Photo credit: Martin Meissner / AP
I’ve done my best to cover this World Cup from afar, and one of the installments I’ve enjoyed the most are the power rankings. With two more games to go — a third-place game and the final — here’s my final take on how the teams stand.
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1. Spain — The cream is starting to rise. Absolutely controlled everything against Germany and could’ve won by two or three goals. The best defense is clearly a good offense, and that unstoppable possession game is what the beautiful game is all about. They’ve been my horse from the beginning, and I’m sticking with them until the end.
2. Netherlands — The only undefeated team left in the tournament also continues to improve game-to-game. Wesley Sneijder is having a dream year, and his club success at Inter Milan is carrying over to the Oranje. Robin Van Persie has been super quiet so far and will need to show up in the final if they’re going to have a chance.
3. Germany — A huge disappointment in the semifinals. Were rightly devastated after sitting back for nearly all of the 90 minutes against Spain. I definitely think Thomas Mueller would’ve made a difference and his absence was glaring. That said, all the remaining pieces in that vaunted offense underachieved.
4. Uruguay — Have a great shot at third place as Germany is probably gutted after having World Cup dreams destroyed. Getting Luis Suarez back for the final game will help (and Klose might be out also). I think it’d be nice for the Cinderella team to go out with a bang, maybe a two-goal effort from Diego Forlan to cap his wonderful tournament.