2014 World Cup: Germany, Portugal, USA together in Group of Death

Brazilian striker Neymar leads his team into its own World Cup in 2014... and into the Group of Death. - Wikimedia Commons
Brazilian striker Neymar leads his team into its own World Cup in 2014... and into the Group of Death.
— image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Germany, Portugal, the USA, and the Ghana.

That's your Group of Death. Or is it the one with Uruguay, England, Italy, and Costa Rica?

FIFA held its final draw for next year's global soccer championship on Friday, and every England-based site in the world was quick to have their live blogs ready. And, as is tradition, everyone was eager to see which foursome would be termed the Group of Death (hence the intro to this very article).

Part of the nervousness – for fanbases and entire nations – comes from the nature of the World Cup itself, because no team is really safe and no outcome is certain. One poor performance can lead to a crippling loss.

Defending champion Spain and Holland (Netherlands) should cruise past Australia and Chile, but should is the operative word there. Same goes for host Brazil, grouped with Mexico, Croatia, and Cameroon.

Soccer, of course, isn't the only sport where you will get burned counting your chickens, and tournaments like this – for teams not ready for the starting gun – can be over as soon as they begin.

Who in Vancouver wanted that number one Western Conference seed in 2011 or 2012, when the Canucks barely beat Chicago and then lost in five to the eventual champion (and bottom seeded) L.A. Kings?

Who in the NCAA wants to be a No. 2 seed anymore, either? Ask Georgetown about Florida Gulf Coast. Ask Missouri about Norfolk State, or Duke about Lehigh.

Take England for example. The country hasn't won a World Cup since 1966 and, after the British failed to qualify for the Euros in 2008, they know that anything's possible. And, after the team overcame how badly it was overmatched to "tie" its 2010 knockout game against Germany, the referee called off Frank Lampard's good goal for no other reason than he apparently couldn't see what the entire world saw. (The goal would have tied the game at two. Germany instead went on to pump two more home and win, 4-1.)

Anything can happen. It really can.

But everyone's eyes, for now, are on a couple of groups that could go either or any way. One upset by the Australia or Ghana could topple either European unity, while your guess is as good as a Plinko chip to pick two from Uruguay, England, and Italy.

Full list of World Cup groups below:

Group A

Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon

Group B

Spain, Holland, Chile, Australia

Group C

Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan

Group D

Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy

Group E

Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras

Group F

Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, Nigeria

Group G

Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA

Group H

Belgium, Algeria, Russia, Korea Republic (South Korea)

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