Top 5 Nations That Have No Chance of Winning the 2014 World Cup
Top 5 Nations That Have No Chance At Winning The 2014 World Cup
The 2014 World Cup in Brazil this summer is almost guaranteed to be the biggest party on the planet. Millions of fans and locals will converge in numerous spots around Brazil's diverse landscape. From the Amazon rainforest to Brazil's famed beaches, the world's top athletes will be battling for the soccer's biggest prize.
Teams will be expected to battle multiple elements, such as the environment, boisterous crowds and determined opposition, all culminating in arguably the best sporting show anywhere. For the hundreds of millions that can't make it to Brazil, every game will be televised at every waking hour of the day, and if statistics from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa are anything to go by, almost half of the world will watch the final in Rio de Janeiro.
For those lucky enough to hold a ticket, crowds will be treated to the skill and drive of Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal, Wayne Rooney for England and Neymar for Brazil, among countless others. If flair and goal scoring isn't your thing, and you prefer a crunching tackle or brilliant save, players like Thiago Silva, Giorgio Chiellini, Sergio Ramos and goalkeepers Gianluigi Buffon or Manuel Neur are some to watch.
While teams like Brazil, Italy, Germany, Spain and Argentina will be expected to bring the trophy back to their respected nations, the majority of the players and coaches are there to either make history by making it to the knockout round, or upset a traditional powerhouse. For some teams, even something as simple as scoring a goal is something worth cheering about.
Surely, teams like North Korea, China, Angola, Togo, Haiti and the UAE all went in to the tournament with zero expectations, and every World Cup in history features nations who are just happy to be there. This year's Cup is no different, so without further ado, here are the top five nations that have no chance at winning the World Cup.
5. South Korea
The South Korean National Team boast the best ever finish at a World Cup for an Asian team when they finished in fourth place back in 2002. The Korean's co-hosted that year's tournament with fellow Asian rivals Japan, and only missed out on making the final after a 1-0 loss to European power Germany.
That year's team was an anomaly, and the Koreans do not have enough experience or fire power to make another miracle run like 2002. Placed in a difficult group this time around with Russia, Belgium and Algeria, the Koreans will need their best player, Sunderland's Ki Sung-Yueng to play well if they want to advance.
Placed in a group with Chile, Spain, and the Netherlands, the Australian National Team is in trouble. Not only do they have to come up against the winner and finalist of the 2010 World Cup, they have to face a Chile side that is one of the strongest in South America.
New York Red Bull's Tim Cahill is the Australian's most dangerous weapon, but at 34, Cahill will be fighting a losing battle with his boys from down under in Brazil.
3. Costa Rica
The Costa Rican National Team has not shown well in past World Cups, and have made it past the group stage only once in their history. However, they did finish this year's qualifying behind the United States by only four points, ahead of fellow Central American sides Honduras and Mexico.
This year's team is made up of mostly domestic players, with a few plying their trade in lower leagues throughout Europe and the MLS in the United States. With England, Italy and Uruguay their competition in Brazil, chances are the Costa Ricans will finish bottom of their group.
2. Ivory Coast
Arguably Africa's best side (although Ghana might beg to differ) the Ivorian National Team has a decent chance of making it out of their group comprised of Japan, Colombia and Greece. With world-class talent in the form of Yaya Toure Didier Drogba and Gervinho, don't bet against them making it to the Round of 16.
The Ivorians do have the unwanted tag of serial underachievers, and chances are good that their journey in Brazil will be cut prematurely.
1. United States
Sorry fans of the Stars and Stripes, but this year's tournament will not be the one for the United States. Drawn into the "Group of Death" with Germany, Portugal and Ghana, the USMNT are sure to be greeted with an exit in the group stage.
With two of Europe's strongest sides, combined with a Ghanaian side that has knocked the U.S. out of the past two World Cups running, Landon Donovan and Co. will be hitting the beaches early in 2014.