Soccer World Cup 2006 - Final draw
Good luck for Germany - we will not be in a death group, at least concerning the FIFA world ranking of the teams.
Germany (ranks 16th) will be in group A, together with:
1. Costa Rica (ranks 21st)
In recent times, Costa Rica have become a regular sight at the world’s top tournaments, and the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany will be no exception. Although their qualification was far from plain sailing, Alexandre Guimaraes’s (the coach) side came good in the end and are now preparing to embark for Europe in a bid to upset the established order.
Germany 2006 will be Costa Rica’s third appearance at the World Cup. It would be no exaggeration to say that both their previous appearances – Italia 1990 and Korea/Japan 2002 – were memorable, with the Central Americans surprising the world with their uninhibited play and supremely talented individuals.
2. Poland (ranks 23rd)
Even the most diehard Polish supporters were pleasantly surprised at their team's success in qualifying for the 2006 World Cup in advance of their last group match away to England.
The venue of the 2006 finals has been a happy hunting ground for the Poles in the past, as the East Europeans sealed the greatest triumph in their footballing history on German soil with third place at the 1974 finals, a feat they were to repeat at Spain 1982.
The current team coached by Pawel Janas lost home and away to England but won all their remaining eight qualifiers, and are now determined to open a new chapter in their country's football lore. As keeper Jerzy Dudek declares: "We want to make new history."
3. Ecuador (ranks 37th)
Ecuador were unquestionably the revelation of the South American qualifiers for the 2002 World Cup Korea/Japan. For a side with a modest football pedigree, their second-placed finish (a point ahead of Brazil) in a fiercely competitive region was a remarkable achievement. Four years on, Luis Suarez's team have done it again, qualifying for their second successive World Cup hot on the heels of Argentina and the 'Samba Stars'.
The coach Suarez is fortunate to be able to call on a balanced and tactically aware set of players, including outstanding young performers like Christian Lara, Luis Valencia and Franklin Salas, who surely have a bright future on the European stage. Ecuador's hopes of success in next summer's showpiece rest on these young stars as well as the wise old heads of Ulises de La Cruz, Ivan Hurtado, Mendez and Agustin Delgado.
There could have been worse luck of the draw for Germany. The fear was to have the Netherlands in the same group, the archenemy and threatening opponent. But fortunately they were drawn to the real death group C, with Argentina, Côte d' Ivoire (with Didier Drogba) and Serbia and Montenegro.
Another interesting group seems to be group B with England, Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago and Sweden.
I hope I will get tickets for one of the matches in Nuremberg. There will be these matches:
England : Trinidad and Tobago
Mexico : Iran
Ghana : USA
Japan : Croatia
I have a ticket claim for Ghana vs. USA, Japan vs. Croatia and one game of the Round of 16 (second winner group C vs. winner group D). I hope I won't get USA. Probably Tina wouldn't accompany me.