Tuesday, 15 July 2014

FIFA World Cup - a summary

Well it's fair to say the World Rankings are quite accurate when it comes to Football, especially given the results of the recent World Cup.  So I decided to analyse rankings and placings and provide some insight.

Below is a list of teams as ranked in top 16 (unless otherwise stated) on 5th June 2014 before the WC.  Alongside is where they managed to get in the Cup.

1. Spain  Didn't make it out of group.
2. Germany  Won the final.
3. Brazil  4th
4. Portugal   Didn't make it out of group.
5. Argentina  2nd
6. Switzerland   Last 16 no further.
7. Uruguay  Last 16 no further.
8. Colombia  Quarterfinals no further.
9. Italy   Didn't make it out of group.
10. England   Didn't make it out of group.
11. Belgium  Quarterfinals no further.
12. Greece  Last 16 no further
13. USA Last 16 no further
14. Chile  Last 16 no further
15. Netherlands  3rd
16 Ukraine (failed to qualify)

17.  France Qualified and last 16 no further.
20.  Mexico  Qualified and last 16 no further.
22.  Algeria  Qualified and last 16 no further.
28.  Costa Rica Qualified and last 16 no further.
44.  Nigeria  Qualified and last 16 no further.

So it's very good to see most of the top ranked 16 teams made the last 16, with the obvious exceptions of England, Spain (reigning World Champs), Portugal and Italy (Interesting also that three of those countries are considered the hotbeds for club football in the world.)

As usual World Cups of any sporting code throw up surprises and the last five teams mentioned separately above certainly surprised, none more so than Nigeria, the only team making the last 16 outside the top 32 ranked teams in the world.

The rankings do match current achievements though the demise of Spain and Portugal especially will be interesting to see when the new rankings come out.  On paper then it was no surprise Germany won, Brazil and Argentina made the final four, leaving the only real surprise being the Netherlands finishing 3rd.

Great World Cup?  Maybe, maybe not.  Certainly a spectacle that provided high drama, dubious officiating, and that burgeoning Hollywooding, but yes I enjoyed what I saw and I saw plenty (thanks to time zones being in synch for once).  Bring on 2018.

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