By Ryan Thies of the Long Beach Post
Today is the final day of my previews and as excited as I am for this thing to start, I am going to miss writing these–Uruguay fans, I’m going to miss you the most. Especially since you’re going to crash out in the first round, our time together will ultimately be too short.
As with many things, there is a very real possibility that the main event can’t live up to the hype. And considering this year’s top players have the shelf-life of Gulf coast shrimp, this whole thing might be won by the team that simply has the least injuries. Urm, um, that is, ya know, if it were possible to win. Which it’s not. Moving on…
Group H is just another example of the, ah, interesting grouping of teams. The only two countries in the world that speak Portuguese are grouped together. The two most prominent English-speaking countries in the world are grouped together. The conspiracy theorist in me can’t help but notice these coincidences; like have you ever noticed that FIFA always schedules Trinidad in the same group as Tobago?
But anyway, in Group H three-quarters of the group are Spanish-speaking. Now, I know what you’re gonna say: “But Ryan half the field speaks Spanish.” Well, you’re wrong, only a quarter of the field speaks Spanish (actually 7 out of 32, which isn’t even 22%). And looking at the groups, there was about a 3% chance of having a Spanish supergroup like this one. If it feels like I’m using my math nerd-dom to drag my feet because I don’t want these to end…you’re right. I’m also paving the way to refer to this as Group Menudo.
The number of teams that have a legitimate shot to win the World Cup could be counted on Rahm Emmanuel’s hand. Italy is too old, Argentina too crazy, France too old and too crazy. England, Germany, Ivory Coast, and Ghana have too many injuries to overcome. Really the only teams that have a true chance are Brazil, Netherlands, and…Spain.