On a day where the passing away of the greatest man of our century was announced (and indeed, Nelson Mandela was also a keen football fan), I must admit that it was rather halfheartedly that I watched the World Cup draw.
The groups look as follows:
Group A: Brazil, Cameroun, Mexico, Croatia
A fine draw for the hosts, in a group where all three remaining sides will be fighting for second place
Group B: Spain, Chile, Netherland, Australia
A thrilling group with a repeat of the 2010 World Cup final, and a Chilean side that, if anything, is better than four years ago.
Group C: Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan
Some very interesting sides in a group where the favourites seem to be Colombia and Ivory Coast, but where Japan could be an outsider. Greece Perhaps, but unlikely.
Group D: Uruguay, England, Italy, Costa Rica
Another thrilling group with three former World Champions and then a Costa Rican side that without pressure could surprise.
Group E: Switzerland, Ecuador, Honduras, France
It may look to some France is favourite, but I would put my money on Ecuador. That said, Switzerland is also a team that can cause havoc against anyone. Didn't they defeat Spain four years ago?
Group F: Argentina, Iran, Nigeria, Bosnia-Hercegovina
It seems to be a fine draw for Argentina, who have nevertheless had some epic clashes against the African champions of Nigeria. Iran and Bosnia are rather unwritten, but not sure they could threaten Argentina and Nigeria.
Group G: Germany, Ghana, Portugal, USA
This is perhaps the most difficult group with four very strong sides. USA is perhaps the biggest underdog, but that is also where the North Americans are most comfortable.
Group H: Belgium, Algeria, Russia, South Corea
Belgium are the team to watch, and seem to have had a doable draw. South Corea is always dangerous and Russia can do well on a good day. However, nobody in this group will be world champions!