Frequent contributor Jon Marthaler has written about virtually every sport in the Twin Cities, and fills in on Saturdays for the RandBall blog on StarTribune.com. He'll cover the professional soccer scene in the Twin Cities, whether at the Metrodome or at the National Sports Center.

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World Cup Day 6: All 32 teams, ranked

Posted by: Jon Marthaler under Soccer Updated: June 18, 2014 - 8:17 AM

We've now seen each of this World Cup's teams on the big stage; Brazil and Mexico have played a pair of games apiece to boot. I think that's enough information for us to rank all 32 World Cup teams.

  1. Germany. Destroyed Portugal, looking - as Germany always seem to do in the opening game - like they are totally unbeatable. Generally this lasts right up until the semifinals, so get used to some German wins.
  2. Netherlands. Spain have won two European Championships in a row. Spain won the last World Cup. Spain has lost one non-friendly match - ONE - since losing its first game of the 2010 World Cup. And the Dutch made them look old, slow, and terrible.
  3. Chile. You know, maybe their plan to play ten strikers and a goalkeeper can work after all.
  4. Colombia. Somehow it feels like they have qualified already, after only one match.
  5. Argentina. They haven't even made the semifinals since 1990; this has to be the year, right?
  6. Brazil. They probably would have been higher until they couldn't find a way past Mexico. On the bright side, they pummeled Mexican goalkeeper Memo Ochoa, which is always fun.
  7. France. Won 3-0 and there was no hint that the squad is about to go on strike, which is an improvement from previous years.
  8. Switzerland. Found a way past Ecuador, one of the few South American countries to disappoint, but it's France next for Europe's dark horse contender.
  9. Ivory Coast. The only African team to win its first game. They have to play Colombia next, but they get to finish with Greece.
  10. Mexico. 0-0 draw with Brazil bumped them up the charts. They're (probably) a result against Croatia away from qualifying; knowing Mexico, this will also be a 0-0 draw.
  11. USA. This seems about right, somehow, though if my passport didn't say "United States of America" on it, they might be about ten spots lower.
  12. Belgium. Came from behind to beat Algeria, and as a USA fan, I can vouch that it's always fun to beat Algeria.
  13. Costa Rica. They won! At the World Cup! In what was basically an away game against Uruguay! Granted, they now have to play Italy and England, so it's not easy, but why not the knockout round for Los Ticos?
  14. Italy. They won, but they're still hard to watch.
  15. Russia. Drew with South Korea.
  16. South Korea. Drew with Russia.
  17. Ecuador. The whole country is still wondering how they managed to lose to the Swiss.
  18. Spain. Seriously. They allowed only three goals in eight WC qualifying matches. They won Euro 2012. They lost to Brazil at the Confederations Cup, but losing to Brazil in Brazil is no crime. So when, oh when, did the entire roster hit 49 years old?
  19. Ghana. They weren't bad; they just lost.
  20. Croatia. It would have been interesting to see how their game against Brazil had finished, had the ref not ruined it, or if Croatia had brought a goalkeeper who didn't resemble the Tin Man.
  21. Bosnia and Herzegovina. They're at the World Cup for the first time ever, and they outscored mighty Argentina 2-1, except one of their goals was in their own net.
  22. England. Are they good? I can't tell.
  23. Algeria. Maybe Africa's best team, but we'll see if they can right the ship after losing to Belgium.
  24. Uruguay. Losing to Costa Rica, basically at home, is pretty embarrassing.
  25. Australia. The Soccerroos would like to extend a hearty Australian middle finger to the World Cup draw, which stuck them in with Spain and the Netherlands and threw in Chile for good measure.
  26. Japan. Get to play Greece next, which is always helpful.
  27. Portugal. If any team can lose 4-0 and somehow make it seem even worse than the final score, it's Portugal.
  28. Iran. Everybody is mad at them for playing an awful, boring game.
  29. Nigeria. Was also involved in awful, boring game.
  30. Honduras. In case CONCACAF was getting cocky: France 3, Honduras 0.
  31. Cameroon. Not good at soccer.
  32. Greece. Not as good as Cameroon.

I hope that this objective and scientific breakdown has made the World Cup much easier for you.

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