What You Need To Know About Group F Of The World CupMay 25, 2018
Every four years, whether you’re a soccer (or football as most of the world calls it) fan or not – chances are you’ll find yourself in front of a television at some point screaming for a team in the FIFA World Cup.
Unfortunately for the United States, our team failed to qualify for this year’s tournament, which begins June 14. The good news, however, is that Sweden is in the running!
The tournament is broken down into groups, and this year, by the luck of the draw, Sweden fell in the infamous Group of Death. To help you sound super smart when you’re watching the matches, here are a few things you need to know about Group F.
Sweden has had its fair share of the World Cup spotlight. It placed third in 1994 and second back in 1958 (which is also when Sweden hosted the tournament). It hasn’t played in the Cup since 2006 – Sweden eliminated Italy to reach the Cup, keeping the Italians out of the field for the first time since 1958.
And in other news, bye, Zlatan. Ibra won’t be on the pitch this year, but Andreas Granqvist, Sweden’s team captain will be. He received the 2017 Guldbollen Award, Sweden’s annual award given to the best Swedish footballer, dethroning Ibra, who previously had a 10-year streak. Good luck, boys!
Arguably Sweden’s easiest competition in the group, South Korea, has placed in the top four once in the history of the World Cup (2002, fourth). They have, however, played in the past few World Cups. Who should you keep an eye on? Son Heung-min. He was in the top scorers of the English Premier League, scoring 12 goals this season.
This is where things get scary for Sweden. Germany is the reigning World Cup champion. They’ve also placed in 13 World Cups (out of 20) and are seen as a favorite to win again. Leroy Sané, who won the PFA Player of the Year award, was favored to play for Germany but was unexpectedly left off the squad (Twitter, of course, isn’t pleased). But with Sané off the pitch, keep an eye on Mesut Özil.
Mexico falls somewhere in between South Korea and Germany. Sure, Mexico has only failed to qualify for the World Cup three times. The good news? They’ve never placed higher than sixth. You’ll want to watch Javier Hernández aka Chicharito. He’s one of the top players and is El Tri’s (Mexico’s national football team) all-time leading scorer.
For even more intel, The Sun has posted preliminary rosters for all teams competing in the FIFA World Cup.