We Are here. Almost. Today decides the eight groups who will square off in June, with an anticipated ceremony in Costa do Sauipe, Brazil. Understandably, and appropriately, the draw began with a minute of silence in honor of the passing of the great Nelson Mandela, whose influence obviously allowed the last world cup to be held in South Africa. Before the draw starts, here are the four pots that will decide the groups (one team from each pot will go into each group):
Pot 1: Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Uruguay, and Switzerland
Pot 2: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chile, Ecuador,
Pot 3: Japan, Iran, South Korea, Australia, United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Honduras
Pot 4: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, England, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, and France
If you’re curious how these pots are determined, check out this article by BBC Magazine.
Who will compose the Group of Death? Will Brazil win their sixth World Cup on home soil? Can Spain continue their amazing run of international dominance in major competitions? Is this the year that this great generation of German footballers make The Leap together? Do our Americans stand a chance?
Spain’s manager, Vicente del Bosque, is already in fine photobombing form:
Vicente del Bosque photobombs Fabio Capello at the World Cup draw. pic.twitter.com/BPTWe2G2Sh
— Not Match of the Day (@NOT_MOTD) December 6, 2013
Now, the draw:
Group A: Brazil, Cameroon, Mexico, Croatia
The host country received a fairly favorable draw.
Group B: Spain, Chile, Australia, Netherlands
Welcome to the Group of Death.
Group C: Colombia, Ivory Coast, Japan, Greece
This could be a crap shoot.
Group D: Uruguay, Italy, Costa Rica, England
Uruguay, Italy, and England will make this interesting, but Costa Rica could be the deciding factor (i.e. who can they knock off?)
Group E: Switzerland, Ecuador, Honduras, France
Four years after their South African debacle, the French are given likely the easiest draw with Switzerland as the top seeded country.
Group F: Argentina, Nigeria, Iran, Bosnia-Herzogovina
Is this the year that Messi places himself in the all time greats? This draw didn’t put him in a bad position to get off on the proper foot.
Group G: Germany, Ghana, The United States of America, Portugal
USA! USA! USA! Oye… Tough, tough draw for the Americans. Germany is a powerhouse. We have our history with Ghana. However, I absolutely cannot wait to yell atrocious things at Cristiano Ronaldo.
Group H: Belgium, Algeria, South Korea, Russia
The young Belgians are tipped to make a run. Let’s see how it goes for this fairly inexperienced (internationally, at least) side.
WC2014 kicks off on June 12. Let’s go.