World Cup 2014 Draw: Ranking the Teams in Pot 2
2014 World Cup: Power Ranking Teams In Pot 2
With only a few days left to speculate, the time to reveal the groups of the 2014 FIFA World Cup to be held in Brazil is getting closer and closer.
The final draw will be held on Friday but until then, much can be said about the four pots that will contain the 32 qualified teams. Pot no. 2 contains the African and South American sides.
The seven teams that make up this group all have their own merits to participate in the tournament next year, and while some are clearly better than others, a case can be made for each side to have a decent performance in Brazil. Whether it’s due to some key players, overall team efforts or the presence of superstars poised to break out against top competition, these sides will all look to have a solid tournament against the best countries the soccer world has to offer.
Having said that, which team is the best out of these seven? While all teams have some international players that are respected and some even have world-class caliber superstars, two of these sides are clearly above the rest. However, one gets the knock for having more international experience under their belts.
Without further ado, please join me through this slideshow as we rank the seven teams placed in Pot 2 of the 2014 World Cup draw ahead of the ceremony that will be held this Friday.
The weakest of the five African teams to qualify to the World Cup, Algeria doesn’t have great hopes for next year’s tournament. Even though they do feature some players in Europe’s top leagues, their projected squad doesn’t have enough international experience to be ranked ahead of the other teams listed in this article.
In terms of individual quality, Cameroon has a lot of top players in their squad. However, when we consider the fact that Samuel Eto’o declined to join the team and that The Lions were unable to qualify for the African Cup of Nations held earlier this year, it’s clear that Cameroon is not the powerful team it once was during the last decade.
The current African champions will be a tough team to beat as they have solid players all over the pitch, and some strikers that should be poised for a great tournament as the climate conditions will favor them. Having said that, they lack world-class players like they had in the past, and their ceiling in the tournament should be a place in the Round of 16 at best.
Ecuador certified its place in the tournament in the last week of the CONMEBOL qualifiers, but they have a solid team that should be able to put up a good fight in Brazil. They have experienced players and will be led by Manchester United star Antonio Valencia and Lokomotiv striker Felipe Caicedo. Their defense, however, doesn’t have a lot of experience outside the South American continent, and that could be a cause for concern.
Despite the fact that they weren’t able to lift the African Cup this year, Ghana ranks ahead of Nigeria due to their impressive collection of individual talent. Headlined by midfielders Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng and striker Asamoah Gyan, Ghana already had a solid display four years ago in South Africa and they should be able to repeat that performance in Brazil if the draw is kind to them.
Despite the fact that Chile only clinched their place in the tournament in the final week of the South American Qualifiers, they could’ve done it earlier if it wasn’t for a poor start to the round. Headlined by world-class players like Barcelona striker Alexis Sanchez and Juventus star Arturo Vidal, Chile has a ‘golden generation’ that already had a solid outing in South Africa four years ago. With the intact core and more experience, they should be able to turn a few heads next year in Brazil.
1. Ivory Coast
With the likes of Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure and Kolo Touré on the team, Ivory Coast is the best side in Pot 2 ahead of the draw. Their incredible combination of physical skills, international experience and technique will make him a tough rival for any team that has to face them in the Group Stage next year.