On Tuesday, we’ll be just 15 months away from the opening match of the 2014 World Cup, which will be played at Sao Paulo’s new Arena Corinthians between tournament hosts Brazil and an opponent that will be determined at December’s Group Stage Draw in Bahia.
Slowly but surely, the roster of 32 nations that will go into the four pots is taking shape, and we’ll have an even better idea of which teams will be included after this month’s round of World Cup qualifying.
But if the competition was to begin today, who would be the favourite? Who would they be likely to face in the final? And would Brazil, whose recent results have hardly been flattering, get enough of a boost from home-field advantage to be considered legitimate contenders?
The following slides reveal our Early World Cup Power Rankings—an ascending list of 25 teams, graded by what we feel is their ability to win the event.
It is not an alternative FIFA World Rankings list. Rather, it’s an ordering of the teams that are most likely to grow that most exclusive club of World Cup winners from eight members to nine in July, 2014
Let’s get to it.