March 22, 2010 8:48 AM
As late as 1978, when the World Cup was a 16-team tournament, the soccer kingpins of Europe could still claim more than 60 per cent of the spots.
That year, Europe had 10 of the teams on the field. There were three teams from South America, and one each from Asia, Africa and CONCACAF.
January 25, 2010 9:40 AM
To win a World Cup in its current format, a team must play seven games. The eventual champion doesn't have to win all seven games, but it does have to win the last four, the so-called "knockout phase."
But what about the first three games? How big an indicator of success is a team's group stage record, beyond the obvious need to advance?
December 18, 2009 11:30 AM
Quite predictably, a Group of Death was quickly identified after the FIFA World Cup Draw on Dec. 4 in Cape Town.
Group G will consist of Brazil (ranked 2nd in the world), Portugal (5th), Ivory Coast (16th), and North Korea (86th, but possibly a dangerous unknown). The first challenge will obviously be to just survive and advance, but what about the group's overall tournament prospects?
December 4, 2009 9:20 AM
FIFA raised a few eyebrows this week when they announced the seeding procedure for the 2010 World Cup.
Previously, top seedings were awarded based on a complicated formula involving three years of world rankings, and two prior World Cup results.
November 22, 2009 3:29 PM
Next year in South Africa, defending champions Italy will be trying to reverse a daunting trend.