June 12, 2002

Five of the top six World Cup teams are out or in danger of being knocked out.: France (1) and Argentina (2) are out. Only Brazil (joint 2) have qualified. Italy (6) vs Mexico (7) tonight, with Croatia (21) poised to pounce on either's misfortune. Portugal (5) vs a very tough S. Korea (40, and top of group D) tomorrow, likely to lose its place to USA (13). Has there ever been a World Cup this bottom-heavy? Can Italy and Portugal survive?

Note: These are overall FIFA rankings. Colombia (4) did not qualify for the World Cup.

posted by worldcup2002 to soccer at 02:43 PM - 16 comments

erm, btw, Senegal is ranked 42, second last of all World Cup teams, ahead of China (51). The way they've played, I'd rank them in the top 10.

posted by worldcup2002 at 02:55 PM on June 12, 2002

I know this is a layman's ?, but how are the rankings compliled? It's apparent that the system needs some adjusting.

posted by thekorruptor at 03:58 PM on June 12, 2002

Okay, things can get REALLY interesting with tonight/tomorrow's games (Ita vs Mex, Cro vs Ecu). (I thought I'd drop this in here since starting a new thread would be a waste, and it involves discussion about Italy and Mexico who were mentioned in the fpp.) Right now, NONE of the teams in Group G are guaranteed to make the 2nd round and NONE of the teams are automatically eliminated.

  • Mexico will be eliminated if they lose and Croatia wins by 2 goals. They would lose on the 5th tiebreaker to Italy and Croatia (total goals scored in matches between the three teams).
  • Italy will be eliminated if they lose and Croatia wins or they lose and Ecuador wins by a certain amount of goals (see example below).
  • Croatia will be eliminated if they lose and Italy wins, OR various combinations of Italy losses and Ecuador wins which would bring goal differential in to play (ex: Italy loses 1-0, Ecuador wins 3-0, Ecuador gets the 2nd place spot).
  • Ecuador will be eliminated if they lose OR Italy wins OR various combinations that involve Ecuador not scoring enough goals in the win to make up the separation in goal differentials between themselves and Italy and Croatia.
I love this sort of "what if" speculation!

posted by grum@work at 05:04 PM on June 12, 2002

Of course, I completely forgot about ties, so just add that to the formula for discussion. That's what I get when I try to compute while tired.

posted by grum@work at 05:09 PM on June 12, 2002

grum I had done the same calculations. It should be interesting. Note that for Mexico to advance first all they have to do is tie. Also, Ecuador has a chance of advancing only if Mexico beats Italy. i.e. Ecuador is the only team that does not have its fate entirely in its hands, as they say. Anyways, yes, it should be interesting.

posted by vacapinta at 05:37 PM on June 12, 2002

thekorruptor: Here's an explanation of the FIFA ranking procedure. "The basic idea behind the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings is the same as that for a normal championship: a team can win a certain number of points for each match, depending on the results, and the points are totalled. The association with the highest total is at the top of the ranking list. But by contrast to normal league championships, for the World Ranking a team's points for a match do not depend solely on whether they win, lose or draw. Also affecting the total for a match will be the number of goals scored and conceded, the venue and the importance of the match. In addition, the strength of the opponent is considered, so that a win over a weakly rated opponent will earn fewer points than one against a strongly rated one. This means that a win will not simply bring two or three points and a draw one, as would happen in a national league. The calculation is more complicated since it incorporates the factors mentioned above." I can't believe how frickin' hard it was for me to find this. 5th page of Google search results. Nothing on the World Cup site. And the FIFA.com and FIFA2.com sites are down. It's like FIFA doesn't really want to show how its sausage is made.

posted by worldcup2002 at 06:43 PM on June 12, 2002

This is some exciting shit!! My team was Poland...i can't believe how bad they did. It was like they were a whole different team. Now they are playing USA and being from Chicago i am torn. I wanted both of them to advance...now i am hoping for Korea and the US. Are any of you guys playing the World Cup Fantasy League at Soccernet? Its fun as hell.. Anyway, FIFA ranking are all fucked up...they really should come up with some other system...a team that plays in CONCACEF and wins should NOT be getting the same amount of points that a team playing in UEFA gets....

posted by StarFucker at 09:40 PM on June 12, 2002

This is your friendly Portuguese correspondent speaking(and nail-biting)with a link to the possible Group D scenarios, from the official FIFA site. I hope the USA and Portugal go through, of course. There are actually scenarios where the USA can go through even if they lose with Poland. And what about that Brazil-Costa Rica game?! Wow!

posted by Miguel Cardoso at 05:49 AM on June 13, 2002

FIFA Rankings are arrived at through a very simple process involving a cat, a potato, tea leaves and a chicken. They are, of course, subject to change at the whim of the chicken.

posted by kafkaesque at 11:56 AM on June 13, 2002

Thank you, Kafka, for your enlightenment. I always thought some sort of solar allignment was used. And, Miguel, I did enjoy watching Portugal's style. I wish you luck.

posted by thekorruptor at 12:03 PM on June 13, 2002

hey there korruptor. Haven't seen you around lately.

posted by kafkaesque at 12:23 PM on June 13, 2002

kafkaesque: The FIFA ranking process you described are for the '98 World Cup. The current process involves a gorilla, fireworks, and a bucket of fried chicken. Oh yeah, and a one-legged blind dwarf.

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:00 PM on June 13, 2002

Mexico AND Italy, two of my favorite teams will advance! I am celebrating today.

posted by vacapinta at 01:24 PM on June 13, 2002

Wassup Kafka. I stroll around with saying much. Or maybe the topics on the 'mothership' are not that amusing. I finally joined here, perhaps for better converstations.

posted by thekorruptor at 01:47 PM on June 13, 2002

er, that's without saying much.

posted by thekorruptor at 02:00 PM on June 13, 2002

As has been said, FIFA rankings bear little correspondence to real life. That said, this time round appears to represent a triumph of 'team' teams over 'star' teams, over teams that have prepared with the cup in mind than teams dominated by club players whose managers regard international play as an unacceptable burden on their squads. It's a great fuck-you to the Champions league mentality, and I love it.

posted by etagloh at 08:18 AM on June 14, 2002

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