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Posted on on June 25th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (

After the completion of the third round we know now that the 16 are made up from 6 Latin American teams, 6 EU teams, two teams from Asia, just one from Africa, and the US.

The six Latin American teams are all five teams of the Southern cone – the ABC and Uruguay and Paraguay, wth the addition of Mexico.

The six EU teams are the two Iberian countries, England, Netherlands, Germany, and Slovakia.

The two Asians are South Korea and Japan.

And then is Ghana, the only African State to make it, and the US. These two teams will meet immediately in the first round of the elimination games – thus making it clear that the upcoming eight eight might not include any African team, or it will miss the US.

The conclusion so far is that when one speaks soccer, the kings are again from the Latin cone and the Iberian Peninsula, with this year the addition of The Netherlands and Germany. The only teams that came out the full amount of 9 points – that is three wins – are The Netherlands and Argentina. The prizes for elimination-with-shame go to France and Italy. North Korea’s participation was a fluke. In their last game they lost to The Ivory Coast at 0:3.

Comparing with our interim article, we seem vindicated by what we wrote about these games and this week-end’s Toronto G-20.


After the completion of just two rounds of the pre-elimination stage in the World Cap games it is clear that Argentina, Brazil and Chile (the Latin ABC) and The Netherlands, will be among the competing golden 16. But Portugal wins our laurels. They shut out North Korea with a stunning 7:0, while Brazil played them only to a diplomatic 2:1 that allowed North Korea to crow that their Stalinism is succeeding.

On the other hand – it took just two rounds to show it clearly that Europe is in deep crisis.

France is in complete disintegration, England is preoccupied with the BP oilspill and even though they played an equalizer 1:1 with the US but it just does not cover the economic disaster of one of their top corporations and  economically they are sinking together with the US. Soccer-wise they also played an 1:1 game with Nigeria’s oil and may be left out like France from the golden 16. This is shocking indeed in both cases but quite obvious for someone who analyses Europe at large. Personally – for transparency – I have to confess that I did bet on the Nigeria draw and am making some money of the English disaster.

Then Italy and Germany and Spain – they may not make it either. Italy managed just two draws one with our favorite country – New Zealand (that is favorite in general but not in soccer).  Germany, having lost to Serbia is not assured either of a spot among the 16 (For transparency – I was not as bold as thinking they will lose, I only bet on a draw but they ended worse then our prediction).
Spain lost to Switzerland – right there at starting game?

Could anyone imagine a World Cup 16 without France, England, Germany, Italy …?  All of them having their independent seats at Toronto’s G-20 table? Can I say once more that there is not an EU Half-life Crisis – face up to it – it is rather that the rest of the world is moving up and Europe must Unite in order to have future value. This World Cup Chaos is a bellweather! The United Siates might make it into the circle of the 16 – in soccer of all things – because it is now more united then the EU. That is even stranger.

Thanks Portugal – you were the only ones to show there is still life left in Europe.

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