Rank your Top 3 and Flop 3 ever World Cup Groups

Discussion in 'FIFA and Tournaments' started by Gibraldo, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. Gibraldo

    Gibraldo Member

    Nov 17, 2005
    Pfaffenhofen / Ilm
    Club:
    FK Crvena Zvezda Beograd
    Country:
    Serbia
    Hi,

    i thought it might be a nice idea to list your top and flop first round groups in world cup history.

    To me they are:

    Flop 3:
    #3 - 1998 Group H - Argentina, Croatia, Japan, Jamaica
    What an easy walk for both favorites. Croatia, Japan and Jamaica all at their World Cup Debut despite everyone already excpected Croatia to do well. Argentina after a round of 16 loss at 1994 and maradona were in in change mode.
    #2 - 2014 Group C - Colombia, Greece, Japan, Ivory Coast
    Being not present at since 1998, Colombia was seeded unexpectedly and got Greece as one of the weaker european contender considering there were France, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and England in that pot, too. Ok, Ivory Coast was one of the better african sides but Japan much weaker than 2010. Thats why Colombia seemed so dominant but ok, you have to grab the fruits first.
    #1 - 2002 Group H - Japan, Belgium, Russia, Tunisia
    Japan was seeded as host, so that was predestinated for a weaker group. Belgium was past their prime after group phase knockouts already in 1998 and their home Euro 2000. Russia had failed samewise to overcome group phase at a major tournament since euro 1988 and Tunisia was one of the weaker estimated african sides and they showed why.

    Top 3 to follow the next days...
     
  2. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Tehran Iran
    One of the best groups ever, for me definitely top 3, was Group F of the 1998 World Cup putting together Germany, Yugoslavia, Iran and USA. The Iran-USA game was probably the most memorable game ever played between two teams that would not qualify to the next round and one of the most highly anticipated games ever.
     
  3. Iranfootie

    Iranfootie Member

    Dec 20, 2006
    #3 Iranfootie, Jan 2, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017
    The Iran-USA game was very memorable for me as well! I was very young back then and most importantly one of my dad's best friends (Dariush Mostafavi) was involved in the football federation back then so we went to France for the World Cup! Great time for Iran ever since the wonderful comeback against Australia!

    I hope you had a merry Christmas IM! We have had our disagreements about Israel and Palestine....I've always felt that it was in Iran's interest to be allied with Israel to act as a bulwark against Wahabis and Saudis/GCC. Instead, IRI's policy is ideological...however, other than that, I think IRI's policies are what even a democratic Iran would pursue. That said, I have always respected your analysis. I hope you had a merry Christmas and happy New Year.
     
  4. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Aug 18, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Group "F" in 2002 has to be one of the toughest groups in the last 30-40 years. England, Sweden, Argentina and Nigeria. Sweden breezed through qualifying, England won their qualifying group above Germany, and Argentina finished first in CONMEBOL qualifying.

    Group "D" in 2006 was one of the weakest groups: Portugal, Mexico, Iran and Angola. While some groups had 3 teams from either UEFA or CONMEBOL, this group had just one! And the CAF and AFC teams in the group weren't exactly the best of the rest. It was Angola's only WC ever. I'm sure Angolans are proud of the 2 points they got while conceding only 2 goals, but a lot of it has to do with the level of their opponents.
     
  5. Pipiolo

    Pipiolo Member+

    Jul 19, 2008
    Country:
    Argentina
    Group A in WC78 has got to be one of the most difficult ones ever: Argentina, Italy, France and Hungary.
     
  6. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Aug 18, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    True. Guess I exaggerated when I said 2002 Group F was one of the toughest in the last 30-40 years. Of course just about any group in the 16-team WC would be considered brutal compared to the groups we see now.

    So lets say, group F 2002 => one of the toughest in the last 20 years (since the latest expansion).
     
  7. deejay

    deejay Member+

    Feb 14, 2000
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    Club:
    Jorge Wilstermann
    Country:
    Bolivia
    Frankly the group stages of the last two world cups are miles better than just about all of the previous editions. Or at least for the ones I was able to see myself since 1982. Parity and the current preference for positive soccer has made for some good groups. Before that only 1986's group E impressed me. Denmark, W. Germany, Scotland and Uruguay had strong teams and positive play won out in the end notwithstanding the Scotland-Uruguay debacle at the end. 2010's Group D (Germany, Australia, Serbia, Ghana) had a lot of goals, excitement and surprises. Group E (Spain, Chile, Switzerland, Honduras) had less surprise yet the games were rather even. 2014's groups were all very even and has overall the best group stage games I have witnessed. Group B in particular (Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia) was must see television with goals, surprises and high level of play. Group D (Costa Rica, Uruguay, Italy, England) was a more tense and defensive affair but it was still very engaging.

    Of flops there are too many to name.
     
  8. Pipiolo

    Pipiolo Member+

    Jul 19, 2008
    Country:
    Argentina
    What about Group A in WC94: Romania, Colombia, Switzerland and USA? That was full of surprises and superb football by Hagi, Sutter, Ramos.
     
  9. deejay

    deejay Member+

    Feb 14, 2000
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    Club:
    Jorge Wilstermann
    Country:
    Bolivia
    Except for Bulgaria, I was never really wowed by the games in 1994. Maybe the heat had a lot to do with it. It was an improvement over 1990 but it all paled in comparison to 1986.
     
  10. Pipiolo

    Pipiolo Member+

    Jul 19, 2008
    Country:
    Argentina
    WCs 70, 86 and 14 are the best ones ever. Which makes me think all World Cups should be held in Mexico :thumbsup:

    WC94 was more about the individualities than a great collective performance.
     
  11. Gibraldo

    Gibraldo Member

    Nov 17, 2005
    Pfaffenhofen / Ilm
    Club:
    FK Crvena Zvezda Beograd
    Country:
    Serbia
    but thats what i want to see... great players > great tactics

    Gesendet von meinem SM-G935F mit Tapatalk
     
    Pipiolo repped this.
  12. Stankovic

    Stankovic New Member

    Dec 12, 2016
    Club:
    FC Internazionale Milano
    Considering only 32 teams wc...

    among the worst i would place the 2010 GROUP F with Italy, Paraguay, Slovakia, New Zealand: the worst ever performance by Italy, with the Azzurri going out in a frankly embarassing group without being able to collect a single win against the weakest South American team, one of the weakest European teams in Slovakia and the mighty New Zealand.
    Also the 2002 GROUP H with Japan, Belgium, Russia, Tunisia was very poor in terms of quality, but the same is true for many other groups such as 2010 GROUP C (England, Usa, Slovenia, Algeria) and GROUP B (Argentina, South Korea, Greece, Nigeria)

    2002 GROUP F with Argentina, England, Sweden, Nigeria probably has to be considered the toughest ever, with a team that was considered by many the strongest candidate for the final victory (including Batistuta, Crespo, Veron Ortega, Zanetti, Samuel)going home destroyed after the group stage.
    2006 GROUP C with Argentina, Netherlands, Ivory Coast, Serbia & Montenegro and 2014 GROUP B with Spain, Chile, Netherlands, Australia were also really good.
     
  13. Hayaka

    Hayaka Member+

    Jun 21, 2009
    SF North Bay
    Club:
    --other--
    Country:
    Denmark
    That 2006 Group H (Spain, Ukraine, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia) was another bad one.
     
  14. Ric_Braz

    Ric_Braz Member

    May 13, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK.
    Club:
    AFC Wimbledon
    Nothing compares to the worst group of 1970 with Uruguay, Italy, Israel & Sweden. The most stunningly boring round of matches ever played.
     
  15. Gibraldo

    Gibraldo Member

    Nov 17, 2005
    Pfaffenhofen / Ilm
    Club:
    FK Crvena Zvezda Beograd
    Country:
    Serbia
    nr 3 if my top 3 is 1994 group B that featured brazil, sweden, russia, cameroon. brazil became champions and sweden 3rd which shows the overall strength. before the tournament, russia and sweden featured the last 8 of euro 1992, cameroon werr something after their great 1990 performance and brazil was brazil as ever.
     
  16. Pipiolo

    Pipiolo Member+

    Jul 19, 2008
    Country:
    Argentina
    Cameroon was in disarray by the time of USA 94, and many of the first team from Russia withdrew against their manager. They were both poor sides at the tournament, although Brazil and Sweden were good. The Group of Death of Italy, Mexico, Ireland and Norway was much better.
     
  17. Rickdog

    Rickdog Member+

    Jun 16, 2010
    Santiago, Chile
    Club:
    CD Colo Colo
    Country:
    Chile
    That suposedly weakest south american team, happened to finish tied in 2nd place in Conmebol qualifiers behind Brazil (where all play against all, from the confed that put 4 of its 5 teams at quarters that same WC), which also happened to win that group, and went all the way through the next 2 stages, giving Spain (the team that won that WC) one of the toughest matches they had at the WC, at quarters, where they barely lost by only one goal which was scored in the last 10 minutes of the match.

    You're not being very fair to them.
     
  18. Rafael Hernandez

    Rafael Hernandez Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 6, 2002
    I'll do them from 1990 WC up to now, as those are the World Cups I saw.

    Flops
    3) 2010 Group F: Paraguay, Slovakia, Italy, New Zealand

    People lost their minds because New Zealand tied all games eventhough they played for a 0-0 tie in the final game, even when they would be (and were) eliminated with a tie after a goal was scored in the other game. The Slovakia/Italy game was exciting but every other game in the group was terrible.

    2) 1998 Group C : France, Denmark, South Africa, Saudi Arabia

    Outside of France, every game and team was awful. Denmark/Saudi Arabia was terrible. Denmark/ South Africa was bad in play and had 3 red cards. France looked good but had no opposition. Whenever there is a list of biggest 180s done by a team, 1998 Denmark has to be in it. From a team that looked bad and struggled in a terrible group to one that destroyed Nigeria and game Brazil a hell of a game.

    1) 1990 Group F: England, Netherlands, Ireland, Egypt

    On paper this might have looked better but I think it might be the worst group ever in the history of the world cup. 5 of the 6 games were ties. 7 goals scored in 6 games. No team scored more than 1 goal in a game. The WORST.

    Best groups

    3) 1994 Group E: Mexico, Italy, Ireland, Norway

    All teams ended with 4 points, making it as Group of death as any. The games could have been better but it was as tough as any group in the end.


    2) 1998 Group D: Nigeria, Paraguay, Spain, Bulgaria

    Another group of death that lived up to the hype. Maybe people might not think of it because of the final trashing of Bulgaria but they did pretty well in the first 2 games. Great defensive play from Paraguay and a great game between Spain and Nigeria. Great group.

    1) 2002 Group F: England, Sweden, Argentina, Nigeria

    Great group of death. As people have said, Argentina came up as the favorite of the tournament and went out in it. Every team was highly regarded and the group was super tough.
     
  19. Stankovic

    Stankovic New Member

    Dec 12, 2016
    Club:
    FC Internazionale Milano
    Yeah probably i made it looks worse than what i intended to... I didn't mean to take away anything from Paraguay's toughness and defensive solidity, I am completely aware they gave a hard time also to Spain in the last 8... my point is just that on paper you would have preferred to meet them rather than one of the other South American representatives in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.
    Here in Italy that draw was welcomed as very favourable of course, and despite the bad signals during the final preparation, nobody could have expected to lose more than a couple of points in the group stage
     

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