2010 World Cup Power Rankings (Updated 7/5)

July 5th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)

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Just four teams remain in the World Cup betting festivities, and here at Bankroll Sports, we’re breaking the teams down, #1 to #32 for your World Cup Power Rankings.

1: Germany (2-0-1, 6 pts) – Not that we ever doubted the strength of the Germans, but there clearly hasn’t been a team stronger in this World Cup than they have been. F Miroslav Klose now has 14 goals for his World Cup career, leaving him one short of Ronaldo for Brazil for the all time scoring lead. He is also just one goal off of the Golden Boot pace going into the semifinals as well. Germany has dropped eight goals in the knockout rounds already and is virtually assured of being the highest scoring team in this tournament. How many tremendous performances can this team expect to come up with, though? England and Argentina have already fallen, but Spain provides perhaps the toughest task to date.

2: Holland (3-0-0, 9 pts) – La Oranje are just two regulation victories away from matching the feat of the 2002 Brazilian team that won the World Cup. Holland would become one of the rare teams in World Cup history to win all of its group stage matches and then not need at least one period of extra time to win the tournament. Holland put forth a tremendous come from behind effort against Brazil in the last round, erasing the memories of knockout round defeats to the winningest team in World Cup history in both 1994 and 1998.

3: Spain (2-0-1, 6 pts) – David Villa strikes again! The Spanish have only gotten goals from their top striker so far in this knockout round, as Villa was the hero in 1-0 wins against both Portugal and Paraguay. Spain knows that this is the best chance that it has ever had to win the World Cup in the country’s second trip ever to the semifinals of this tournament. Wasting this opportunity would be a bitter disappointment in Madrid and all across Spain. However, someone aside from Villa is going to have to figure out how to hit the back of the net. At times, it feels like the Spanish have just waltzed around the pitch waiting for Villa to do something special. That won’t cut it against Germany.

4: Uruguay (2-1-0, 7 pts) – In a tournament where all five South American sides made it out of the first round of the tournament, none figured that Uruguay would be the last team standing representing COMNEBOL. Alas, perhaps it shouldn’t still be here. The Uruguayans needed a deliberate handball from F Luis Suarez right on the goal line in the 120th minute against Ghana to preserve a chance at a shootout. To their credit, they did win the sudden death challenge four goals to two, but not since Diego Maradona and the “Hand of God” goal that helped Argentina win the World Cup has there been such a controversy.

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5: Brazil (2-0-1, 7 pts) – Shame on the Brazilians for not only blowing a 1-0 lead, but blowing their composure as well. After giving up that fluke goal on a cross to Holland’s F Wesley Sneijder, the team just appeared to mentally check out. As a result, manager Dunga was sacked and Brazil has come home empty handed from South Africa.

6: Argentina (3-0-0, 9 pts) – Was a berth in the quarterfinals good enough to save Diego Maradona’s job? We tend to believe so, as the Argentines ran into a brick wall against Germany in their final game here in South Africa. We always wondered how Argentina would react to a bit of controversy, and the answer is simple: Not well. A 4-0 defeat sent one of the favorites of this tournament crashing out of the World Cup.

7: Paraguay (1-2-0, 5 pts) – Give Paraguay all the credit in the world for hanging in there against Spain for almost the entire match. One defensive lapse really cost the team, though one has to wonder what would have happened had the Paraguayans converted on their penalty kick attempt late in the match.

8: Ghana (1-1-1, 4 pts) – Ghana doesn’t want to talk about penalty kicks, though. The Black Stars were all but through to the semifinals when F Luis Suarez literally robbed them red handed of a strike in the 120th minute of a 1-1 match. However, F Asamoah Gyan had a chance to be a hero and sink a penalty shot that would’ve done the exact same thing. He hit the crossbar, and Ghana went on to lose the shootout very predictably by the count of 4-2. Still, the Black Stars have nothing to be ashamed about, as they clearly put on the best show that any African team has ever put on in this tournament.

9: Portugal (1-2-0, 5 pts) – There is no shame in the way that Portugal was knocked out of the World Cup, as the 1-0 defeat to Spain was disappointing, yet expected.

10: United States (1-2-0, 5 pts) – Manager Bob Bradley may get sacked for the defeat to Ghana, but all things considered, the US should be thrilled about getting into the Round of 16 here in South Africa.

11: England (1-2-0, 5 pts) – The Three Lions were one of the most disappointing teams in this tournament, and though a defeat to Germany was at least in the realm of possibility back home, losing by four goals will certainly leave manager Fabio Capello on the unemployment lines.

12: Japan (2-0-1, 6 pts) – Losing in a penalty shootout is always the cruelest way to leave a tournament, especially after 120 scoreless minutes. Give the Samurai Blue some credit for reaching this point, as they put together a fantastic effort and can hold their heads high for a strong effort in South Africa.

13: Mexico (1-1-1, 4 pts) – The Mexicans never really stood a chance of advancing into the quarterfinals against mighty Argentina, but just like the Japanese, there should be no level of shame here either. This was a very tough Group A to get out of, and Mexico did just that to make its homeland proud of its effort in the 2010 World Cup.

14: Chile (2-0-1, 6 pts) – Two wins in their first two matches were fantastic, but the Chileans ended up losing out to both Spain and Brazil in their L/2 matches, proving that there is still a ways to go to get them up to the highest level of international play.

15: South Korea (1-1-1, 4 pts) – A 2-1 loss to Uruguay crushed the South Koreans in their effort to duplicate their outstanding run to a third place finish in the 2002 World Cup on their home soil. Better is expected in the future, but for now, a place in the last 16 will have to do for one of the top Asian nations.

16: Slovakia (1-1-1, 4 pts) – The Slovaks never stood a chance to beat Holland in the Round of 16, but watching Robert Vittek score his fourth goal of the tournament in stoppage time was a nice send off for the most unlikely team to advance out of the group stage of the World Cup.

17: Switzerland (1-1-1, 4 pts) – Disappointing and lifeless draw against Honduras kept the Swiss out of the second round of this tournament.

18: Slovenia (1-1-1, 4 pts) – It simply had to be heartbreaking to watch Landon Donovan boot the Slovenians out of this tournament with his stoppage time strike against Algeria. Still, a loss to England and blow a two goal lead to the USA wasn’t worthy of a bid in the second round for Slovenia.

19: Ivory Coast (1-1-1, 4 pts) – The Ivory Coast was probably the best club not to reach the second round of this tournament, but this is the second straight World Cup that the “Group of Death” claimed Les Elephants.

20: Denmark (1-0-2, 3 pts) – A heartless effort against the Japanese sent the Danish Dynamite home without a berth into the second stage of this tournament, but there are still great signs to point at for the direction of this team in the future.

21: South Africa (1-1-1, 4 pts) – No, it ultimately didn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, but South Africa’s win over France in the final group stage match in Group A was a great boost to the host nation. The Bafana Bafana became the first host nation to not advance to Round 2, though.

22: Australia (1-1-1, 4 pts) – Give the Socceroos some credit for beating Serbia on the final match day in Group D even though it wasn’t enough to get through. The future of soccer here is very, very bright, especially considering the fact that the results just kept getting better and better for the Aussies.

23: New Zealand (0-3-0, 3 pts) – There probably isn’t a team prouder in this tournament than New Zealand is. Once a 400-1 longshot to win it all, the Kiwis managed three draws and were just one stroke of genius away from becoming the least likely qualifier for the second round in years in this tournament.

24: Italy (0-2-1, 2 pts) – Shame on you, Italy! Even a draw against lowly Slovakia would’ve been enough to put the defending champions through to the second round of the World Cup, but it wasn’t meant to be. Now, the Azzuri have to go home and wonder what went wrong in a tournament that didn’t even provide a single win.

25: Serbia (1-0-2, 3 pts) – Simply put, the Serbs blew it. They had their chance to get into the second round of this tournament, but a shocking defeat to Australia kept them from advancing.

26: Greece (1-0-2, 3 pts) – Greece still has never scored a goal against a team that had a full 11 men on it in the World Cup, but at least it got its first points ever in this tournament with a ‘W’ against Nigeria.

27: Nigeria (0-1-2, 1 pt) – If not for miss after miss after miss in the dying moments of their match against South Korea, the Nigerians would have survived into the second round of this tournament. A 2-2 draw was a fair result, but was one that has to leave a bitter taste in their mouths, knowing that advancement was oh so close.

28: Algeria (0-1-2, 1 pt) – Algeria fought off the United States for 90 minutes before Donovan scored in stoppage time, but in the end, not being able to score a goal in this tournament was the reason that the Desert Foxes are going home.

29: Cameroon (0-0-3, 0 pts) – The Cameroonians once thought that they were the top African team in this tournament, but it’s hard to make that argument with no points under their belt through the group stage.

30: Honduras (0-1-2, 1 pt) – The Hondurans earned a point in their final match against Switzerland in a rather pathetic 0-0 display for both clubs. Still, this was a team that was just happy to be here.

31: France (0-1-2, 1 pt) – The French were clearly the biggest embarrassment of the World Cup, getting just one point against Uruguay to show for three matches. Rumors may or may not be true that manager Raymond Domenech was asked to walk home instead of getting on the team charter.

32: North Korea (0-0-3, 0 pts) – Giving up 12 goals in three matches is never a good sign no matter who you are playing. North Korea was as bad as it has ever gotten at this level.


Posted in Soccer on Monday, July 5th, 2010 at 4:00 am (EST)
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