Belgium does not draft difficult group.

November 25, 2007 Comments Off on Belgium does not draft difficult group.

Contrary to what some traditional newspapers want to make us belief, Belgium hasn’t actually ended up in a difficult group. I’ve had a look at the recently published Fifa-ranking (this links to the current which is subject to change) and put the numbers in a table. For every country, you see their points according to this ranking. The two right columns make up the total points for the group and the group average.

Spain Turkey Bosnia H. Armenia Estonia Belgium    
1349 924 585 367 223 600 4048 674.67
Croatia England Ukraine Belarus Kazakhstan Andorra    
1129 1113 824 552 297 57 3972 662
Portugal Sweden Denmark Hungary Albania Malta    
1241 853 797 581 407 183 4062 677
Bulgaria Ireland Italy Cyprus Georgia Monten.    
877 731 1498 493 414 65 4078 679.67
Netherl. Scotland Norway Macedonia Iceland      
1170 990 827 556 380   3923 784.6
Germany Russia Finland Wales Azerbaijan Liechtenst.    
1296 861 695 560 274 260 3946 657.67
Greece Israel Switzerland Moldova Latvia Luxemb.    
1114 852 657 579 383 127 3712 618.67
Czech Republic Poland N. Ireland Slovakia Slovenia San Marino    
1290 855 780 590 403 6 3924 654

It is quite obvious that there are three groups with higher group averages and four groups with lower averages. So Belgium is in an average group when it comes to the fifa-points.
But what is a more interesting observation is the following. Belgium is ranked third in its group whereas Belgium would have ranked fourth if it had ended up in any other group. All other groups count 3 teams stronger than Belgium! So in that perspective, Belgium even draws a “relatively easy” group.
In Europe, out of 47 teams, 23 teams are better than Belgium in the FIFA rankings. Only 13 European teams will make it into the World Championships 2010. Come on, what did we expect? That the qualification would be easy? Belgian football has been going downhill for 2 centuries decades, and as long as there are no clear signs of improvement, we will not make it to the final rounds in South Africa.
So telling people that Belgium is in a difficult group is a big lie, the truth is that the national team needs to improve significantly if they want to stand a chance for 2010.
Update: “Traditional media” have also done a little analysis. Good one…

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