pot) and the other confederations are split up in the final two pots based on how many qualify.  For example, in 2010, the pots were as follows:

Pot A - South Africa and the Top 7
Pot B - Asia, North/Central America, and Oceania
Pot C - Africa and South America
Pot D - Europe

Then, for each group, one team is selected from each pot.  So each group ends up with one Top 7/Host team, one European team, one Asia/North America team, and one Africa/South America.  Also, they generally try to keep any group from having more than one South American team.  Obviously, this will mean some groups have 2 European teams, but none will have 3 from that region or 2 from any other.

While the pots haven't officially been set for this year, there is enough precedent to suggest that the pots will be the following:

Pot A (Host/Top 7) - Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland
Pot B (North/Central America/Asia) - United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Japan, Australia, Iran, South Korea
Pot C (South America/Africa and France) - France, Chile, Ecuador, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria, Cameroon
Pot D (Europe) - Netherlands, Italy, England, Portugal, Greece, Bosnia, Croatia, Russia

France is the odd man out of the European group because they have the lowest ranking of any of the European teams.
 
2013-11-21 03:57:57 PM

downstairs: JohnHall: The US is going to get a terrible draw.

Can you (or anyone else) explain how draws work?  Is it not completely random.

I love the World Cup, but I'll admit I'm completely ignorant on most things soccer.


OK, it's basically like this: there are 32 total teams, separated into 4 groups of 8. They call these "pots". The draw is going to take one team from each pot, and arrange them in 8 groups of 4.

The first pot is the 7 highest-ranked teams in the world, regardless of where they're from, plus Brazil- the host. This is like seeding in other tournaments you've seen, and for the same reason. Yes, if the host is weak, this gives them a bit of a home-field advantage. Brazil doesn't need it. Qatar's going to make a mockery of this, but I digress.

From there, the goal is to spread teams around geographically. In the 8 groups, you can't have more than two teams from the same part of the world. 13 teams from Europe get in the World Cup, and 4 of them are in the top 7. So, there are 9 remaining. Take 8 of those, and make your second pot. The one reamining European team goes in the 3rd pot, and will be guaranteed to be seeded against one of the Pot 1 teams that's not from Europe.

5 African teams qualified, as did 6 South American teams. However, 4 members of Pot 1 are South American. So, 5 African teams, 2 South American teams, and the European floater make Pot 3.

4 Asian teams qualified, 4 North American teams qualified, and none of them are ranked high enough for Pot 1, so they make a pot.

You then draw names, and put them into their 8 groups, making sure that you don't have 3 European teams in any group, and you've got a World Cup draw.
 
2013-11-21 04:12:00 PM
Cool... thanks everyone for explaining the grouping rules.  Much appreciated.
 
2013-11-21 04:32:44 PM
Want to give yourself a case of the cold sweats, U.S. fans?

I give you the updated World Cup Draw simulator:

http://ultra-zone.net/2014-FIFA-World-Cup-Group-Stage-Draws
 
2013-11-21 04:45:56 PM

skink: Want to give yourself a case of the cold sweats, U.S. fans?

I give you the updated World Cup Draw simulator:

http://ultra-zone.net/2014-FIFA-World-Cup-Group-Stage-Draws


First Try:

Brazil, USA, France, Netherlands

Just shoot me now.

Though Belgium, Japan, Cote d'Ivoire, Portugal is pretty rough, too.
 
2013-11-21 04:52:36 PM

skink: Want to give yourself a case of the cold sweats, U.S. fans?

I give you the updated World Cup Draw simulator:

http://ultra-zone.net/2014-FIFA-World-Cup-Group-Stage-Draws


On my third try I ended up with a group of Switzerland, USA, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Not easy, by any means, but definitely better than some of the possibilities.  Germany, USA, Ghana, Netherlands?  Ouch.
 
2013-11-21 06:15:34 PM
Of the top seeds I'd say Switzerland is the one you want to get. From there you better cross your fingers you get Algeria and Russia or Bosnia.

The United States really just needs to get teams without fast midfielders. Portugal would shred us.
 
2013-11-21 06:52:37 PM

skink: Want to give yourself a case of the cold sweats, U.S. fans?

I give you the updated World Cup Draw simulator:

http://ultra-zone.net/2014-FIFA-World-Cup-Group-Stage-Draws


Argentina, USA, Côte d'Ivoire, Italy.

Messi, Drogba, Balotelli? Bring it on.
 
2013-11-21 08:02:03 PM

skink: Want to give yourself a case of the cold sweats, U.S. fans?

I give you the updated World Cup Draw simulator:

http://ultra-zone.net/2014-FIFA-World-Cup-Group-Stage-Draws


I've played with this way too often. I just ended up with Belgium, USA, Chile, Croatia. That's the best draw I've gotten so far.

/Bad news is that was Group E and Group F was Spain, Japan, Ecuador, Italy
//so a 2nd round exit either way
 
2013-11-22 07:23:40 AM
It's the farking Ivory Coast. I'm glad the Guardian (and the BBC for that matter) continue to use their proper name. Do you think the Ivory Coast refers to 'Deutschland' or 'Magyarország' (Hungary to you and me)? It burns me that I have to see the stupid French for Ivory Coast in Fifa >_<

/rant over
//If England get out of their group I'll be happy.
 
2013-11-22 11:05:28 AM

Swiss Colony: It's the farking Ivory Coast. I'm glad the Guardian (and the BBC for that matter) continue to use their proper name. Do you think the Ivory Coast refers to 'Deutschland' or 'Magyarország' (Hungary to you and me)? It burns me that I have to see the stupid French for Ivory Coast in Fifa >_<

/rant over
//If England get out of their group I'll be happy.


The official name of the country is the  Republic of Côte d'Ivoire. So the English name isn't correct.
 
2013-11-22 02:32:51 PM

desertgeek: Swiss Colony: It's the farking Ivory Coast. I'm glad the Guardian (and the BBC for that matter) continue to use their proper name. Do you think the Ivory Coast refers to 'Deutschland' or 'Magyarország' (Hungary to you and me)? It burns me that I have to see the stupid French for Ivory Coast in Fifa >_<

/rant over
//If England get out of their group I'll be happy.

The official name of the country is the  Republic of Côte d'Ivoire. So the English name isn't correct.


And Holland is a region of the Netherlands, not the entire thing, yet this list still has them as "Holland"
 
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