The four teams in Group C in the 2014 World Cup will be starting a number of firsts this year. All of these teams have never met each other in the World Cup before. One of these teams is particularly making its first appearance in the World Cup since 1998. In addition, none of these teams have ever gotten past the Group of 16 in any World Cup that they have competed in. Of course, that could all change this time. Will it? Only time will tell.
Although Colombia is the fifth-ranked team in the world according to FIFA rankings, this is the first World Cup appearance for the team since 1998. The best result that the team has ever had came in 1990 when the team reached the Group of 16. The side is hoping to get further than that this time around.
Radamel Falaco is the biggest name on the team this year. The former Atletico Madrid star scored five goals in international competition in 2013 including two goals against Chile to successfully get the match to end in a draw at three goals each. James Rodriguez, one of the youngest stars in the tournament at 22 years of age, will be one of the more popular places to watch during the event.
Cote d’Ivorie has never gotten past the first round of the World Cup but the team also has a #21 ranking according to FIFA. Les Elephants are the highest-ranked African country in the world.
Didier Drogba will be the captain for the team while Yaya Toure will be an interesting player to see. The Manchester City star had 24 goals in this past season with Man City as he helped get the team to its second Premier League title in three years. His total from this past year is the highest that he has ever gotten in a single year in his career.
Greece got into the World Cup through a play-off. Ranked as the tenth-best team in FIFA rankings, the team is led by Georgios Karagounis and Kostas Katsouranis. The Greeks had sixteen goals in twelve games during the qualification stage to get into the World Cup and lost only one game en route to getting through the UEFA Play-off. Greece has been seen s the best possible competitor to take on Cote d’Ivorie for the second spot in the group as Colombia is still the favorite to win this time around.
The Japanese national team has a 29-11-11 record since 2010 when Alberto Zaccheroni took over as the team’s manager. The Samurai Blue scored 30 goals during the qualification stages to get into the event and had an 8-3-3 record during the process.
Shinji Okazaki is coming off of a 15-goal season with 1. FSV Mainz 05 in the Bundesliga and had seven goals in fourteen international matches last year. Still, Japan has one of the lowest rankings among World Cup teams with a #47 ranking in FIFA.