World Cup 2014 - Brazil

This is the place where it’ll all be happening next year, [size=12pt]Rio de Janeiro[/size], [size=12pt]Maracana[/size] [size=12pt]Stadium[/size]

There’s probably no better place in the universe to become world champion.

The first teams have qualified on various continents:

Europe: Holland and Italy
South-America: Brazil (hosts), Argentina
Asia: Japan, South-Korea, Australia, Iran
Concacaf (N&M-America): USA, Costa Rica

Argentina had developed a habit of qualifying in the last minute over the last two decades, so their early qualification is a bit of a surprise - but not really, of course.

Other teams in Europe that are close to qualification are: Belgium, Germany and (quite a surprise maybe) Switserland. Spain is on level points with France in Group I but they have one game in hand, so I suppose they’ll qualify smoothly too (none of the other teams in the group seem a real thread). In the other groups the situation is less clear.
To many Dutch people it was quite a surprise that Oranje qualified so easily, because Louis van Gaal had to build up a new team. He did a good job, although it must be said that the team wasn’t really tested. With opponents like Turkey, Rumania and Hungary opposition seemd tough, but both Turkey and Rumania were very dissapointing.

The biggest upset might come from the Concacaf Group: USA and Costa Rica qualifying sounds familiar, but Mexico is in danger of missing the tournament. The third place (which would secure them direct qualification) seems out of reach and they’re only level on points with Panama in fourth place. If they end fourth, they still have a play off game against the team ending in fifth place in the South-american group (actually Uruguay)

In Africa the qualification games have not yet reached the final stages.



England has said they’re aiming to win the 2018 World Cup, so I’m not holding out much hope for Rio :P.

Wouldn’t hold out too much hope for 2018 either, John. :’(

They still need to qualify; they’re not in a bad position, but Ukraine and Montenegro are only one point behind them. They play Montenegro next, on Wembley, they’ll probably need a win to remain in first place.

Still, Qatar is going to be interesting for all sorts of reasons…

We will most likely will have to wait for play-offs as usual. Anyway it was an easy group with only Russia as a real contender. All cause of an absurd result a home tie with Northern Ireland.

Still we have a team with a few good players but not many real very good players, without Ronaldo things become vulgar.

Now that I’m almost African Angola missed the African play-offs, but Cape Verde Islands qualified and they have a really good chance qualifying, they beat Tunisia a usually good African team so they can beat any of the teams that they could face.

It would be fantastic three Portuguese speaking teams(With Brazil), in the world cup

Still, Qatar is going to be interesting for all sorts of reasons...

I think the 2018 World Cup is in Russia, Qatar is 2022.

If you can’t do in Rio, Moscow is a good alternative …

Anyway it was an easy group with only Russia as a real contender. All cause of an absurd result a home tie with Northern Ireland.

All too typical …

But hey, Holland beat Andorra 2-0 (!) yesterday, and I saw Germany only beat Faroer Islands 3-0. All lack of concentration and inspiration, I guess, but that’s not a good excuse. I understand that these kind of opponents aren’t as inspiring as Spain or Italy, but they should’ve scored more goals. In a group like the one with Portugal and Russia - and not much else - one bad result may ruin everything. Hopefully they avoid France in the play offs.

Do you still have Carvalho in the national team, Topo?

No he had a quarrel with the coach, he abandoned the team concentration for some stupid reason. it was a very nonsense thing from a prima donna if you ask me. A great center back, one of the best in eurpe at his prime, but nothing on that head than hair, he just forget all those years in secondary teams before Mourinho pick him up to Porto.

Great looking stadium ! Never seen it before.

No vuvuzela-horns this time, I hope. And screen the refs thoroughly.

[quote=“scherpschutter, post:7, topic:3252”]I think the 2018 World Cup is in Russia, Qatar is 2022.

If you can’t do in Rio, Moscow is a good alternative …[/quote]
What do I know about football anyhow… I’m out of my league here (bb-dumth!).

Rendered much of WC2010 unwatchable, IMO. Not that it was a particularly scintillating tournament in the end anyway, apart from the Germans who were f*cking awesome until they were strangled by “one-nil-to” Spain.


Several European teams have joined Italy and Holland in the meantime: Belgium, Germany, Switzerland
Spain, England and Russia are most likely to join them next tuesday.

England - Poland will of course bring back some of those bitter memories for English football supporters, but this Polish team seems no match for the magnificent red army that eliminated England in 1973.

The situation in Group G is most uncertain, with Bosnia-Herzegowina and Greece vying for top position: they’re equal on points with one game to go. Bosnia-Herzogowina’s goal difference is better, but Greece has the easier opponent (and play at home) in their final game. In the case of Bosnia-Herzgowina it would of course be the first qualification in history.

Most spectacular result probably was Holland beating Hungary 8-1 in Amsterdam. Where’s Puskas when he’s needed …

In South-America Colombia qualified after a 3-3 against Chile (I heard five people died during the festivities - Colombians and football …)

Ecuador and Chile play each other on the final match day and … will both be qualified if the play ends in a draw; My prediction: a draw.
Uruguay goes to the play offs.

We had discussed this back in 2010, but I’m still surprised that South America with only 10 teams will be represented at the WC with 6 of them. If I assume that the team which goes into the play offs will win this against Jordan. But even if not, half of the teams will be qualified. While in Europe several probably better teams have to stay at home. And sometimes even one which, if qualified, would automatically called one of the favo(u)rites.

Sure, it all about sport politics and power, means about money, but how comes that Europe isn’t represented according to their strength?
In the last 2 WCs 7 of the 8 teams which reached the half finals came from Europe.

I think there should be some more play offs between teams from Europe and the rest of the world.

I agree, Stanton. It’s not only money, also votes: Blatter (and in the past other Fifa-presidents) promised continents extra places for votes (‘Qatar’ was of course a matter of pecunia). Blatter was probably re-elected (in an election against Johanssen, the Swedish former president of UEFA) because of these extra places for third world teams. South-America isn’t exactly third world, certainly not in matters of footbal, but 5 or even 6 teams out of 10 represented is ridiculous. Europe should at least have the possibility to be represented with more teams. Let the fifth South-American and African team fight it out with a European team. Concacaf and Asia/Oceania are a little over-represented too.

Concacaf is absolutely over-represented. How bad have the USA or Mexico to be if they fail to qualify? Well, Mexico is struggling this year, but the play off against New Sealand shouldn’t be much of a problem.

While in Europe 5 of the groups 2nd places won’t make it. And some of the 3rd placed are also not that bad.

In South America the 2 favourites will never have a problem to qualify, but in Europe always some of the great teams (the usual favourites) have problems, and sometimes one of them doesn’t make it. Like the Netherlands in 2002. Or England now and then.

Germany wouldn’t have won the WC in 1990 if they hadn’t made that one deciding goal against Wales, and that was only about 10 min before their last qualifying game had ended.

You’re right about Concacaf. I checked, I wasn’t sure how many places they had, but they have 3 + 1 (possibly). That’s too much, 2 + 1 would be far more appropriate.

In Europe there’s always this problem with the qualification groups; I remember Germany and Holland played in one group during the qualifications for '90, while they were at the time N°1 and N°3 in Europe (they had played each other in the semi finals in '88). This year we had Spain and France in one group. France will be second and go to the play offs; they played (the already qualified) Australia last friday in a friendly and beat them … 6-0. I know they were awful in South-Africa, but there were specific reasons for it. And they reached the final in 2006. They should always have been a seeded team during the qualifications.

England, after beating Montenegro 4 - 1 (although we went 1 nil down at one point), ought to be able to beat Poland; yet Roy Hodgson has made us really feel every game. What should have been a formality in qualifying has been far more brutal on the nerves.