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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2010 World Cup seeding: October 2009 ranking to be used

Seems my work in the last year or so has been in vain :)

The FIFA Organising Committee approved today the procedure for the Final Draw of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, which will be held in Cape Town on Friday 4 December. The seeding was based on the October 2009 FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking (which you can see by clicking on the link to the right), and Brazil, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Argentina and England are therefore the seven squads that join hosts South Africa as seeded teams for the Final Draw.


I think the decision to use only the FIFA ranking was taken some time ago, because Jérôme Valcke said on September 29th "clearly we will follow the FIFA ranking system".

These are the pots:

Pot 1 (seeded teams): Argentina, Brazil, England, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, South Africa, Spain
Pot 2 (AFC + OFC + CONCACAF): Australia, Honduras, Japan, Korea DPR, Korea Republic, Mexico, New Zealand, USA
Pot 3 (CAF + rest of CONMEBOL): Algeria, Cameroon, Chile, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Paraguay, Uruguay
Pot 4 (rest of UEFA): Denmark, France, Greece, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland

Possible draw (using

Group A: South Africa, New Zealand, Paraguay, Serbia
Group B: Italy, Korea Republic, Nigeria, France
Group C: Argentina, USA, Côte d'Ivoire, Greece
Group D: Brazil, Honduras, Cameroon, Slovenia
Group E: Germany, Korea DPR, Chile, Portugal
Group F: Spain, Japan, Uruguay, Slovakia
Group G: England, Mexico, Algeria, Switzerland
Group H: Netherlands, Australia, Ghana, Denmark

About me:

Christian, husband, father x 3, programmer, Romanian. Started the blog in March 2007. Quit in April 2018. You can find me on LinkedIn.


  1. and won't the French be happy now !!!

    thanks for the effort.

  2. Ok I suppose I'll go first:

    A: South Africa, USA, Paraguay, Portugal.

    B: Brazil, New Zealand, Cameroon, Slovenia.

    C: England, Honduras, France, Algeria.

    D: Italy, Mexico, Serbia, Uruguay.

    E: Netherlands, Denmark, North Korea, Nigeria.

    F: Argentina, Australia, Ivory Coast, Slovakia.

    G: Spain, Greece, Chile, South Korea.

    H: Germany, Switzerland, Ghana, Japan.

  3. I'm not too surprised, but yeah, it is disappointing to have all this work be for nothing.

    It's also convenient from a PR standpoint that France is left out after the Henry handball. I'm sure if they had any doubts about changing it, that made the decision clearer.

  4. Thanks for all your work on trying to do the formula up until now, Edgar, it has still been very interesting and exciting to read.

    And at least it makes your job easier going forward!

  5. Not really.

    Imagine if the Czech Republic or one of less marketable teams make it to the top 8 in the October 2013 FIFA ranking. I'm pretty sure FIFA will again include the performance part.

    It's a bit frustrating - I wonder why nobody asks FIFA to announce the seeding methodology in advance - both for the playoffs and the final tournament.

  6. I'm not religious, but Hallelujah! Thank you FIFA for using an objective system!

  7. An expected outcome but a surprise FIFA was so blunt with October ranking full stop. Now I really hope that FIFA cleary states when the qualification starts for 2014 that it will be the October 2013 ranking to decide seeding for 2014. Then it can be a really interesting race to play the "best" friendlies to be in the top 7 excluding Brazil.

  8. I must just quote our friend Valcke from the BBC site.

    Valcke said: "In the past the seedings have been determined by a mixture of world rankings and performances in past World Cups but this time the feeling was the October rankings most closely represented the best teams in the tournament."

    Had the November rankings been used then England would have missed out and France been seeded.

    Valcke added: "We made the decision last month that the October rankings would be used because they were fairer - countries who had been involved in the play-offs would have had an unfair advantages because they would have played more games and that affects their rankings.

    "This is not a case of wanting Holland to be seeded in France, just that the feeling was the October seedings represented the best teams."

    I wonder which month "the feeling" for the best teams to be seeded next time. December 2012? March 2013? August 2013? Anyones pick ;)

  9. Anonymous, I share your feeling that you are still very much skeptical about FIFA, but you must welcome this decision. You must also consider that the press may have misquoted this guy, because in other places I have read that the October ranking was used to negate the potentially unfair effect the playoffs could have, and this is proven because France indeed move up in November. Sometimes you don't like what people say or do, but you must also forgive and forget and hope that the line that they have now chosen is continued. I think the influence of Michel Platini on FIFA is clear here, and I think FIFA is listening and realizing the error of their ways. You cannot expect that on everything they'll now move immediately into line. I think this will take some time but at least we are now moving in the right direction.

  10. A quick analysis of the 48 Round 1 matches between Confederations leaves the following:

    5 UEFA v UEFA
    9 UEFA v CAF

    7-10 AFC/OFC v UEFA
    3-6 AFC/OFC v CAF
    1-3 CONCACAF v CAF

    I'm looking forward to the CAF v UEFA matches as this will really show how strong African football has become.

    Sadly for Africa, 3 of their teams are guaranteed to get 2 UEFA teams in their group, if they are unlucky and get Mexico, USA or Australia then these will become the perenial 'Groups of Death'. So If you are european, like me, you want to evade the African teams..

    Roll on Friday

  11. Great decisions!

    It will be a great draw; very fun to watch.

    Uruguay, Chile and Paraguay are thrilled! Who's going to face the hosts?!

  12. Disappointed that FIFA used their Rankings to seed only one pot. Would have preferred FIFA use their Rankings to seed at least two pots -- and ideally all four pots. Maybe 2014.

  13. It's easy to know what the best friendlies for the ranking are - just don't play friendlies at all.

    Edgar, could you please check what were the rankings if friendlies weren't included. A lot of countries would have been seed if they hadn't play friendlies...
    Also, please check what were the rankings with the best 5 each year were included (you have already done it once, I hope you kept the code for it...)

  14. A. Italy : Australia : Paraguay : Slovakia

    B. Argentina : North Korea : Ghana : Switzerland

    C. Germany : New Zealand : Algeria : Portugal

    D. South Africa : Mexico : Cameroon : France

    E. Spain : Japan : Nigeria : Denmark

    F. England : South Korea : Uruguay : Serbia

    G. Netherlands : USA : Chile : Slovenia

    H. Brazil : Honduras : Paraguay : Greece

  15. I obviously meant Ivory Coast for group H ;)

  16. Very happy they came up with the right result, and this is what is important.

    As noted in earlier posts, they could have achieved the exact same result by basing 2/3rd of the score on the October 2009 FIFA ranking, and 1/3rd on World Cup performance, and this I felt was certainly something that could be carried forward for the next World Cup without change, whereas I agree with Edgar that now they may be forced into changing it again 4 years from now, so they may have missed an opportunity.

    I really didn't think they would opt for just a ranking based formula, but perhaps in hindsight, making the tweak to my suggested formula would have seemed like too much manipulation, whereas a straight established FIFA ranking is at least very simple and objective (whether we consider the FIFA ranking system to be a flawed methodology or not).

    I for one believe there should be a performance based score as part of the seeding (but with everything specified in advance!). Would the rest of you be happy if FIFA told us ahead of time that they would again use the October FIFA ranking for the next World Cup seeding?

    Edgar, thanks again for your work and I look forward to seeing more posts.

    Bring on Friday!!

  17. Now which will be the group of death?
    The strongest possible group (according to oct09 fifa ranking standings) would be Brazil, USA, Cameroon, France. And the weakest S Africa, Korea DPR, Ghana, Slovenia.
    If Nov standings are used, then the strongest possible group is Spain, USA, Cameroon, Portugal; the weakest S Africa, Korea DPR, Ghana, Slovakia.
    In the same way, by using the fifa ranking, we can calculate on friday the degree of "deadlines" of each group.

  18. Here is what it will be:

    A: South Africa, New Zealand, Uruguay, Greece.

    B: Argentina, USA, Ivory Coast, Slovenia.

    C: Spain, Japan, Chile, Denmark.

    D: Italy, Honduras, Paraguay, France.

    E: Germany, Mexico, Nigeria, Switzerland.

    F: England, North Korea, Cameroon, Slovakia.

    G: Netherlands, South Korea, Ghana, Serbia.

    H: Brazil, Australia, Algeria, Portugal.

  19. @John
    I agree this was the right result. The formula can be discussed of course. But i guess your point is that FIFA might have to change system again because "wrong teams" can be high ranked next time. I choose to be positive, that FIFA keeps this system. And if they do agree no system is better and more fair than the FIFA-ranking. The teams that are there have earned it. The change i would accept is to give the World Champion a seeding spot just like the host. This time Italy was safe anyway.

    @ Danilo
    Your group D is not possible. South Africa and Cameroon can´t be in teh same group.

    Same arguments as given to Danilo. Your weakest group spekulations is not possible with S Africa and Ghana in the same group.

  20. Henrik:
    you're right, the weakest possible group would be S. Africa, North Korea, Uruguay/Paraguay, Slovenia/Slovakia. I guess most countries are wishing to be drawn in group A with the hosts, as opposed to with any of the first 7 ranked teams, although there's always talk about referees favoring the home team. Other than that, pot 2 is the one with the greatest variability. Playing the US or Mexico is very different from playing North Korea or New Zealand.

  21. What I find interesting is that FIFA changed the release date for october to include the qualifiers for the october rankings. Just think of what would have happened if they didn't do that. Then the playoof games would have counted, anf FIFA wou;d have had to have a different formula.

    I was reading on the fifa website that the top 5 europe and top 2 other teams would be seeded. (from the fifa PDF file) this literaly means that it was not the top 7 taken. If argentina was 11th it would have been top 6 plus the next best non europe team.
    Anyone else catch that?

  22. doylew8, good point. If this is maintained for 2014, it would be Brazil + 5 European + 2 non-European. This would open the door for teams like USA, Mexico, and strong African teams to fight for a seeded spot along with Argentina.

  23. Here is FIFA rules:

    Pot 1: 5 Europeans + 2 non-Europeans

  24. Bycicle Kicker (from midfield)December 3, 2009 at 12:20 AM

    I'll be honest, I'm happy about my predictions about which, but thinking about how...

    I LOVE how FIFA is more or less guaranting Argentina's spot as seeded from now into eternity. Wait, no. It will be until Grondona retires.
    The trickiness level of this 5 European and 2 non European teams is astounding. I couldn't ever in my life think about something like that after their "Not November but October ranking, folks". That leads me to...
    They thought about that before, not after (I'm so naive). I mean, this insane thing came into their evil heads when they saw Argentina out of seeding, because the 5 + 2 wonder just works with Nov rankings. But, you know... they have "feelings" to cover, that's how they reached the October thing, and saved their precious system with a lovely "This is the same system as used at 2010" as a backup for 2014.

  25. Can anyone think of a reason for the signifigance of the pot numbers after the first pot? Why was Conmebol/caf put in pot 3 and not pot 2 given the complications?

    Not that it would matter but will more tv watchers stay on if Europe is in the 4th pot and conmebol/caf is in the 3rd?

  26. I would say strength, but I think pot 3 is actually stronger...

  27. Bycicle Kicker (from Midfield)December 3, 2009 at 4:19 AM

    Pots 2 through 4 are ordered relative to the excitement they bring into the draw.
    It just adds to marketing and/or show.
    Most (money spending) people are from Europe, that's why FIFA draws that pot at the last time.
    If you are in the middle of the second pot already knowing that Portugal and England are in the same group and France is already safe in pot A along South Africa... you would be comparatively more bored than being at the last pot still not knowing which European team will get the nuts in the Italy, Mexico, and Ivory Coast Death Group.

  28. Greetings all.... have read your prognostications and permutations with interest and a special thanks to Edgar, a great job. Maths and probabilities was never my strength...

    Are we clear that the teams in Pot 2 will be the second team in each Pool? I know it's only 48 hours till the draw but I've got the road map out!

  29. Canbaroo- I was wondering the same but I read that pots 2,3 and 4 will be drawn into groups and positions (from the FIFA link first posted above)

  30. hypocrisy reached its summit yesterday.
    FIFA said that it was fair that no barragist be seedeed in place of a team that earned its place as group wiiner.
    But no journalist reminded taht there were three precedents: Spain in 2006, Germany in 2002, Italy in 1998...
    FIFA ranking is a very approximative tool, especially to compare teams from different confederations.Using it at 100 % to determine the seedings is a nonsense.

  31. If it was up to me...I would seed every pot...but, as it is a WORLD Cup...have the top seeded pot to have at least one of each region (except OFC), preferably whoever topped the qualifying in the region, plus the World Champions and their host...and UEFA would have the extra spot where OFC would not they are seen by FIFA as the 'strongest' region. Using this formula, Pot 1 would be seeded as such; South Africa, Italy, Ivory Coast, Australia, Brazil, Spain, England, United States.

    However, where this formula may come undone is how the other 3 pots would be seeded...which I would most likely do geographically...but in the case of Europe, put the lower ranked nations into a different pot...probably based on the rankings like FIFA did, in which case, the 4 pots for 2010 would be;

    Pot A
    South Africa
    United States
    Ivory Coast

    Pot B

    Pot C
    Nth Korea
    Sth Korea
    New Zealand

    Pot D

    But this is just my opinion...seeing as the teams that are seeded can say that they were the best country in the region...sorta.. during qualifying. Plus, you are more likely to have 'blockbuster' games during the group stage, and also, if teams are truly that good that they think they should be seeded (I'm talking like Argentina, France, countries that wouldnt be seeded using this system) they should be able to beat anyone..

  32. Patrice, yes, the FIFA ranking is not the perfect tool, but what you do get that if you use this you get an objective measurement. If you instead use past World Cups to determine who used to be good and give seeding places to teams that "deserved it because they did well in previous tournaments" then I'm afraid you have an even more hypocritical world.

    I now trust that FIFA will use this method from now on, indeed, we still have to hope that they will announce this decision before the start of the next tournament, but then at least every country knows what they have to do, just like the UEFA system now in place.

    Doing what FIFA did yesterday, using ONLY the FIFA ranking is the most fair to all nations, and rewards good play. It also gets us away from subjective decision-making.

    I know there's still a lot of people arguing that we still have subjectivity, but if you read these interviews with FIFA staff members all you guys automatically believe the "hype". Journalists are pushing words into the mouths of these FIFA people, and writing things that simply sell newspapers. It is not truth, it is just being a good journalist. FIFA made this decision, and a just decision in my opinion, to use the FIFA ranking in October already, and they used their best judgement to come up with something that is fair (i.e. using the October rankings instead of the "tainted" November rankings).

    If there is a better objective system I'd like to hear it! And yes, I will sign a petition to get FIFA to make these decisions before tournaments start, but let's get positive about this development and not get more and more negative about it. This is a step in the right direction. It is not far enough yet, but then you can build Rome in a day as they say.

  33. Patrice,

    No hipocrisy. It's fairer. You must read that the precedents -you missed Argentina USA'94- were unfair...

  34. How about a "Group of Death" this year? I believe it must have:

    a) Pot 1 - non-hosts seeded team (7/8);
    c) Pot 2 - Australia, USA or Mexico (3/8);
    c) Pot 3 - Paraguay, Chile, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Ghana or Nigeria (6/8);
    d) Pot 4 - France, Portugal or Denmark (3/8).

    What do you people think? Agree? How are the odds?

  35. @Sancho
    I agree with most of that.
    Only 2 things my opinion differs. You don´t think Uruguay is good?
    I think so!
    And in pot4(UEFA) i think Serbia is better than Denmark.
    For me:
    France, Portugal (death)
    Serbia (tough)
    Denmark,Switzerland,Greece (Normal)
    Slovakia, Slovenia (dream picks for teams like USA and Mex)

    Just my opinion, my outsiders in WC is Serbia and Uruguay. I just hope they´ll not end up in the same group. Oh i bet they will now after my speculations..

  36. @Henrik

    what about Australia...I'm pretty sure they could cause a stir in a group of death...Have played Netherlands 3 times since the world cup and haven't lost...also gave Italy a good run at the last cup as well..

  37. Yes there is a reason pot 4 is the Europe pot. It has not so much to do with the draw as how the matches are set up. FIFA has had the matchs fixed for some time now on thier website (yes they had the match format set up for almost a year!). If you notice Pot 1 teams play Pot 4 teams in the last match in the group stage in every group. Thus leading to the ranked teams playing the Europe teams in the third and final group match.

  38. Bycicle Kicker (from Midfield)December 3, 2009 at 2:03 PM

    In my opinion the death groups are formed with the best teams of each pot, when you have a clear difference of strength.
    Pots 3 and 1 (excepting hosts) are quite balanced.
    Pot 2 has USA and Mexico
    Pot 4 has France and Portugal

    With my approach South Africa, AFC teams, New Zeland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Greece, Denmark and Serbia will NOT be in a death group.
    Of course, this is a priori, we'll see how fit each team reachs the WC.

  39. Hi doylew8. Sorry, but this is not how it works if previous draws are anything to go by. Both groups and positions in the groups will be drawn, so the seeding pots do not determine the positions of the teams. At this stage the only known truth is that South Africa is A1 if I'm not mistaken.

  40. I think you're right, Raoul. My understanding is that the seeded countries take position 1 of each group. Then, after picking a country from pots 2 and 3 there needs to be a ball (#2, 3 or 4) pulled from another pot to position these countries in their group. Finally, the european teams from the last pot will just fill out the remaining spot in each group.

  41. Hi Jake.
    Yes Australia is a good team i think. Obviosly they are, coming through the last stage unbeaten.

    But the teams we would say form the group of death will be based on their rankings more than opinions.

    For example i posted before that i think Serbia will be a team to watch out for. But still the group of death is more likely to include France or Portugal than Serbia.

  42. Yeah, Henrik..just realised my mistake were talking about just Europe, so i don't even know why I brought up your name when talking about Australia and a GoD ...but IMO, if you were to count 'Groups of Death' on rankings...with the rankings used in FIFA World Cups (i cant be bothered looking for other ones) heading into the 2006 draw, Australia were ranked 49th....into the 2010 draw, 4 years later, they are now 21st...just one behind Serbia. And when looking at the 2006 results, if you were to have picked a group of death AFTER games were played, Group F was pretty close to it...they are now more likely to get through now, than later..

    Looking at the pots, from Pot B, the only countries that stand out to me are Australia and Mexico, so in a Group of Death, I'm certain that these countries would have to be involved in it.

  43. More I think about it, more I sense that Brazil is heavily favorite. I watch WC since 1990, and I cannot remember Brazil being THAT favorite before.

    Ok, in 2006 the hype was intense, but it was an European WC (and the European teams are always strong at "home"), and Brazil went to Germany not to play football but to party. Next year, it will be a whole different story...

    From Pot 1, I sense SPA, GER, ENG and NED as the greatest opponents of Brazil. ITA, ARG and SAF are no match, besides the italians love to fool everybody, including themselves. Because of tradition, ITA or ARG can be at the quarterfinals, but I wouldn't bet on both.

    On Pot 4 teams, DEN has shown solid football, and POR started to get better in the end. SRB faced a easy qualifying group, so it's a mistery to me. The rest are just rest, including FRA (they smell 2002!). Great chance of none showing up to play at the quarterfinals stage, and I would be suprise if there were more then 1.

    In Pot 2, MEX, AUS and USA are the biggest threats, and they have a shot at the quartefinals. The rest are just harmless (HON, KPR and NZL more then the others).

    Finally, Pot 3. To me, the strongest pot, mainly because of PAR, CIV and GHA. I can see all 3 at the quarterfinals. From South America, PAR is the most dangerous side. CHI lacks experience and depth at the squad (but has a hell of a coach), and URU has serious trouble at midfield, besides having a solid defense and deadly attacking weapons of all kinds possible. On Africans, CIV and GHA seem to be stronger then any team despite the top-5 I've listed above. CAM and NIG are slightly behind, maybe at the same level as CHI and URU. ALG has won its WC against EGY already.

    Have said all this, before the draw, I would point BRA, SPA, ENG, NED, GER, PAR, CIV and GHA as my favorites to reach quarterfinals. BRA, SPA, ENG and CIV to be in the semifinals. And BRA to beat ENG at the final.

  44. @Sancho
    I agree with your points about the seeded teams that Brazil is a favourite. And with SPA, NED, GER, ENG as the greatest opponents.
    The only problem i see is that we can never speculate about semifinals even with the favourit teams winning their groups.
    This quote from FIFA am i talking about: South Africa will be the only team whose group is predetermined -> Group A. The remaining teams will be drawn randomly into Groups B-H.

    The best teams can meet in the quarterfinals even if they win their groups.
    Of course i would prefer a draw where the 2 best teams Brazil and Spain being guaranteed opposite halves from second round if they both win their groups.
    Then they would been given the chance they deserve, to possible meet in the final. And if they do not, some other team deserves it by beating them!

  45. I don't understand why FIFA don't go all the way using the FIFA ranking, they should not only use the ranking for seeding pots, but they should seed the groups with it. For example, in Tennis you never have a chance of Federer playing Nadal anywhere but in the final. I think they should spread the teams so that in the quarter finals you would get: 1 v 8, 2 v 7, 3 v 6, 4 v 5 (assuming of course all seeds win their group, which is unlikely). I don't understand why football doesn't adopt this. It avoids Brazil v Spain in the second round or quarter final.

  46. @ raoul

    There were years that FIFA let the seeded out of the draw but it lack the drama and was always the complain about favouring one or another...

    @ Henrik

    That's why I said before the draw. Tomorrow it will be a completely different story.

    P.S.: Funny. My father-in-law's name is Raul, and my 4-month son is called Henrique. I feel surrounded by family... :-)

  47. @Amir

    If friendlies weren't included: Portugal seeded instead of Argentina.

    With the best 5 results each year were included: Portugal seeded instead of England.

  48. Hi everybody! First of all, congratulations Edgar, you're doing a great job, we are a lot of people enjoying it, so go on! It's not your fault if FIFA has no criteria at all.

    Talking about the WC, it's better to wait till the draw, but I think that the favorites are BRA (obvious), SPA (I really think they're the best team at this moment, but we all know that SPA is always horrible at WC's; I'm spanish and I think that I'm not objective at this point), ENG and NED (they will have big support in South Africa).

    I think that GER, ITA, ARG can always win as they are the big ones, but at this moment It would be a surprise. I think that FRA has no chance, but I thought the same in 2006, amd they beat Spain, Brazil, Portugal and reached the final!

    There are other good teams that I think will do a good WC: Chile, Ghana and Ivory Coast (but african teams are really unpredictable), etc.

    So I think that it could be: BRA, SPA, ENG and NED at the semifinal; ITA, ARG, Ivory Coast and Chile at the quarter final. but let´s talk about it again after the draw.


  49. According to last FIFA ranking, and with the 4th december draw, the WC would be something like this:

    1/8 1/4 1/2 Final

    An according to bets, almost the same (Nigeria to 1/8 instead of Greece, ENG beats FRA in 1/4, 50% ARG-GER):

    1/8 1/4 1/2 Final

    I hope I have no mistakes.


  50. Possible draw (using
    Group A: South Africa, New Zealand, Paraguay, Serbia

    Damn, this group seemed so easy! But, instead we got Germany, Ghana and Australia. Never mind, we'll win the group. Go Serbia and Ghana!

  51. Hello all,

    Since I don’t have the patience to wait the WC, I decided to play it beforehand. I used my own manager game for playing the matches. For teams’ strength levels I used FIFA ranking modified by teams’ success in WC’s 1998 – 2006. I also gave South Africa +200 pts for being host and +100 pts to the rest African teams because of the home continent.

    And here’s how it all went:

    Group A

    France 1245, Mexico 913, Uruguay 759, South Africa 619

    South Africa – Mexico 2 – 1 (great opening for the WC!)
    Uruguay – France 0 – 2
    South Africa – Uruguay 0 – 1
    France – Mexico 3 – 1 (T. Henry hat-trick???)
    Mexico – Uruguay 2 – 1
    France – South Africa 0 – 0

    France 7 (5-1)
    South Africa 4 (2-2) (hosts go through!)
    Mexico 3 (4-6)
    Uruguay 3 (2-4)

    Group B

    Argentina 1043, Nigeria 847, Greece 803, Korea Republic 709

    Argentina – Nigeria 1 – 1
    Korea Republic – Greece 1 – 0
    Greece – Nigeria 2 – 2
    Argentina – Korea Republic 1 – 0
    Nigeria – Korea Republic 2 – 1
    Greece – Argentina 2 – 1

    Nigeria 5 (5-4)
    Greece 4 (4-4)
    Argentina 4 (3-3) (disaster for Argentina!)
    Korea Republic 3 (2-3)

    Group C

    England 1079, USA 918, Algeria 774, Slovenia 665

    England – USA 3 – 1
    Algeria – Slovenia 2 – 1
    Slovenia – USA 0 – 3
    England – Algeria 3 – 2
    Slovenia – England 1 – 0
    USA – Algeria 0 – 2

    England 6 (6-4)
    Algeria 6 (6-4) (Africans are doing fine, aren’t they?)
    USA 3 (4-5)
    Slovenia 3 (2-5)

    Group D

    Germany 1324, Ghana 807, Serbia 806, Australia 784

    Germany – Australia 2 – 1
    Serbia – Ghana 0 – 1
    Germany – Serbia 1 – 1
    Ghana – Australia 2 – 0
    Ghana – Germany 2 – 2
    Australia – Serbia 0 – 2

    Ghana 7 (5-2) (another group win for Africans!)
    Germany 5 (5-4)
    Serbia 4 (3-2)
    Australia 0 (1-6)

    Group E

    Netherlands 1123, Cameroon 957, Denmark 770, Japan 709

    Netherlands – Denmark 1 – 1
    Japan – Cameroon 0 – 1
    Netherlands – Japan 1 – 1
    Cameroon – Denmark 1 – 0
    Denmark – Japan 3 – 3
    Cameroon – Netherlands 0 – 1

    Cameroon 6 (2-1) (Africa rules!!!)
    Netherlands 5 (3-2)
    Denmark 2 (4-5)
    Japan 2 (4-5)

    Group F

    Italy 1321, Paraguay 788, Slovakia 626, New Zealand 392

    Italy – Paraguay 3 – 0
    New Zealand – Slovakia 1 – 3
    Slovakia – Paraguay 1 – 3
    Italy - New Zealand 3 – 2 (New Zealand had 0-2 lead, what a pity!)
    Slovakia – Italy 0 – 2
    Paraguay - New Zealand 0 – 1

    Italy 9 (8-2)
    Slovakia 3 (4-6)
    New Zealand 3 (4-6) (New Zealand almost did it!)
    Paraguay 3 (3-5)

    Group G

    Brazil 1574, Portugal 1104, Côte d'Ivoire 890, Korea DPR 377

    Côte d'Ivoire – Portugal 1 – 0
    Brazil - Korea DPR 2 – 0
    Brazil - Côte d'Ivoire 4 – 0
    Portugal - Korea DPR 3 – 0
    Portugal – Brazil 1 – 1
    Korea DPR - Côte d'Ivoire 1 – 0

    Brazil 7 (7-1) (no suprises here)
    Portugal 4 (4-2)
    Korea DPR 3 (1-5)
    Côte d'Ivoire 3 (1-5)

    Group H

    Spain 1391, Switzerland 825, Chile 777, Honduras 618

    Honduras – Chile 1 – 0
    Spain – Switzerland 0 – 1
    Chile – Switzerland 4 – 1
    Spain – Honduras 3 – 2 (all teams have 3 pts after round 2!)
    Chile – Spain 1 – 2
    Switzerland – Honduras 2 – 1

    Spain 6 (5-4)
    Switzerland 6 (4-5)
    Chile 3 (5-4)
    Honduras 3 (4-5)

  52. Round of 16 (guaranteed semi-finalist for Africa, 2 for Europe)

    France – Greece 0 – 0, 1 – 0 a.e.t. (goal assisted/made by Henry’s left hand???)
    England – Germany 1 – 0 (22 men played 90 mins and Germany DIDN’T win…)
    Cameroon – Slovakia 2 – 0
    Brazil – Switzerland 3 – 0
    Nigeria - South Africa 0 – 0, 0 – 1 a.e.t. (go hosts go!)
    Ghana – Algeria 1 – 3
    Italy – Netherlands 1 – 0 (Dutch just can’t win big tournaments. OK, I remember 1988…)
    Spain – Portugal 5 – 0 (cry Ronaldo cry…)


    France – England 2 – 0 (maybe next time, Gerrard & co…)
    Cameroon – Brazil 0 – 3 (no all-African final, shame…)
    South Africa – Algeria 1 – 1, 1 – 4 a.e.t. (well done Bafana Bafana!)
    Italy – Spain 1 – 0 (why aren’t I suprised…)

    Semi-finals (now all Africans are behind Algeria…)

    France – Brazil 1 – 1, 1 – 2 a.e.t. (Brazil equalized 90+4’ !!!)
    Algeria – Italy 1 – 2 (hard battle; Algeria equalized 80’, but Italy sealed the game 82’)

    Play-off for third place (bronze goes to Africa?)

    France – Algeria 0 – 2 (hats off to Algeria, great job!)

    Final (replay for 1994)

    Brazil – Italy

    28’ Italy makes it 0 – 1 !!!

    Brazil pressures heavily but catenaccio holds out until the end and Italy wins the 2010 World Cup!

    Well, this was only one possible way it could go. Let’s hope that African teams’ll do as well as this or maybe even better on next summer (or is it winter in South Africa?).

  53. Well Ari, I would rather say: Let’s hope that European teams’ll do as well as possible!
    With Sweden not there i hope other european teams will do well. But of course no rule without some exeptions. For example June 11 the first day of World Cup I hope Uruguay win against France.

  54. Hi Ari,

    nice simulation indeed. Since I am algerian I like the output, and it will nice to Africa to make 4 teams qualified for the second round. I was surprised to see Cote d'Ivoire last of Group G and beaten by North Korea. I will be a big surprise to see Argentina and Mexico leaving in first round. Tell us what happened for Maradona, argentina coach, then?.

    I think it's difficult to make a precise forecast about qualified teams in the first for most groups. But after, everything is possible. South Korea, Croatia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Sweden are all examples that we can have a surpise host in the semi-finals.

  55. @ Brahim

    Well, Diego Armando denied all criticism and immediately signed new 10-year contract with Argentina FA, of course! :)

  56. Kaleva,

    Terrible WC for South Americans. Hope you are wrong, except, of course, in group B. As a brazilian, I must say that would be GREAT!


  57. I found a lot of indications that will make of this WC exceptional. Five of the six participating african teams are in the first five groups: A, B, C, D, and E. Thus, with some combinations, we can have an african team in the semi-finals for sure, as your simulation indicates. South Africa may face Nigeria and Algeria may face Ghana in the 1/8 finals. The winners will meet in the 1/4 finals to give us an african team in the semi-finals.

    If this happens, a disaster is going to happen for European participants in the 4 first groups. A maximum of 4 European teams can then qualify from the 4 first groups (then 4 European teams will be eliminated in the first round, Argentina, Paraguay, Mexico, USA should be all eliminated though). The 4 qualified European teams will face each other in 1/8 and 1/4 finals to give one European team in the semi-final (given 7 European teams in the four first groups). If a team like Argentina, Mexico, Paraguay or USA qualify in one of the first four groups, we can have no European team in the semi-finals from the four first groups!

    For this to happen, South Africa and Algeria should qualify in the same rank (1st or 2nd in their groups), while Nigeria and Ghana should qualify in a different rank than do South Africa and Algeria (2nd or 1st). This makes them meet in 1/8 and 1/4 finals and offers to Africa for the first time a team in the sem-finals!

    This is a simple simulation of possible outcomes from the four first groups. What makes football stimulating are surprises. Are african teams able to do it this time?. Abede Pele, the retired Ghaneen star, is confident to see an african team winning the world cup. The answer will be known in seven months. I think reasonably that it's time for Africa to have a condidate in the semi-finals after Cameroon and Senegal performances by reaching quarter of finals and being eliminated in extra-time (1990 and 2002) resepcetively.