Ranking the toughest 2014 World Cup groups using FIFA World Rankings

On Friday, Dec. 6, the draw for the 2014 World Cup was announced. The tournament is broken down into eight groups of four teams.

The U.S. Men’s National Team was placed in arguably the toughest group, alongside Germany, Portugal and Ghana. Fun fact: the last time the USMNT played Germany in the group stage, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann scored for the Germans.

[2014 World Cup: Ten facts you need to know about the USMNT draw]

There is never an easy draw when it comes to the World Cup, but let’s take a look at how each group stacks up based on the composite FIFA World Ranking for the group as a whole.

The number in parentheses represents the team’s world ranking as of Friday, Dec. 6.

  • Group A – Brazil (10), Croatia (16), Mexico (20), Cameroon (51); Composite ranking: 24.25
  • Group B – Spain (1), Netherlands (9), Chile (15), Australia (59); Composite ranking: 21
  • Group C – Colombia (4), Greece (12), Ivory Coast (17), Japan (48); Composite ranking: 20.25
  • Group D – Uruguay (6), Italy (7), England (13), Costa Rica (31); Composite ranking: 14.25
  • Group E – Switzerland (8), France (19), Ecuador (23), Honduras (41); Composite ranking: 22.75
  • Group F – Argentina (3), Bosnia-Herzgovina (21), Iran (45), Nigeria (36); Composite ranking: 26.25
  • Group G – Germany (2), Portugal (5), USA (14), Ghana (24); Composite ranking: 11.25
  • Group H – Belgium (11), Algeria (26), Russia (22), South Korea (54); Composite ranking: 28.25

Based on current world rankings alone, the rundown of toughest groups (1 being toughest, 8 being weakest) for the 2014 World Cup are as follows:

  1. Group G – 11.25
  2. Group D – 14.25
  3. Group C – 20.25
  4. Group B – 21
  5. Group E – 22.75
  6. Group A – 24.25
  7. Group F – 26.25
  8. Group H – 28.25
MORE: Toughest draws based on Soccer Power Index