In honor of my pick-up basketball teammate Luke (a big-time soccer fan who said he’d look at my blog more if there was more soccer here) and my allegiance to Greece, I provide this 2010 World Cup report.
The World Cup draw was announced just minutes ago. Here’s what it looks like (with FIFA world rankings in parentheses):
Group A: South Africa (86), Mexico (15), Uruguay (19) and France (7)
Group B: Argentina (8), Nigeria (22), South Korea (52) and Greece (12)
Group C: England (9), United States (14), Algeria (28) and Slovenia (33)
Group D: Germany (6), Australia (21), Serbia (20) and Ghana (37)
Group E: Netherlands (3), Denmark (26), Japan (43) and Cameroon (11)
Group F: Italy (4), Paraguay (30), New Zealand (77) and Slovakia (34)
Group G: Brazil (2), North Korea (84), Ivory Coast (16) and Portugal (5)
Group H: Spain (1), Switzerland (18), Honduras (38) and Chile (17)
-You have to feel sorry for North Korea and Ivory Coast, who have to play in a group with Brazil and Portugal. It’s mandatory to proclaim one World Cup group the “Group of Death,” and Group G is that group.
-Speaking of Group G, Portugal won’t be sending any Christmas cards to the South African side; because the host country was granted one of the top seeds, the Portuguese got stuck with Brazil in their group.
-The United States got a reasonable draw. Not advancing out of Group C would be viewed as a disappointment.
-Greece, my father’s home country, has a solid chance to advance in Group B. Although not if you ask my dad. Here’s the conversation we had over the phone after Greece qualified for the draw:
Me: How about those Greeks!
Dad (in his thick Greek accent): They need new players.
Me: What about the players that qualified?
Dad: They’re old and they’re no good.
OK, maybe don’t put all your money on the Greeks.
-So who comes out of the groups? Here are my fearless predictions:
Group A: Uruguay and France
Group B: Argentina and Greece
Group C: England and United States
Group D: Germany and Ghana
Group E: Netherlands and Cameroon
Group F: Italy and Slovakia
Group G: Brazil and Portugal
Group H: Spain and Switzerland
-My quarterfinalists: France, Argentina, Ghana, Germany, Netherlands, Cameroon, Brazil and Spain.
-Semifinalists: France, Germany, Brazil and Spain.
-Finals: Brazil vs. Spain.
So there you have it. 188 days, 17 hours and 21 minutes early, your Thirsty Beagle World Cup predictions!