World Cup Draw: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly


Image from fifa.com

Image from fifa.com

The die is cast. In a short and simple draw, the groups for the 2014 FIFA World Cup have been determined. One thing’s for sure, and that is that we’ll experience world class entertainment. Without further ado, these are the groups:

Group A:

Brazil

Croatia

Mexico

Cameroon

Group B:

Spain

Netherlands

Chile

Australia

Group C:

Colombia

Greece

Ivory Coast

Japan

Group D:

Uruguay

Costa Rica

England

Italy

Group E:

Switzerland

Ecuador

France

Honduras

Group F:

Argentina

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Iran

Nigeria

Group G:

Germany

Portugal

Ghana

USA

Group H:

Belgium

Algeria

Russia

South Korea

Right off the bat, Groups B, D and G can be considered the “groups of death.” Spain, the defending champions, will relive the 2010 final by opening against the Netherlands. Chile has a great team and can fight off the European titans for a spot on the next round. In Group D, we have 3 previous champions, Uruguay, Italy and England. If you add the quality of the Costa Rica squad, this will be a tough one. Finally, on Group G, Germany and Portugal will have to battle Ghana and USA, two squads with the means to cause an upset. These groups include some of the world’s greatest players like Luis Suárez, Xavi, Arjen Robben, Alexis Sánchez, Mario Balotelli, Wayne Rooney, Mesut Özil, Cristiano Ronald and more. In theory, these groups should provide the best entertainment, which is good for the fans and the ratings. Another good thing is that the opening game between Brazil and Croatia is very appealing, not only do the hosts have a team to win it all, but Croatia has players in many top clubs in Europe who can cause trouble.

The bad thing about the draw is that some groups almost seem unfair, with one team almost getting an assured spot on the next round. This is true on groups E and F, Argentina and France have by far the best squads on their group and technically shouldn’t have any problems with advancing to the next phase. On top of that, all teams in group C can be considered of average quality, not really having matches that will draw people’s attention.

While having great matches and tough groups right away is appealing, it’s ugly to think that in just a few days into the tournament, we could lose some very strong teams, some of them even being strong enough to win the tournament. With all of that in mind, we just have to take a step back and realize that’s the way these kinds of competitions develop. There’s no perfect way to balance out groups or to assure that amazing teams can make it far. This is what we get and it’s definitely up to the standards of previous editions. We will be entertained, there’s no doubt about it. Get your countdown started, only 187 days left!

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