FIFA WORLD CUP 2014 GROUP OF DEATH
A group of death in a multi-stage tournament is a group which is unusually competitive as the number of tough competitors in the group is greater than the number of qualifying places available for the next phase of the tournament. The unofficial term was first used for groups in the FIFA World Cup tournaments. It is now also used in other association football tournaments and other sports.
In what’s being billed as the strongest and deepest World Cup ever, 12 nations in particular could lay claim to their group being the despised “Group of Death”.
GROUP OF DEATH: Group B (Netherlands, Chile, Australia,Spain)
Combined FIFA ranking: 84.
Chile’s the wild card here. They’re a nation that’s rarely kept off the scoresheet and add a certain scare factor for even clubs as talented as Spain and the Netherlands. The Dutch went easily qualifying while Spain’s only qualification hiccups were draws versus Finland and France. On the other hand Australia has to be feeling a great deal of hard luck.
GROUP OF DEADLY DEATH: Group D (Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy)
Combined FIFA ranking: 57
Group D will find Luis Suarez going against the nation who hosts his domestic team. The Uruguay which is also known as La Celeste boast World Cup titles from long ago (1930, 1950) and South American teams certainly have an advantage on European competition. They may have just peeped into the Tournament but Uruguay came within penalty kicks of a Confederations Cup win over the Italians last summer. Both England and Uruguay have twice played in the World Cup and each side winning while Uruguay purchased a 4-2 goals advantage.However that was a long time ago.
Costa Rica is UNCAF’s best nation and boasts victories over both the United States and Mexico in qualifying.
GROUP OF DEADLIEST DEATHLY DEATH: Group G (United States, Germany, Ghana,Portugal)
Combined FIFA ranking: 45
Group G is shaping up to be one of the toughest in the World Cup after Germany, Ghana, the United States and Portugal were all put together. It was always going to be a difficult one in terms of travel, with the remaining team in the group having the longest travel of any team in the World cup — that went to the U.S. — and it was made even tougher by a heaped group. Ghana, the U.S. and Portugal are all arguably the best teams from their pots and Germany is one of the favorites.
Behind the high level of competitiveness, Group G is also going to attract a lot of attention because it features Cristiano Ronaldo. This Portuguese superstar almost single-handedly led his team to the World Cup with dominant performances against Ibrahimovic’s Sweden in the UEFA playoffs.
To become successful in Brazil, CR7 is going to need some help undoubtedly. The side certainly didn’t get it from the draw, so it will be up to the performance of Hugo Almeida, Nani and Joao Moutinho to maintain their form so opponents can’t focus simply on slowing down Ronaldo.
The American squad is led by manager JurgenKlinsmann, led both the German national team and Bayern Munich. He is going to understand what the Mannschaft want to do and at least give the U.S. side a bit of determination.
Klinsmann talked about his team’s fortunes after the draw ended, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com):
“Obviously it’s one of the most toughest groups in the whole draw, having Portugal with Cristiano Ronaldo and then Ghana, who has a history with the United States. It couldn’t get any more difficult or any bigger. It’s a real challenge. And we’ll take it. We’ll take it on, and hopefully we’re going to surprise some people there.”
Ghana may be one of the best teams in Africa, but they haven’t been at their best for a long time. The aging of Michael Essien, as well as injuries and lack of form by some of their stars have left them susceptible.
The starting match of the group will see Germany play Portugal on June 6 in Salvador and it should be a pleasure. Even if Portugal don’t win, and they are long shots to do so, watching Ronaldo go up against a team as good as Germany will be a treat. At that moment, he is undoubtedly the best player in the world andOzil, Kroos, Muller, Gotze and Reus on the other hand will be as good as it gets.