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What will happen in the 2018 World Cup according to the FIFA World Rankings?

The logic of the world rankings is questionable, so what would happen if every game at the World Cup went according to them?

*Spoiler alert* England don’t win it.

The weird and wonderful world of the FIFA world rankings baffles us all.

Clearly decided by someone who has never actually watched international football, some of the rankings are questionable to say the least (Switzerland higher than Spain and France).


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This summer’s tournament is tougher to predict than your usual world cup, with subplots all over the place.

Will Germany retain their crown? Is Lionel Messi finally about to get his hands on the World Cup? Can Gareth Southgate lead England to victory?

Okay, we definitely know that last one isn’t happening…

*Enter generic comment about ‘Germany efficiency’*

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*Enter generic comment about ‘Germany efficiency’*

So, with that said, lets take a gander at the spreadsheet equivalent of a crystal ball and head over to the world rankings.

Here is the 2018 World Cup decided entirely by the world rankings

Group stages

Group A

1 Uruguay (17)

2 Egypt (46)

3 Russia (66)

4 Saudi Arabia (70)

No major shocks in this one.

Uruguay top the group, presumably after Luis Suarez goes on a spree of biting the opposition.

Hosts Russia won’t be too pleased as they finish third behind the unstoppable force of Egypt and Mohamed Elnen… Salah.

A picture from the future after he single-handedly knocks out Russia

AP:Associated Press
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A picture from the future after he single-handedly knocks out Russia

Saudi Arabia unsurprisingly finish rock-bottom.

Group B

1 Portgual (4)

2 Spain (8)

3 Iran (36)

4 Morocco (42)

Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo finish top ahead of Spain, in what wouldn’t be the most surprising of outcomes.

Maybe these world rankings aren’t that bad after all?

Iran pip Morocco to third place in the group, as Marouane Chamakh posters are aggressively ripped of every bedroom wall in Morocco.

He just couldn’t save them this time

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He just couldn’t save them this time

Group C

1 France (7)

2 Peru (11)

3 Denmark (12)

4 Australia (40)

France get off to a good start in their quest to recover from Euro 2016 final heartbreak, after they top Group C.

Peru finish in 2nd place, toppling a Denmark side brimming with talent such as Christian Eriksen and Nicklas Bendtner… actually it’s just Christian Eriksen, really.

Lord

AP:Associated Press
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Lord

Tim Cahill bows out of his final World Cup in disappointing fashion, as the ‘Socceroos’ finish bottom of the pile.

Group D

1 Argentina (5)

2 Croatia (18)

3 Iceland (22)

4 Nigeria (47)

Lionel Messi makes a good start in his quest for World Cup glory, as Argentina top the group.

Croatia finish second, with England’s nemesis from Euro 2016, Iceland, failing to make it out of the group, what a result.

Alex Iwobi frustrates an entire nation as his lack of composure in front of goal means Nigeria slump to 4th. I’m sure their kit goes down really well though.

Waste of a lovely kit

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Waste of a lovely kit

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Group E

1 Brazil (2)

2 Switzerland (6)

3 Costa Rica (25)

4 Serbia (35)

Brazil finish top of Group E and look good value for their tag of joint favourites for the tournament.

Granit Xhaka clatters into everyone as Switzerland finish 2nd.

Costa Rica beat Serbia to 3rd in the group, not that it means anything at all though.

He two foots Switzerland into the knockouts

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He two foots Switzerland into the knockouts

Group F

1 Germany (1)

2 Mexico (15)

3 Sweden (23)

4 Korea (61) 

Germany begin their defence of the World Cup in typically supreme fashion, topping the group.

Sniffer

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Sniffer

Mexico finish 2nd as they continue their efforts to be the tournament’s dark horses.

Sweden clearly miss Zlatan Ibrahimovic as they are left with Korea to battle it out for 3rd and 4th place.

Group G

1 Belgium (3)

2 England (13)

3 Tunisia (14)

4 Panama (55)

The wizardry of Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard earns Belgium 1st place in the group.

Gareth Southgate’s men just about scrape 2nd place, England are only one ranking higher than Tunisia?

Peaky blinders

REUTERS
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Peaky blinders

Panama shock nobody as they finish rock bottom.

Group H

1 Poland (10)

2 Colombia (16)

3 Senegal (28)

4 Japan (60)

Poland finish ahead of Colombia who get 2nd place.

Sadio Mane and Senegal finish a respectable third with Japan book-ending the group.

Absolute waste of a group in all fairness.

“Oh Mane, Mane”

Reuters
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“Oh Mane, Mane”

Russia, Denmark and Sweden are the only notable casualties from the group stages, if we are to believe the world rankings

Round of 16

Spain (8) v Uruguay (17) – Spain win

Spain come a step closer to recovering from their World Cup humiliation in 2014, overcoming Uruguay in the first round of 16 clash.

TBT to 2010, better days for Spain

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TBT to 2010, better days for Spain

Portugal (4) v Egypt (46) – Portugal win

Portugal overcome Egypt in their tie, as Salah’s World Cup fairy-tale comes to an end.

France (7) v Croatia (18) – France win

France see off Croatia to progress to the quarter-finals.

Presumably this pair will bang them in for fun this summer

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Presumably this pair will bang them in for fun this summer

Argentina (5) v Peru (11) – Argentina win

Argentina deal with Peru in their all South American clash.

Brazil (2) v Mexio (15) – Brazil win

Brazil continue their efforts for World Cup redemption as they beat Mexico in another all South American match up.

Neymar presumably does damage

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Neymar presumably does damage

Germany (1) v Switzerland (6) – Germany win

Joachim Low’s side see off Switzerland in their clash.

Belgium (3) v Colombia (16) – Belgium win 

Belgium make light work of Colombia as they hope to finally shake off their tag of perennial tournament failures.

No doubt this man gets a move to Real Madrid after a good World Cup

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No doubt this man gets a move to Real Madrid after a good World Cup

England (13) v Poland (10) – Poland win

Alas, this where the journey ends for Southgate’s side.

We made a good fist of it, but in the end, Robert Lewandowski and Poland were too much for the likes of Phil Jones and Danny Welbeck.

More of the same for us then

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More of the same for us then

No real shocks in this round of fixtures, apart from England bouncing out… is that really a shock though?

Quarter-finals

Spain (8) v France (7) – France win

Didier Deschamps’ men go marching on to the semi-finals after overcoming Spain.

What a quarter-final this would be though.

Portugal (4) v Argentina (5) – Portugal win

This is a bit of an awkward one… Ronaldo gets the better of Messi as Portugal knockout Argentina.

I hope the game ends in really dramatic style and Ronaldo celebrates wildly in Messi’s face.

Absolutely gutted

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Absolutely gutted

Brazil (2) v Belgium (3) – Brazil win

The world’s second best team knock out the third best team in what would be an exciting match-up.

I still don’t fully understand how Belgium are ranked 3rd?

Germany (1) v Poland (10) – Germany win

Germany again doing what they do best, what an absolute force.

This one isn’t exactly a glamour tie, but lets all just be thankful that it isn’t England on the end of a thumping from Germany.

I wonder if Mesut Ozil fancied turning up?

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I wonder if Mesut Ozil fancied turning up?

After some absolutely mammoth fixtures, we are left with a mouthwatering last four

France (7) v Brazil (2) – Brazil win

In the first of two exciting semi-finals, Brazil overcome France.

Presumably Deschamps gets the sack and Arsene Wenger takes over after this?

Squad goals

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Squad goals

Portugal (4) v Germany (1) – Germany win

Germany end Portugal’s hopes of back-to-back Euro and World Cup wins.

According to the world rankings, this summer’s final will be a repeat of the memorable 2014 semi-final

Final 

Brazil (2) v Germany (1) – Germany win

And there we have it, Germany are the winners, hardly surprising though really.

We’ll be seeing this again if the world rankings are anything to go by

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We’ll be seeing this again if the world rankings are anything to go by

According to the rankings, Joachim Löw’s side will lump further humiliation on Brazil, this after their 7-1 spanking in the semi-finals back in 2014.

Dry your eyes mate

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Dry your eyes mate

Hopefully the final leaves us with some more iconic moments, just as that infamous match in Brazil did.


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A whole World cup being decided on the rankings doesn’t exactly throw up any major shocks.

It does however mean that the best always play the best and isn’t that what we really want?

Maybe the world rankings aren’t as bats**t crazy as we all think?


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