2014 World Cup Draw: Biggest Winners and Losers from Group Selection

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2013

Nov 15, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Argentina  players pose for a photo before the first half against Ecuador at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Bleacher Report

There are obviously winners and losers at the World Cup, but before a single game is even played, it is fun to decide who the winners and losers are after the group draw that decides the layout of the tournament.

This year, there are at least three "groups of death," while there are also quite a few groups with a clear favorite. All in all, it's shaping up to be a very fun tournament.

Let's take a look at the biggest winners and losers of the World Cup draw.



Bleacher Report


Knockout Phase

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA - SEPTEMBER 06:  Landon Donovan #10 of the United States reacts after giving up a second goal to Costa Rica during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier at Estadio Nacional on September 6, 2013 in San Jose, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Kevin C.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images


Winners: Brazil

The hosts drew a very favorable group, with only Mexico, Croatia and Cameroon standing between them and a berth in the knockout phase. While none of those games are gimmes, the Brazilians will be heavy favorites in all three.


Losers: United States

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 22:  Cristiano Ronaldo (C) of Real Madrid heads the ball beside Karim Benzema (R) and Angel Di Maria during a training session ahead of their UEFA Champions League Group B match against Juventus, at Valdebebas training ground on Oc
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

The USMNT came into the World Cup draw on a high note, having had arguably the best year in their history while dominating CONCACAF qualifying. There was the very real sense that this team could make a very nice run in Brazil.

After the draw, that will be easier said than done.

Not only did the USMNT draw a brutal group that includes Germany, Portugal and Ghana, they also have the most taxing travel schedule of any country in the tournament. Friday was not kind to the United States.


Winners: Argentina

Argentina should waltz into the quarterfinals. They drew Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria, an incredibly winnable group, and should they win that will face the runner-ups from Group E, which will likely be either Switzerland, Ecuador or Honduras.

There is no reason why this team shouldn't win their first four games with ease.


Losers: England

While you could make the argument that Uruguay and Italy were also losers after being drawn together with England in Group D, it's the English who are probably the least likely to advance from this group. The Italians always seem to play well at major tournaments, while the Uruguayans will be a tough team to beat on South American soil. 

Yes, England are more than capable of moving on to the knockout phase but doing so will take a Herculean effort.


Winners: France

The French barely qualified for the World Cup. Their "punishment" is a cake group that includes Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras.

Not only that, but should they win Group H, they'll likely face either Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran or Nigeria, meaning the temperamental French side could see themselves into the quarterfinals with relative ease. Friday was a good day in France.


Losers: the Netherlands and Chile

While Group G is the best group from top to bottom, Group B features the Netherlands, Chile and Spain, an absolutely stacked trio that will leave one very deserving side out in the cold. It's probably safe to assume that side won't be Spain, meaning either the Dutch or Chileans will have an early trip home.

It seems unjust, seeing some of the favorable draws the other top sides received, but hey, life isn't fair.


Winners: Belgium

One of the two major surprises among the seeded teams (alongside Switzerland), the Belgians have a very manageable group that includes Russia, Algeria and the Korea Republic. Even if they don't win this group—and really, they should—it would be shocking if they didn't move to the Round of 16.

There, things will get trickier with the Group G runner-up awaiting them, but a young team flush with talent should fare quite well in the group stage.


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