The eight seeded teams who will be in Pot 1 when the World Cup draw is made in Bahia on Dec. 6 are Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Switzerland and, barring a shock loss to Jordan in an inter-confederation playoff, Uruguay. The presence of the latter four teams ahead of giants Italy and Netherlands can only be described as farcical.
The Azzurri and Oranje were runners-up at Euro 2012 and World Cup 2010, respectively, and were the first nations outside of the Asian region to qualify for Brazil - romping through their groups unbeaten with two rounds to spare.
Four-time winner Italy has not lost a World Cup or European Championship qualifier for 40 games - its last defeat was more than seven years ago to France in Paris. In its last four major tournaments, Italy has reached the final twice - winning one. Netherlands has incredibly emerged victorious in 26 of its last 28 competitive qualifiers - the best record in Europe for the previous three qualifying programs, superior even to Spain.
Compare this to Belgium, which has not progressed to a major finals in 12 years and finished fifth, fourth and third respectively in its three group qualifying campaigns prior to World Cup 2014.
|WORLD CUP 2014'S TOP SEEDS |