Hark! Chelsea manager and Yahoo global football ambassador Jose Mourinho has come down from the mountain (and entered a nondescript conference room) to present the world with his 16 picks to advance from the 2014 World Cup group stage written on stone tablets (or white poster board). With an assist from Yahoo's Melanie Collins, Jose navigates through the clear favorites and the tougher calls of the group stage with the same way most fans do: by backing the people he likes most.
"I'm very emotional, I go always with my friends," Mourinho says before picking the Netherlands to finish as runners up in Group B behind Spain, since he and Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal worked together at Barcelona in the late '90s. In Group C he went with Greece and Didier Drogba's Ivory Coast advancing over Colombia and Japan.
In Group D he couldn't choose, citing Uruguay's strength and his ties to England and Italy. "If I say England out, next season they don't let me coach here [at Chelsea]."
In Group E, Mourinho said, "I don't believe in another collapse for France," and chose them to win the group with Switzerland edging out Ecuador for the second spot. In Group F, he opted for Nigeria to finish behind Argentina since the Super Eagles have Chelsea's John Obi Mikel (Victor Moses was on loan at Liverpool all season, so I guess he doesn't count).
In Group G, Mourinho is certain no one will finish with zero points, but he does see Germany finishing top with Portugal behind them. But, he added, that he's afraid for his native Portugal against the U.S. And finally, in Group H, he said "Belgium has the talent," but somewhat surprisingly went with Russia to finish first and Belgium second — perhaps due to their youthful inexperience.
Here's how Jose sees the round of 16 shaping up ...
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